Ruff – records

Philomachus pugnax – PIBYDD TORCHOG – Passage migrant

Previous records are summarised in Ruff 1994 and Ruff 2012

2013The only reports were of singles at Fishguard Harbour on 17th Apr, at the Gann 3rd Aug, at Skokholm on 27th Sept and at St. Dogmaels on 28th Sept.
2014A single was reported on spring passage at Skokholm on 31st May, All other sightings referred to birds on autumn passage, with up to two birds present at Marloes Mere from 21st to 26th July and then singles on Skokholm on 1st and 18th Sept, on Skomer on 8th Sept, at Marloes Mere on 13th Sept, at Nevern Est on 15th Sept and at Teifi Marshes on 23rd Sept. Subsequently, two were seen at Marloes Mere from 10th to 18th Oct and the last sighting was of a single at Cosheston Pill 16th Nov.
2015Only two reports on spring passage of a single reeve on Skomer on 10th May, then possibly the same bird on Skokholm on the 11th. The first returning bird was also on Skokholm on 29th June, where the species was the reported on a further 21 dates until 15th Sept, with a max of 5 on 25th Aug. There were also multiple sightings at The Gann, where the species was reported on 7 dates, with a maximum of three on 19th Aug. Elsewhere, single birds were recorded at Skomer, St David’s Airfield and at Cosheston Pill, where the last sighting of the year was reported on 18th Oct.
2016All records were: two Skokholm 20th Aug, with one there on 23rd, two at the Gann and one at Marloes on 16th Aug, two Poppit 18th Sept. On Skomer singles 22nd & 24th July and 7th Sept.
2017All records received: singles at St. Dogmaels 1st Apr, Gann 29th & 30th May, 25th July, Skomer on 26th July & 25th Sept, Skokholm 21st Sept, Nevern Est 12th Oct; three at the Gann 23rd Apr and six there on 3rd Nov, decreasing to two on 8th Nov; two on Skokholm on 5th May; three at Marloes 26th Nov – 3 rd Dec, with a single remaining until 9th .
2018All records were of singles unless stated: at Teifi Estuary 24th Aug, Angle Bay 1st Sept, increasing to three on 7th, Pembroke Mill Pond 9th Sept and Gann 29th Oct.
2019Winter records: two at the Gann 3 Jan, one there 21 Feb, one 3 & 10 Nov. In autumn singles at: Gann 14 & 24 Aug and 10 Sept, on the Teifi Est 14 Aug & 26 Sept and on Skomer 8 Sept.

Records above extracted from the Pembrokeshire Bird Reports which may contain more information.

More about the Ruff in Pembrokeshire

Ruff – 2012

Philomachus pugnax – PIBYDD TORCHOG – Passage migrant

The Ruff breeds in temperate to arctic regions of the Palearctic, those in the west wintering in southern Europe and Africa.

Mathew 1894 classed the Ruff as an occasional autumn visitor; rare. He based this on a single specimen seen at Cuffern. Lockley et al (1949) listed three occurrences plus the statement “recorded on several occasions at Skokholm”. Donovan and Rees (1994) classed it as a passage migrant, principally seen in autumn, less regularly in spring and occasionally in winter. There has been little apparent change since.

Ringing – A  bird ringed in the Netherlands in July 1967 was found dead at Haverfordwest in November the same year.

Winter

Ruffs have become more frequent in Pembrokeshire during the winter, December to February. Donovan and Rees (1994) noted three records up to 1993 but they have been reported 17 times since, all single birds apart from 2 twice and 3 twice, also 9 together at the Castle Martin ranges on the 17th January 2011.  

Spring passage

One to six birds per year have been noted in the spring between the 3rd March and the 30th June (though late June birds could be males returning from their breeding grounds) but not in every year. However there were only five years between 1982 and 2012 when they were not recorded.

During an exceptionally heavy passage through south-west Britain in April 1987 several waves passed through Pembrokeshire, resulting in records of three at Dowrog, up to six at Skomer and Dale airfield, 12 at Skokholm, 17 at the Gann and up to 46 at Marloes Mere.

Autumn passage

Using records from 1983 onwards as representing the period with countywide observer cover, one to 18 birds per autumn were recorded, with an average of about nine but there were 23 at Skomer on the 15 September 1969.

Records span 6th July to 18th November, peak numbers occurring in September.

Ruffs were seen in coastal areas, on or near the estuaries, by ponds on the islands and mainland and in coastal fields. One seen accompanying Lapwings inland at Pentre Goch, near Felindre Farchog, from the 22nd to the 24th of August 1998 suggests that others were probably missed because of the coastal bias of observer activity.

Graham Rees (County bird recorder 1981 to 2007)

More about the Ruff in Pembrokeshire

Ruff – 1994

Philomachus pugnax – PIBYDD TORCHOG – Passage migrant

Mathew (1894) knew of only one bird, obtained “many years ago” near Pembroke. Lockley et al. (1949) listed one shot at St Davids on 8 August 1912, three seen at Trefeiddan on 20 and 21 September 1930, “recorded on several occasions at Skokholm 1936-1939 and 1947-1948” and one at Dale on 19 October 1947.

The Ruff is now principally an autumn migrant, with up to nine appearing at various coastal localities, such as the Nevern and Cleddau estuaries, particularly the Gann, Marloes Mere, Teifi Marshes and the offshore islands, though they can appear briefly almost everywhere around the outer coast and at ponds (such as Ripperston and Herbrandston) a little way inland, between 14 July and 11 October. There was an exceptional group of 23 birds at Skomer on 15 September 1969.

Less regular in spring, one or two are seen between 26 March and 10 June in most years. There was an exceptionally heavy passage in April 1987 which affected south-west Britain, with several waves passing through Pembrokeshire, resulting in records of three at Dowrog, up to six on Skomer and Dale airfield, 12 on Skokholm, 17 at the Gann and up to 46 at Marloes Mere.

Birds are occasionally seen during the winter but appear to be wanderers that do not stay long. There was one at Fowborough on 18 January 1970, two resting on Grassholm in February 1977 and one at Garron on 26 January 1985.

Ruffs usually appear overnight, so migration is presumably mainly nocturnal, but they have been seen flying in off the sea at Strumble Head during the day and one passed north-east over the Smalls on 26 March 1982.

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

More about the Ruff in Pembrokeshire

Ruff – 1894

Machetes pugnax – An occasional autumn visitor; rare.

Not in any of the lists. This species, once common as a resident and nesting bird in the fen districts of England, seems to be very rarely obtained in Pembrokeshire, and we are only able to include it on the strength of a single specimen that we have seen at Cuffern, obtained by the late Mr. John Stokes many years ago from the neighbourhood of Pembroke. It may very likely have been shot occasionally without being recorded.

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

More about the Ruff in Pembrokeshire

Ruff

Philomachus pugnax – PIBYDD TORCHOG – Passage migrant

Ruff – records

Records of Ruff from the Pembrokeshire Bird Reports since 2012. Earlier records are summarised in 1994 and 2012.

Ruff – 2012

Philomachus pugnax – PIBYDD TORCHOG – Passage migrant The Ruff breeds in temperate to arctic regions of the Palearctic, those in the west wintering in southern Europe and Africa. Mathew 1894 classed the Ruff as an occasional autumn visitor; rare. He based this on a single specimen seen at Cuffern. Lockley et al (1949) listed three […]

Ruff – 1994

Philomachus pugnax – PIBYDD TORCHOG – Passage migrant Mathew (1894) knew of only one bird, obtained “many years ago” near Pembroke. Lockley et al. (1949) listed one shot at St Davids on 8 August 1912, three seen at Trefeiddan on 20 and 21 September 1930, “recorded on several occasions at Skokholm 1936-1939 and 1947-1948” and one at Dale […]

Ruff – 1980s winter

Philomachus pugnax – PIBYDD TORCHOG – Passage migrant The BTO winter atlas showed that single Ruff was noted in during the winters of 1981-82, 1982-82 and 1983-84. More about the Ruff in Pembrokeshire

Ruff – 1949

Philomachus pugnax Mathew knew of only one, obtained “many years ago” near Pembroke.  One shot St Davids 8 Aug 1912 (Bertram Lloyd). Three seen Trefeiddan, 20-21 Sept 1930 (D.L.Lack) A male at Dale 19 oct 1947 (T.A.Warren-Davies). Recorded on several occasions Skokholm, 1936-1939 and 1947-48. R.M.Lockley, G.C.S.Ingram, H.M.Salmon, 1949, The Birds of Pembrokeshire, The West Wales Field […]

Ruff – 1894

Machetes pugnax – An occasional autumn visitor; rare. Not in any of the lists. This species, once common as a resident and nesting bird in the fen districts of England, seems to be very rarely obtained in Pembrokeshire, and we are only able to include it on the strength of a single specimen that we have seen at Cuffern, […]