Redshank – 2016 WeBS

Tringa totanus – PIBYDD COESGOCH – Winter visitor and passage migrant, has bred in the past

The vast majority of redshank wintering in Pembrokeshire are found on the Cleddau Estuary.

Peak counts of redshank declined from the highs of over 1000 birds in the 1980s, when the estuary was considered to be of National Importance for this species.  Numbers have stabilised somewhat since the mid 1990s, fluctuating around the 600 level.  This reflects the wintering population trends for Wales as a whole.

Redshank prefer to feed in the finer silts of the estuaries on the east coast of Britain where there is a higher density of prey.  Mudflats on the western coasts have coarser silt, with less prey, but do have the advantage of milder winters.  There is, therefore, a choice between better winter weather with less food, or more food but potentially harsher winters.  As the climate changes, and winters on the east coast are less harsh, there is little incentive for birds such as redshank to move further west.

Annie Haycock – Pembrokeshire WeBS coordinator

More about Redshank in Pembrokeshire

Redshank – 1994

Tringa totanus – PIBYDD COESGOCH – Winter visitor and passage migrant, has bred in the past

Mathew (1894) knew of no definite breeding records for redshank. It was suspected that redshanks bred near St David’s in 1932 and 1948 (Lockley et al 1949) while two pairs definitely bred at Trefeiddan, also near St David’s, in 1955.  There have been no breeding records since.

Mathew (1894) noted that although previously common, the redshank had markedly decreased including in the Cleddau Estuary where Lockley et al (1949) had noted it as an abundant winter visitor. Lloyd’s diaries for 1925-37 contain dates, counts and localities that suggest that its status then was similar to today.  The Cleddau Estuary counts demonstrate the general pattern of occurrence and the numbers involved.

Up to 30 redshanks winter on the Teifi Estuary. Three to five in Fishguard Harbour and 10-15 in the Nevern Estuary.

They arrive from 11 June, numbers building up progressively to peak in December before levelling out to a settled winter population.  Departure takes place in late March and early april with only small numbers staying until late May.  Redshanks also pass through Pembrokeshire on passage between March and May and between June and November, when they are seen at headlands and offshore islands, are heard passing at night and have been recorded at lighthouse attractions at Stumble Head.  Groups have been seen to depart northwards from the Cleddau Estuary on calm spring evenings.

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

LLOYD, B. 1925—1939. Diaries. National Library of Wales.

More about the Redshank in Pembrokeshire

Redshank – 1980s winter

Tringa totanus – PIBYDD COESGOCH – Winter visitor and passage migrant, has bred in the past

The BTO winter atlas showed that redshanks were present in several coastal and estuarine 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 121 birds, with the highest count being 165 in SN01.

The distribution is consistent with the Birds of the Estuary Enquiry (BoEE, now WeBS) at that time, with the majority of birds in the inland parts of the Cleddau Estuary complex.  However, the maximum counted by BoEE in winter 1982-83 was 1048 throughout the whole estuary.

The Nevern and Teifi estuaries provided the main wintering grounds in the north of the county.

Graham Rees. Pembrokeshire County Bird Recorder 1981-2007

Data collected by volunteers for the BTO. Lack, P. 1986 Atlas of wintering birds in Britain and Ireland. T & A.D. Poyser.

More about the Redshank in Pembrokeshire

British Redshank – 1949

Tringa totanus britannica

Mathew described it as an autumn visitor, scarcer than formerly. 

It has never been proved to breed in spite of a general increase in the last fifty years.  Suspected breeding near St Davids, June 1932 (B.Birds XXXVI, 202) and 1948 (J.F.).  Abundant visitor Milford Haven in winter.

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

More about the Redshank in Pembrokeshire

Redshank – 1894

Totanus calidris – An autumn visitor.

In Mr. Tracy’s time, the well-known and vociferous Redshank was a common bird in the creeks abutting on Milford Haven, and in all the marshes around Pembroke, but it appears of late years to have become scarce, even on its most favourite grounds.

Sir Hugh Owen has told us that it had become rare at the time he was accustomed to shoot wild fowl about Milford Haven in his punt, where, fifty or sixty years ago, it was probably a common nesting species. He has since met with it at Goodwick, and we have seen it, in small flocks, on Newgale sands. Mr. Dix states, that in his time, it was common about the mud-flats of Pembroke river.

The Redshank, is probably, still a regular autumn visitor to the county, although in greatly reduced numbers. A flock of twelve, we learn from the Migration Report for 1883, alighted on the Tuskar Rock, seven miles off the coast of Wexford, opposite St. Bride’s Bay, on May 18th, 1883.

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

More about the Redshank in Pembrokeshire

Redshank

Tringa totanus – PIBYDD COESGOCH – Winter visitor and passage migrant, has bred in the past

Redshank – 2020-21 WeBS

The latest totals from the Wetland Bird Survey in Pembrokeshire – and the average counts for the past ten seasons.

Redshank – 2016 WeBS

Tringa totanus – PIBYDD COESGOCH – Winter visitor and passage migrant, has bred in the past The vast majority of redshank wintering in Pembrokeshire are found on the Cleddau Estuary. Peak counts of redshank declined from the highs of over 1000 birds in the 1980s, when the estuary was considered to be of National Importance […]

Redshank – 1994

Tringa totanus – PIBYDD COESGOCH – Winter visitor and passage migrant, has bred in the past Mathew (1894) knew of no definite breeding records for redshank. It was suspected that redshanks bred near St David’s in 1932 and 1948 (Lockley et al 1949) while two pairs definitely bred at Trefeiddan, also near St David’s, in 1955.  There have […]

Redshank – 1980s winter

Tringa totanus – PIBYDD COESGOCH – Winter visitor and passage migrant, has bred in the past The BTO winter atlas showed that redshanks were present in several coastal and estuarine 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 […]

Redshank – 1894

Totanus calidris – An autumn visitor. In Mr. Tracy’s time, the well-known and vociferous Redshank was a common bird in the creeks abutting on Milford Haven, and in all the marshes around Pembroke, but it appears of late years to have become scarce, even on its most favourite grounds. Sir Hugh Owen has told us that it had become […]