Smew – records

Mergellus albellusLleian WenScarce winter visitor. Not recorded from April to September

Earlier records are summarised in Smew 1994

1992 – Redhead at Llys-y-Fran Reservoir, 15-29 March

1996 – Single red-heads at Carew Millpond 25 February and Llys-y-fran 23-28 Dec

1997 – Singles at Llys-y-fran 2-11 Jan, Bicton Reservoir 18 Jan – 15 Feb, 2 Carew Millpond 1Jan, up to 4 on Pembroke Millpond 12 – 26 Jan.  All were red-heads.

1998 – Male Rosebush Reservoir 7-13 Feb (WC et al), redheads Bosherston 23-27 Mar (RE, RJH. AW) and Teifi Marshes 4 Dec (DR)

1999 – Single redheads Landshipping 1-23 Jan (DJA et al) and Little Milford 28 Dec (TJP)

2000 – Redhead Heathfield G P 26 Jan (CB).

2001 – Redhead Heathfield G P 4 Dec (M-YP).

2003 – Redhead Bosherston 14 – 31 Dec (DJA et al).

2004 – Redhead Bosherston Jan – 9 Mar (PKG, TJP, AR).

2005 – Redhead Bosherston 2 Jan – 25 Feb (DJA, AEC, et al)

2013 – A single female at Bentlass on 21st Jan was the only record (CH).

Records extracted from the Pembrokeshire Bird Reports

More about the Smew in Pembrokeshire

Smew – 2011

Mergellus albellusLleian WenScarce winter visitor. Not recorded from April to September

Scarce winter visitor.

The Smew breeds from Fenno–Scandia eastwards to central Siberia, a proportion of these wintering in the Baltic and North Sea countries, particularly Holland. The Smew has long been a regular winter visitor to southern England, with further influxes when winter conditions have frozen birds out of nearby mainland Europe.

It has occurred less regularly in Wales and in Pembrokeshire a total of 52 birds have been recorded in 25 years between 1904 and 2008. All records refer to single birds apart from two at Dale in 1904, two at Fernhill on the 23rd February 1985, two at Carew Mill Pond on the 1st January 1997, three at Dale on the 16th January 1963, up to four at Pembroke Mill Ponds between the 12th and 26th January 1997 and six at Orielton in January and February 1939, the latter referred to as eight in Donovan and Rees (1994) due to a typographical error.

The majority of Pembrokeshire records do not correlate with influxes to the UK caused by cold continental weather. Smews are restless and mobile birds and it is this characteristic which has probably resulted in most Pembrokeshire records. Such restlessness was demonstrated on a local scale in January to March of 1966, when one was frequently seen at both Bicton Reservoir and Marloes Mere but never at both localities during simultaneous observations.

Apart from the localities already mentioned, Smews were recorded at St Dogmael’s, the Teifi Marshes, near Newport, Fishguard Harbour/Goodwick, Heathfield Gravel Pit, near St David’s, Solva Harbour, Castle Pill, Landshipping, Llangwm, Hook, Little Milford, Bosherston, Llys y fran Reservoir and Rosebush Reservoir.

The earliest recorded in the county was near St David’s on the 10th October 1914, the latest at Llys y fran Reservoir on the 29th March 1992. 

Presence by month, 1904 – 2011.

Most records refer to one date only but Smews have stayed from up to ten days to three months. Only seven adult males were involved in the Pembrokeshire record.

Graham Rees. Pembrokeshire County Bird Recorder 1981-2007

More about the Smew in Pembrokeshire

Smew – 1994

Mergellus albellusLleian WenScarce winter visitor. Not recorded from April to September

A cold weather visitor which occurs in Pembrokeshire when it is frozen out of its usual winter quarters further east. After such cold winter incursions, Smew occasionally reappear in the following winter, even if this latter season is mild. About 40 birds have been recorded in Pembrokeshire to date, since the first undated occurrences at Goodwick and Stackpole noted by Mathew (1894).

Most sightings have involved single birds but up to eight have been seen together. Smew have been recorded on fresh and salt water with about equal frequency, the Cleddau Estuary and Bosherston Pools being the most favoured localities. The redheaded female/immature predominates.

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

More about the Smew in Pembrokeshire

Smew – 1949

Mergus albellus

Mathew mentioned that it had been shot at Goodwick and Stackpole, and thought it a not uncommon winter visitor. 

The only occurrences recently are: a pair Dale, 1904; an immature male, St Davids 10 Oct 1914; a female 5 Mar and an adult male 5 Dec, 1918 near Newport; one seen Milford Haven, Nov 1925; and one seen Solva Harbour, Feb 1930.  Six were seen and a pair taken at Orielton in Jan/Feb, 1939

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

More about the Smew in Pembrokeshire

Smew – 1894

Mergus albellus – A winter visitor; not uncommon.

In Mr. Mathias’ list. Has been shot by Sir Hugh Owen, at Goodwick. Mr. Dix says: “A beautiful adult male in the Earl of Cawdor’s collection, was shot on the lake at Stackpole Court.” Immature birds are not infrequently seen. In its pretty black and white pie plumage, and with its handsome crest, the Mallard Smew is another conspicuous species, that we have distinguished at a great distance on the water. It is one of the tree-building species like the Golden-eye and some other ducks, and its pure white eggs are still considered as rarities by oologists. It nests in Lapland and the north of Europe.

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

More about the Smew in Pembrokeshire

Smew

Mergellus albellusLleian WenScarce winter visitor. Not recorded from April to September

Smew – records

Mergellus albellus – Lleian Wen – Scarce winter visitor. Not recorded from April to September Earlier records are summarised in Smew 1994 1992 – Redhead at Llys-y-Fran Reservoir, 15-29 March 1996 – Single red-heads at Carew Millpond 25 February and Llys-y-fran 23-28 Dec 1997 – Singles at Llys-y-fran 2-11 Jan, Bicton Reservoir 18 Jan – […]

Smew – 2011

Mergellus albellus – Lleian Wen – Scarce winter visitor. Not recorded from April to September Scarce winter visitor. The Smew breeds from Fenno–Scandia eastwards to central Siberia, a proportion of these wintering in the Baltic and North Sea countries, particularly Holland. The Smew has long been a regular winter visitor to southern England, with further […]

Smew – 1994

Mergellus albellus – Lleian Wen – Scarce winter visitor. Not recorded from April to September A cold weather visitor which occurs in Pembrokeshire when it is frozen out of its usual winter quarters further east. After such cold winter incursions, Smew occasionally reappear in the following winter, even if this latter season is mild. About […]

Smew – 1980s winter

Scarce winter visitor. Not recorded from April to September Up to two birds were seen at Angle Bay and Bosherston during the BTO winter atlas of 1981-82, 1982-82 and 1983-84. More about the Smew in Pembrokeshire

Smew – 1949

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

Smew – 1894

Species account from the 1894 ‘Birds of Pembrokeshire and its Islands’ by Rev M A Mathew