Shoveler – winter

Anas clypeata – HWYADEN LYDANBIG – Winter visitor and sparse breeder

The shoveler has a breeding range that extends through Eurasia and Western north America. In general, it migrates well to the south for the winter with a few areas, such as Britain, the Netherlands and the west coast of America seeing birds all year round.

Occasionally one or two pairs breed in Pembrokeshire, but really they are a winter species here. Generally they are found on freshwater sites and in sheltered estuaries.

Numbers are variable, but probably around 100 in most winters – double that in a good year. This reflects the situation in Wales as a whole, with the general increase since the early 1990s. The map shows they can be scattered well beyond the sites monitored for the Wetland Bird Survey. However, Marloes Mere and Castlemartin Corse are the most likely places to find them.

This map was produced by the West Wales Biodiversity Information Centre using data collected between November and February for the BTO Atlas 2007-11, with additional data collected in 2011-12 winter to fill gaps in coverage.

Most recent ringing recoveries of birds shot in Wales show they are coming from (or moving through) the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Latvia and Estonia. However, studies at Orielton Decoy in the 1930s showed that some of our birds came from breeding grounds such as the Volga and Pechora rivers on the western Siberian Plain.

Annie Haycock (BBS & WeBS local organiser)

References:

BALMER D, GILLINGS S, CAFFREY B, SWANN B, DOWNIE I, FULLER R. 2014. Bird Atlas 2007-11: The Breeding and Wintering Birds of Britain and Ireland.  HarperCollins.  UK

HBW – Handbook of the Birds of the World

LACK P. 1986.  The Atlas of Wintering Birds in Britain and Ireland, T & A. D. Poyser, London

LOVEGROVE R, WILLIAMS G, WILLIAMS I. 1994.  Birds in Wales. T & A. D. Poyser, London

Pembrokeshire Bird Reports

WERNHAM. C, TOMS. M, MARCHANT. J, CLARK. J, SIRIWARDENA. G, BAILLIE. S. 2002. The Migration Atlas, Movements of the birds of Britain and Ireland, T & A. D. Poyser, London

More about the Shoveler in Pembrokeshire

Shoveler 2003-07 breeding

Anas clypeata – HWYADEN LYDANBIG – Winter visitor and sparse breeder

Comparison with previous atlas:

1984-882003-07
Breeding confirmed21
Breeding probable1
Breeding possible
No of tetrads occupied2 (of 478)2 (of 490)
Percentage of tetrads0.4%0.4%

Shoveler have nested at several localities in the county in the past but in the last twenty years seem to have become confined to three places. During the 1984-88 survey breeding was confirmed at Skomer and Marloes Mere. The 2003-07 survey found confirmed nesting at Skomer and probable breeding at Skokholm and Marloes Mere.

Graham Rees (County bird recorder 1981 to 2007)

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

More about the Shoveler in Pembrokeshire

Shoveler – 1994

Anas clypeata – HWYADEN LYDANBIG – Winter visitor and sparse breeder

1984-88
Breeding confirmed2
Breeding probable
Breeding possible
No of tetrads occupied2 (of 478)
Percentage of tetrads0.4%

Mathew (1894) regarded the Shoveler as being “not very common”. Mackworth Praed (1946) writing about Orielton decoy stated that the Shoveler was comparatively rare before 1914 but “now 100 pairs is a very normal count” while Lockley et al. (1949) described it as a “not very numerous winter visitor” but regular at Orielton. Lockley (1956) noted that unusual numbers of Shovelers visited Orielton in December 1955, with at least 300 there on 28 December, the largest gathering recorded in the county. Subsequently it has remained a scarce winter visitor, the only locality used with great regularity being Marloes Mere. At this site they are difficult to count because of the extensive cover, but up to 50 are seen most winters. The islands of Skokholm and Skomer and the pond at Trefeiddan Pool are used as staging posts during the spring departure. Up to six have occurred erratically elsewhere in the county, mostly near the coast at localities such as Dowrog, Bosherston Pools and the Cleddau Estuary.

Lockley et al. (1949) list Angle, Castle Martin Corse, Dowrog and St David’s as breeding localities. Breeding was suspected at several sites during the 1970s. Saunders (1976) classified the Shoveler as a casual breeder and notes that “there have been several reports of breeding in the south of the county”. They were proved to be breeding at Skokholm and at Marloes Mere during the Breeding Birds Survey of 1984-1988, at Skokholm in 1991 and 1992 and at Skomer in 1989, 1990 and 1992.

Ringing recoveries from Orielton have shown that some of our winter Shovelers come from breeding grounds such as the Volga and Petchora rivers on the western Siberian Plain.

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

LOCKLEY R. M. 1961. The south-west peninsula. Nature in Wales 7: 124-133

PRAED, C.W. MACKWORTH. 1946. Orielton decoy ringing station report. London, The International Committee for Bird Preservation

SAUNDERS, D.R. 1976. A brief guide to the birds of Pembrokeshire. Five Arches Press.

More about the Shoveler in Pembrokeshire

Shoveler – 1980s winter

Anas clypeata – HWYADEN LYDANBIG – Winter visitor and sparse breeder

The BTO winter atlas showed that Shovelers were present in fresh water and estuarine10km squares during the winters of 1981-82, 1982-82 and 1983-84.

The darkest colour for each 10km square represents 8-34 birds seen in a day, Marloes Mere being the site that regularly held the largest numbers.

Graham Rees 

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 Shoveler in Pembrokeshire

Shoveler – 1949

Spatula clypeata

Not very numerous winter visitor, chiefly on the coast and to Skokholm and Skomer.  Regular visitor to Orielton (over one hundred there 30 Jan 1939). A few pairs breed, eg three or four three-quarters grown young shot Dowrog, 1904, nest and eggs found Angle 8 June 1931 (Bertram Lloyd), adults seen in June at St Davids 1929, and Angle 1930.

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

More about the Shoveler in Pembrokeshire

Shoveler – 1894

SHOVELLER, Spatula clypeata – A winter visitor, not very common.

Occasionally the Shoveller deserts the sea wrack on the coast, and comes inland to feed on the fresh water ponds, and one day when Woodcock-shooting at Trecwn, we disturbed three Mallard Shovellers from the small lake at the head of the cover. In their full adult plumage the Mallard Shovellers are among the handsomest of our British Wild Ducks. We have always found this species most excellent for the table.

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

More about the Shoveler in Pembrokeshire

Shoveler

Anas clypeata – HWYADEN LYDANBIG – Winter visitor and sparse breeder

Shoveler – winter

Anas clypeata – HWYADEN LYDANBIG – Winter visitor and sparse breeder The shoveler has a breeding range that extends through Eurasia and Western north America. In general, it migrates well to the south for the winter with a few areas, such as Britain, the Netherlands and the west coast of America seeing birds all year […]

Shoveler 2003-07 breeding

Anas clypeata – HWYADEN LYDANBIG – Winter visitor and sparse breeder Comparison with previous atlas: 1984-88 2003-07 Breeding confirmed 2 1 Breeding probable 1 Breeding possible No of tetrads occupied 2 (of 478) 2 (of 490) Percentage of tetrads 0.4% 0.4% Shoveler have nested at several localities in the county in the past but in […]

Shoveler – 1994

Anas clypeata – HWYADEN LYDANBIG – Winter visitor and sparse breeder 1984-88 Breeding confirmed 2 Breeding probable Breeding possible No of tetrads occupied 2 (of 478) Percentage of tetrads 0.4% Mathew (1894) regarded the Shoveler as being “not very common”. Mackworth Praed (1946) writing about Orielton decoy stated that the Shoveler was comparatively rare before […]

Shoveler – 1980s winter

Anas clypeata – HWYADEN LYDANBIG – Winter visitor and sparse breeder The BTO winter atlas showed that Shovelers were present in fresh water and estuarine10km squares during the winters of 1981-82, 1982-82 and 1983-84. The darkest colour for each 10km square represents 8-34 birds seen in a day, Marloes Mere being the site that regularly held […]

Shoveler – 1949

Spatula clypeata Not very numerous winter visitor, chiefly on the coast and to Skokholm and Skomer.  Regular visitor to Orielton (over one hundred there 30 Jan 1939). A few pairs breed, eg three or four three-quarters grown young shot Dowrog, 1904, nest and eggs found Angle 8 June 1931 (Bertram Lloyd), adults seen in June […]

Shoveler – 1894

SHOVELLER, Spatula clypeata – A winter visitor, not very common. Occasionally the Shoveller deserts the sea wrack on the coast, and comes inland to feed on the fresh water ponds, and one day when Woodcock-shooting at Trecwn, we disturbed three Mallard Shovellers from the small lake at the head of the cover. In their full adult plumage the Mallard Shovellers […]

Shoveler

Anas clypeata – HWYADEN LYDANBIG – Winter visitor and sparse breeder