Siskin – 2003-07 breeding

Spinus spinus – PILA GWYRDD – Breeding resident, winter visitor and passage migrant

Comparison with previous atlas:

1984-882003-07
Breeding confirmed16
Breeding probable39
Breeding possible226
No of tetrads occupied3 (of 478)71 (of 490)
Percentage of tetrads0.6%14.5%

The Siskin is a small yellowish green finch which has a narrow pointed bill, yellow wing bars and patches at the sides of the tail. The male has a black cap and bib. The Siskin breeds among conifers, nests being built at the tops of trees, usually attached to outer hanging branches.

At the close of the 1984-88 survey less than 10 pairs were known to be breeding in Pembrokeshire, mostly in Pantmaenog Forest. An increase in numbers followed, being most marked in 1991 following an unusually large influx the previous winter. By the time of the 2003–07 survey they had reached an estimated average density of four pairs per occupied tetrad, suggesting the county breeding population had reached about 280 pairs. During and after the survey, considerable felling of conifer plantations took place and this will have eliminated a great deal of habitat favoured by Siskins, so the period of peak population has probably passed.

Graham Rees. Pembrokeshire County Bird Recorder 1981-2007

Records extracted from the Pembrokeshire Bird Reports, which may contain more detail than shown here.

More about the Siskin in Pembrokeshire

Siskin – 1994

Carduelis spinus – PILA GWYRDD – Breeding resident, winter visitor and passage migrant

1984-88
Breeding confirmed1
Breeding probable
Breeding possible2
No of tetrads occupied3 (of 478)
Percentage of tetrads0.6%

Mathew (1894) had just one record, a flock of 20 seen at Stone Hall in December 1866, but Lockley et al. (1949) considered that the Siskin was a regular but not numerous visitor between October and March, and was probably increasing. Saunders (1976) noted Siskins as winter visitors, but speculated that they might breed soon as they had already nested in Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion, part of a national spread in response to increased afforestation with conifers (Sharrock 1976).

Siskins began to frequent the conifer plantations on the flanks of the Preseli Mountains from about 1979, but breeding was not proven until 1986 when a brood was seen at Pantmaenog Forest. The population slowly increased to 10-15 pairs by 1990 with a considerable increase in 1991. This followed a winter in which flocks were widespread and numerous, the largest being about 130 at Trecwn on 29 January 1991. They now breed in all the plantations, including Pantmaenog Forest, Coed Glyn Aeron, Canaston Woods and Westerton, with others elsewhere including Ty Canol and Trecwn.

Groups of up to five appear at the coast in spring, between 8 April and 2 May. Occasional occurrences at the coast from 27 June to August may involve birds dispersing from Welsh breeding sites. Autumn migrants pass in variable numbers between mid-September and late November. Small parties of up to ten are seen coasting or pausing in coastal areas, especially in October, and there are occasional falls which are particularly noticeable on the offshore islands. An outstanding movement occurred at headlands including Dinas and Strumble during October 1988, with at least 1,200 descending upon Skokholm during fog on the 26 October.

They have become more widespread in recent winters, having learnt to exploit food put out at bird-tables.

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

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

SHARROCK, J.T.R. 1976. The atlas of breeding birds in Britain and Ireland. Berkhamsted, T. & A.D. Poyser.

More about the Siskin in Pembrokeshire

Siskin – 1980s winter

Carduelis spinus – PILA GWYRDD – Breeding resident, winter visitor and passage migrant

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

The darkest blue colour in a 10km square represents 19-50 birds seen in a day, in Pembrokeshire up to 32 birds.

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 Siskin in Pembrokeshire

Siskin – 1894

Chrysomitris spinus – A winter visitor; rare.

Mr. Tracy says: “Taken occasionally in the autumn feeding on the seeds of the birch and alder.” Not included by Mr. Dix, but in the list supplied us by Mr. H. Mathias. The bird-catchers catch a few, but not every winter, and inform us that it is never numerous. A flock of about twenty appeared in an alder-bed at Stone Hall at the beginning of December, 1866.

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

More about the Siskin in Pembrokeshire

Siskin

Carduelis spinus – PILA GWYRDD – Breeding resident, winter visitor and passage migrant

Siskin – 2003-07 breeding

Spinus spinus – PILA GWYRDD – Breeding resident, winter visitor and passage migrant Comparison with previous atlas: 1984-88 2003-07 Breeding confirmed 1 6 Breeding probable 39 Breeding possible 2 26 No of tetrads occupied 3 (of 478) 71 (of 490) Percentage of tetrads 0.6% 14.5% The Siskin is a small yellowish green finch which has a […]

Siskin – 1994

Carduelis spinus – PILA GWYRDD – Breeding resident, winter visitor and passage migrant 1984-88 Breeding confirmed 1 Breeding probable Breeding possible 2 No of tetrads occupied 3 (of 478) Percentage of tetrads 0.6% Mathew (1894) had just one record, a flock of 20 seen at Stone Hall in December 1866, but Lockley et al. (1949) considered that the […]

Siskin – 1980s winter

Carduelis spinus – PILA GWYRDD – Breeding resident, winter visitor and passage migrant The BTO winter atlas showed that Siskins were present in six 10km squares during the winters of 1981-82, 1982-82 and 1983-84. The darkest blue colour in a 10km square represents 19-50 birds seen in a day, in Pembrokeshire up to 32 birds. More about […]

Siskin – 1949

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

Siskin – 1894

Chrysomitris spinus – A winter visitor; rare. Mr. Tracy says: “Taken occasionally in the autumn feeding on the seeds of the birch and alder.” Not included by Mr. Dix, but in the list supplied us by Mr. H. Mathias. The bird-catchers catch a few, but not every winter, and inform us that it is never numerous. A flock of about […]