Wheatear – first and last dates

Oenanthe oenanthe – TINWEN Y GARN – Breeding summer visitor and passage migrant. Not recorded in February and December

Earlier records are summarised in Wheatear 1994

YearFirst arrival Last to leave
19939 March3 November
19941 March21 October
199511 March20 October
19969 March17 November
19979 March2 November
199825 February14 October
199912 March13 November
20009 March5 November
20018 March28 October
200212 March4 November
20032 March26 October
200413 March20 October
200518 March12 November
200616 March25 November
200716 March9 November
200821 February11 October
200910 March1 November
20106 March31 October
20118 March16 November
201211 March28 October
20135 March31 October
20149 March4 November
20158 March6 November
201612 March31 October
201710 March25 October
201813 March11 November
201917 March27 October
20206 March8 November

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

Pattern of occurrence

Note that these are records from BirdTrack only. They include data from the digitised Skokholm and Skomer logs. They do not include all the records sent to the county recorder and therefore may differ slightly from the table above. A week with only one or two records may not show up at this scale.

Week 10 (earliest arrival) is the week beginning 2nd March,

Week 46 is the week beginning 16th November.

More about the Wheatear in Pembrokeshire

Wheatear – 2003-07 breeding

Oenanthe oenanthe – TINWEN Y GARN – Breeding summer visitor and passage migrant. Not recorded in February and December

Comparison with previous atlas:

1984-882003-07
Breeding confirmed4236
Breeding probable1919
Breeding possible2431
No of tetrads occupied85 (of 478)86 (of 490)
Percentage of tetrads17.8%17.6%

It was estimated that 400 pairs of wheatears were nesting in the county during the 1984-88 survey. The distribution found during the 2003-07 survey was essentially the same as in the previous one. It is therefore considered that the population remained unchanged. A decrease in the number breeding on Skomer was balanced by an increase in the number breeding on Ramsey. No evidence was found that the BBS assessment of a 19% decrease in Wales between 1994 and 2007 was applicable to Pembrokeshire. This may be because the Preseli Hills continued to be heavily grazed by sheep and coastal areas were maintained in a favourable condition by the PCNPA’s “Conserving the Coastal Slopes” Project, which may have partially compensated for any possible reduction in Rabbit numbers by reintroduction of grazing by livestock.

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 Wheatear in Pembrokeshire

Wheatear – 1994

Oenanthe oenanthe – TINWEN Y GARN – Breeding summer visitor and passage migrant. Not recorded in February and December

1984-88
Breeding confirmed42
Breeding probable19
Breeding possible24
No of tetrads occupied85 (of 478)
Percentage of tetrads17.8%

Mathew (1894) and Lockley et al. (1949) regarded the Wheatear as a common breeder on the islands, along the coast and in the mountains. They still breed on the offshore islands, around the outer coast and, most frequently, on the Preseli Mountains (see map). The Skomer and Skokholm numbers were known during the survey period, so adding an average of two pairs per tetrad along the mainland coast and an average density of eight pairs per tetrad for the Preseli area, the county population can be estimated to have been about 400 pairs.

The first Wheatears have been recorded from 4 March onwards, but most appear after the middle of the month. Passage migrants are widespread in coastal areas, with some penetrating a little inland and along the river valleys. They usually appear not to take up station on their inland breeding grounds until about mid-April, though they have been noted at some localities earlier than this. Numbers are generally small, usually up to 20 at each locality, but there was an exceptional 1,500 at Skokholm on 28 April 1938 (Betts 1992). Passage usually ceases by late April, when larger, richer-coloured Wheatears appear. These are usually ascribed to the Greenland race but undoubtedly include Icelandic birds; one ringed at Skokholm in April 1946 was recovered breeding in south­-east Iceland in May 1948. These larger birds continue to pass through until the end of June.

Many Wheatears pass through Pembrokeshire in the autumn, from about mid-August to the end of October, with stragglers until 15 November.  They appear to be generally less numerous in the autumn than in spring, but are more susceptible to large localised falls, such as a group of about 300 birds at the Smalls on 19 September 1982. The larger Greenland- type Wheatears are detectable among the autumn migrants but are less obvious than when in spring plumage. Wheatears have been recorded at the lanterns of the South Bishop and the Smalls lighthouses on several occasions.

An unusual record was of a Wheatear at Templeton airfield on 7 January 1989, though it could not be found on subsequent visits.

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

BETTS, M. 1992. Birds of Skokholm. Cardiff, Bioline.

More about the Wheatear in Pembrokeshire

Wheatear – 1894

Saxicola oenanthe – A summer visitor.

Common all round the coast, and very numerous on the Precelly Hills. On their arrival in the spring we used to see Wheatears for a few days about our fields at Stone Hall, but they soon moved on towards the hills. Mr. Dix writes: “I was agreeably surprised to find this bird breeding about the north-eastern portion of the Precelly Mountains.” Indeed, in our experience, the Wheatear is the most numerous of all the small birds to be found on those lofty hills during the summer months.

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

More about the Wheatear in Pembrokeshire

Wheatear

Oenanthe oenanthe – TINWEN Y GARN – Breeding summer visitor and passage migrant. Not recorded in February and December

Wheatear – first and last dates

Oenanthe oenanthe – TINWEN Y GARN – Breeding summer visitor and passage migrant. Not recorded in February and December Earlier records are summarised in Wheatear 1994 Year First arrival Last to leave 1993 9 March 3 November 1994 1 March 21 October 1995 11 March 20 October 1996 9 March 17 November 1997 9 March […]

Wheatear – 2003-07 breeding

Oenanthe oenanthe – TINWEN Y GARN – Breeding summer visitor and passage migrant. Not recorded in February and December Comparison with previous atlas: 1984-88 2003-07 Breeding confirmed 42 36 Breeding probable 19 19 Breeding possible 24 31 No of tetrads occupied 85 (of 478) 86 (of 490) Percentage of tetrads 17.8% 17.6% It was estimated […]

Wheatear – 1994

Oenanthe oenanthe – TINWEN Y GARN – Breeding summer visitor and passage migrant. Not recorded in February and December 1984-88 Breeding confirmed 42 Breeding probable 19 Breeding possible 24 No of tetrads occupied 85 (of 478) Percentage of tetrads 17.8% Mathew (1894) and Lockley et al. (1949) regarded the Wheatear as a common breeder on the islands, […]

Wheatear – 1968-72 breeding

Red = breeding confirmed Orange = breeding probable Yellow = breeding possible More about the Wheatear in Pembrokeshire

Wheatear – 1949

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

Wheatear – 1894

Saxicola oenanthe – A summer visitor. Common all round the coast, and very numerous on the Precelly Hills. On their arrival in the spring we used to see Wheatears for a few days about our fields at Stone Hall, but they soon moved on towards the hills. Mr. Dix writes: “I was agreeably surprised to find this bird breeding about […]