Song Thrush – 2003-07 breeding

Turdus philomelos – BRONFRAITH – Breeding resident, passage migrant and winter visitor

Comparison with previous atlas:

1984-882003-07
Breeding confirmed144178
Breeding probable215215
Breeding possible3311
No of tetrads occupied392 (of 478)404 (of 490)
Percentage of tetrads82%82.4%

The song thrush is widespread across the county, but absent from the hill tops and all of the islands save the partially wooded Caldey, although it nested at Skomer in 2006. Around prime woodland, densities of up to 40 territories per square km have been recorded, in coastal areas as low as two per square km. The county estimate of 6,000 pairs made at the conclusion of the 1984-88 survey was based on an average density of 15 pairs per tetrad, which accorded with the slightly later UK national average used in the 1988-91 National Atlas. Since then the BBS has calculated a 24% increase in Wales between 1994 and 2007. If this increase is applied to the findings of the 2003-07 survey, a population of 7,500 pairs breeding in Pembrokeshire at the end of 2007 is arrived at.

Despite Song Thrushes thriving across Wales, for the UK as a whole they are red-listed under the Birds of Conservation Concern 3 (Eaton et al., 2009).

Graham Rees. Pembrokeshire County Bird Recorder 1981-2007

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

EATON. M. A, BROWN. A. F, NOBLE. D. G, MUSGROVE. A.J, HEARN. R. D, AEBISCHER. N.J, GIBBONS. D. W, EVANS. A, GREGORY. R. D. 2009. Birds of Conservation Concern 3, British Birds, 102, 296-341.

More about the Song Thrush in Pembrokeshire

Song Thrush – 1994

Turdus philomelos – BRONFRAITH – Breeding resident, passage migrant and winter visitor

1984-88
Breeding confirmed144
Breeding probable215
Breeding possible33
No of tetrads occupied392 (of 478)
Percentage of tetrads82%

Mathew (1894) noted that the Song Thrush was a common resident which suffered severe mortality in the cold winter of 1880, while Lockley et al. (1949) added that it was not numerous.

Today they breed throughout Pembrokeshire but are absent from the bare tops of the Preseli Mountains and from all of the offshore islands except Caldey, though they did nest on Skomer in 1961 and 1962. Census work on the Dyfed Wildlife Trust reserves of Rosemoor, Pengelli Forest and the Old Mill Grounds suggests an average density of 15 pairs per tetrad, which would mean a total breeding population of 6,000 pairs.

Grey-coloured Song Thrushes, thought to be of continental origin, pass through in October and November. They are occasionally heard calling from the night sky at this time, have occurred at the lantern of the South Bishop lighthouse and there are periodic falls on coastal headlands and offshore islands.

Larger numbers overwinter in Pembroke­shire. These resemble the local breeding birds and ringing has shown their origin to be elsewhere in Britain, ranging from Midlothian to Oxfordshire. These high winter numbers are sustained by the large snail populations to be found in the hedgebanks. The snails are also important to further influxes of Song Thrushes that appear when cold weather approaches from the east. During such periods they can be seen every few yards along the hedgebanks, and the sound of snails being battered on ‘anvils’ becomes characteristic of the Pembrokeshire lanes. Song Thrushes seem to survive snow cover of short duration quite well, still being able to find snails, but many then become casualties when they use the cleared roads as anvils, becoming too preoccupied to notice the traffic.

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

More about the Song Thrush in Pembrokeshire

Song Thrush – 1980s winter

Turdus philomelos – BRONFRAITH – Breeding resident, passage migrant and winter visitor

The BTO winter atlas showed that Song Thrushes were present in most 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 26 birds seen in a day.

There was a marked increase in Pembrokeshire during the cold weather of 1981-82.

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 Song Thrush in Pembrokeshire

Song Thrush – 1894

Turdus musicus – A common resident.

After the severe winter of 1880 there was scarcely a Thrush left in North Pembrokeshire. We neither heard the delightful song, nor saw an example of the bird in the following spring and summer. We were told of one that had been shot in the summer (this seemed a sacrilege!) in a garden at Fishguard; and it took two seasons before the woods and copses became again replenished by immigrants. Mr. Dix considered the Song Thrush to be rather a scarce bird in the north-east corner of the county.

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

More about the Song Thrush in Pembrokeshire

Song Thrush

Turdus philomelos – BRONFRAITH – Breeding resident, passage migrant and winter visitor

Song Thrush – 2003-07 breeding

Turdus philomelos – BRONFRAITH – Breeding resident, passage migrant and winter visitor Comparison with previous atlas: 1984-88 2003-07 Breeding confirmed 144 178 Breeding probable 215 215 Breeding possible 33 11 No of tetrads occupied 392 (of 478) 404 (of 490) Percentage of tetrads 82% 82.4% The song thrush is widespread across the county, but absent from […]

Song Thrush – 1994

Turdus philomelos – BRONFRAITH – Breeding resident, passage migrant and winter visitor 1984-88 Breeding confirmed 144 Breeding probable 215 Breeding possible 33 No of tetrads occupied 392 (of 478) Percentage of tetrads 82% Mathew (1894) noted that the Song Thrush was a common resident which suffered severe mortality in the cold winter of 1880, while Lockley […]

Song Thrush – 1980s winter

Turdus philomelos – BRONFRAITH – Breeding resident, passage migrant and winter visitor The BTO winter atlas showed that Song Thrushes were present in most 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 26 birds seen in a […]

Song Thrush – 1894

Turdus musicus – A common resident. After the severe winter of 1880 there was scarcely a Thrush left in North Pembrokeshire. We neither heard the delightful song, nor saw an example of the bird in the following spring and summer. We were told of one that had been shot in the summer (this seemed a […]