Pheasant – 2003-07 breeding

Phasianus colchicus – FFESANT – Breeding resident

Map produced by the West Wales Biodiversity Information Centre

Comparison with previous atlas:

1984-882003-07
Breeding confirmed6329
Breeding probable103225
Breeding possible8854
No of tetrads occupied254 (of 478)308 (of 490)
Percentage of tetrads53.1%62.9%

The Pheasant is an Oriental species which was introduced into Pembrokeshire about 1586, and has since naturalised. Considerable numbers are reared and released each year for shooting purposes and this has been the case for many years. Some have survived the shooting seasons to breed in a wild state and this is the population which the local surveys have attempted to assess.

The 2003-07 survey found there had been a 21% increase in distribution since 1984-88, suggesting there were about 1,630 nests by the end of 2007 compared to 1,350 in 1988, using the mean of the estimate ranges. This is expressed as nests rather than pairs as male Pheasants habitually have several mates. They were absent from the higher parts of the Preseli Hills during both surveys.

Introduced to the islands of Skomer and Caldey, they were found there during both surveys.  They possibly bred on Ramsey during the 1984- 88 period, having presumably reached it unaided, but were not recorded there in 2003-07.

Graham Rees. Pembrokeshire County Bird Recorder 1981-2007

Rees, et al. 2008, Atlas of Breeding Birds in Pembrokeshire 2003-07. Pembrokeshire Bird Group.

More about the Pheasant in Pembrokeshire

Pheasant – 1994

Phasianus colchicus – FFESANT – Breeding resident

1984-88
Breeding confirmed63
Breeding probable103
Breeding possible88
No of tetrads occupied254 (of 478)
Percentage of tetrads53.1%

The Pheasant was introduced from Ireland, probably by Sir John Perott, during the sixteenth century, in about 1586 according to George Owen. Mathew (1894) said it “thrives remarkably well in Pembrokeshire” while it was a common resident to Lockley et al. (1949).

Shooting interests release considerable numbers each year, some of which survive and have built into a sparse but widespread free breeding population. Ignoring those in rearing pens, and estimating an average breeding density of five to six nests per tetrad, the population in Pembrokeshire probably produces 1,200-1,500 nests each year. Pheasants also nest on the islands of Caldey and Skomer, having been introduced; however, these populations may have been augmented by birds flying from the mainland, for they also occur on Ramsey where there is no record of any introduction.

Donovan J.W. & Rees G.H, 1994, Birds of Pembrokeshire

More about the Pheasant in Pembrokeshire

Pheasant – 1980s winter

Phasianus colchicus – FFESANT – Breeding resident

The BTO winter atlas showed that Pheasants were present in most 10km squares during the winters of 1981-82, 1982-82 and 1983-84.

The darker the colour, the higher the relative total count for each 10km square.  The darkest blue represents over 9-33 birds seen in a day. Releases of birds reared for shooting varies year by year, so the map represents a snapshot limited to the winters in which the survey was conducted.

Graham Rees. Pembrokeshire County Bird Recorder 1981-2007

More about the Pheasant in Pembrokeshire

Pheasant – 1949

Introduced from Ireland about 1586 according to Geo Owen.  Later it became a common resident.  Mathew says it “thrives remarkably well”. 

It is now much scarcer, due to losses in gin graps used by rabbit catchers.  A few breed on Skomer, maintaining their numbers possibly by accretions from the mainland, as it has been seen to fly across Jack Sound.

R.M.Lockley, G.C.S.Ingram, H.M.Salmon, 1949, The Birds of Pembrokeshire, The West Wales Field Society 

More about the Pheasant in Pembrokeshire

Pheasant – 1894

Phasianus colchicus and torquatus – Introduced.

The Pheasant thrives remarkably well in Pembrokeshire, not only in the preserves, but in the wild unpreserved districts in the county, where it meets with all its requisites— water, shelter and food. It delights in the stiff fox-covers of from four feet to five feet high furze, which are so numerous, and in these, as we have often experienced, neither dogs nor beaters will avail to flush it. The birds shot in these impenetrable covers are worth some trouble to obtain, being fine and heavy, and of most excellent flavour.

The ring-necked Pheasant (P. torquatus) is now the predominant variety throughout the county. It is said to have been introduced by Sir John Owen, Bt., of Orielton, some fifty or sixty years ago, and it has extended itself even to the remote “mountain” districts.

The Rev. W. Scott, rector of Slebech, has told us that when he was a boy at school in Carmarthen, he well remembers the town crier one day being sent about the streets to request the people to abstain from injuring the Pheasants that had just been turned down upon an estate at no great distance from the town. This, doubtless, had reference to the ring-necked birds, and was, probably, their first introduction in that part of Carmarthenshire. We have only very rarely encountered specimens of the old breed of red birds in the covers in North Pembrokeshire.

In very severe winters, after deep snows and long protracted frosts, we have once or twice picked up dead and frozen hen birds in our covers, but we never came across a dead cock bird in such weather, and believe that these hardy birds can find a subsistence for themselves almost anywhere, and are practically omnivorous. When Snipe shooting, we have often put up and shot straying cock Pheasants in unexpected places, on the barest hill tops, and in the wettest bogs.

No doubt, a considerable number of Pheasants fall victims to the foxes that swarm beyond all reason in some parts in the north of the county ; several times we have had our setter draw up to and stand a fox kennelled in some trash on the ” mountain,” with one of our Pheasants half-eaten by his side, and we have wondered whether it was the “varmint” that we allowed to trot off towards our covers, or the remains of game that had been winded by our dog.

Mathew M.A. 1894, Birds of Pembrokeshire and its Islands

More about the Pheasant in Pembrokeshire

Pheasant

Phasianus colchicus – FFESANT – Breeding resident

Pheasant – 2003-07 breeding

Phasianus colchicus – FFESANT – Breeding resident Comparison with previous atlas: 1984-88 2003-07 Breeding confirmed 63 29 Breeding probable 103 225 Breeding possible 88 54 No of tetrads occupied 254 (of 478) 308 (of 490) Percentage of tetrads 53.1% 62.9% The Pheasant is an Oriental species which was introduced into Pembrokeshire about 1586, and has […]

Pheasant – 1994

Phasianus colchicus – FFESANT – Breeding resident 1984-88 Breeding confirmed 63 Breeding probable 103 Breeding possible 88 No of tetrads occupied 254 (of 478) Percentage of tetrads 53.1% The Pheasant was introduced from Ireland, probably by Sir John Perott, during the sixteenth century, in about 1586 according to George Owen. Mathew (1894) said it “thrives […]

Pheasant – 1980s winter

Phasianus colchicus – FFESANT – Breeding resident The BTO winter atlas showed that Pheasants were present in most 10km squares during the winters of 1981-82, 1982-82 and 1983-84. The darker the colour, the higher the relative total count for each 10km square.  The darkest blue represents over 9-33 birds seen in a day. Releases of birds reared […]

Pheasant – 1968-72 breeding

Red = breeding confirmed Orange = breeding probable Yellow = breeding possible More about the Pheasant in Pembrokeshire

Pheasant – 1949

Species account from the Birds of Pembrokeshire, 1949, by Lockley, Ingram and Salmon.

Pheasant – 1894

Phasianus colchicus and torquatus – Introduced. The Pheasant thrives remarkably well in Pembrokeshire, not only in the preserves, but in the wild unpreserved districts in the county, where it meets with all its requisites— water, shelter and food. It delights in the stiff fox-covers of from four feet to five feet high furze, which are so numerous, and in these, as […]