Wigeon – 1994

Anas penelope – CHWIWELL – Winter visitor and passage migrant

Past evidence suggests that the wigeon may well have been more numerous than it is now.  At the Orielton Decoy 500-600 were taken annually during the winters of the 1870s and 1880s, suggesting that a very large population must have been present.  Mackworth Praed (1946) thought that probably 9,000-10,000 was the daily presence at Orielton prior to the 1930s, but in that decade numbers dwindled to about 3000 on the nearby estuary.  Lloyd noted about 3000 at Angle Bay in 1925.  A continued slow decline seems indicated by records of 2500 in the Hook area in 1949 and 1950, and about 2200 in Angle Bay in 1974.  The average of the peak counts for the whole of the Cleddau Estuary from 1983 to 1986 was 2060, and from 1988 to 1992 was 2331.

The picture changes when severe cold weather grips wintering areas further east, as it did in January 1987.  Suddenly about 10,000 wigeon appeared on or near the Cleddau Estuary with a further 3000 elsewhere, demonstrating how important the preservation of estuarine habitat in the mild west is.

Away from the Cleddau the wigeon is normally concentrated only at Marloes Mere (100-500 birds) and the Pentood Marshes (200-500 birds), with smaller groups using ponds and farm irrigation reservoirs.  These inland waters also provide a refuge during cold spells, as in 1987 when there were 1,000 at Treleddin Farm reservoir, 860 at Llysyfran reservoir, about 500 at Maerdy and about 500 at Bosherston Pools.

Wigeon arrive in Pembrokeshire from September to December.  Numbers peak in January, with a rapid departure in late March and stragglers occurring thereafter.  Small parties are seen passing Strumble Head and stopping off at the offshore islands during the arrival period but the bulk arrive unseen, presumably during the night.  Little visible movement is seen during the rapid spring departures.

Recoveries of Wigeon ringed at Orielton from 1937 to 1961 show that many of our winter birds breed on the western Siberian Plain, as far as 65 degrees east.  The recovery pattern also shows that they move down through the Baltic region after breeding, and that some of the birds that stop off in Pembrokeshire later carry on to Ireland.  Some return in subsequent winters but other range widely in France, Portugal, Spain and Italy.

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

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

More about the Wigeon in Pembrokeshire

Wigeon – 1980s winter

Anas penelope – CHWIWELL – Winter visitor and passage migrant

The BTO winter atlas showed that Wigeon were present in the majority of 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 300 birds seen in a day.

Over 2,000 within the Cleddau Estuary system constituted the main concentration. 

Graham Rees (County bird recorder 1981 to 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 Wigeon in Pembrokeshire

Wigeon – 1894

Mareca penelope – A common winter visitor.

The Wigeon occurs in flocks in the autumn and winter all round the coast, and a few visit inland rivers and ponds. We have seen Wigeon in the Cleddy below Stone Hall, and have occasionally flushed and shot single birds from small pools and ditches when Snipe shooting. The Wigeon is by far the most numerous of all the ducks that visit us in the autumn.

On the decoy at Orielton in eight seasons (1877-1885), 4,150 Wigeon were taken as against 1,197 Wild Duck and 2,975 Teal in the same period. We append a list of fowl supplied us by Col. Saurin, of Orielton, taken in the decoy from 1877-1885. We believe this list is published by Sir R. Payne Gallwey, Bart., in his book on “Decoys.” The Orielton decoy was partially constructed in 1868, and added to in 1871, 1873, and 1876. No record of fowl taken was kept before 1877.

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

More about the Wigeon in Pembrokeshire

Wigeon

Anas penelope – CHWIWELL – Winter visitor and passage migrant

Wigeon – 2020-21 WeBS

Anas penelope – CHWIWELL – Winter visitor and passage migrant More about the Wigeon in Pembrokeshire

Wigeon – 1994

Anas penelope – CHWIWELL – Winter visitor and passage migrant Past evidence suggests that the wigeon may well have been more numerous than it is now.  At the Orielton Decoy 500-600 were taken annually during the winters of the 1870s and 1880s, suggesting that a very large population must have been present.  Mackworth Praed (1946) […]

Wigeon – 1980s winter

Anas penelope – CHWIWELL – Winter visitor and passage migrant The BTO winter atlas showed that Wigeon were present in the majority of 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 300 birds seen in a […]

Wigeon – 1949

Anas penelope Common winter visitor, by far the most numerous of the ducks in the autumn.  Over one thousand present at Orielton Decoy, Jan/Feb 1939.  One seen Dowrog Pool, June 1924 (H.M.S.) R.M.Lockley, G.C.S.Ingram, H.M.Salmon, 1949, The Birds of Pembrokeshire, The West Wales Field Society More about the Wigeon in Pembrokeshire

Wigeon – 1894

Mareca penelope – A common winter visitor. The Wigeon occurs in flocks in the autumn and winter all round the coast, and a few visit inland rivers and ponds. We have seen Wigeon in the Cleddy below Stone Hall, and have occasionally flushed and shot single birds from small pools and ditches when Snipe shooting. The Wigeon is by far […]

Wigeon

Anas penelope – CHWIWELL – Winter visitor and passage migrant