Garden Warbler – First and last dates

Sylvia borin – TELOR YR ARDD – Breeding summer visitor and passage migrant.

Earlier records are summarised in Garden Warbler 1994

YearFirstLastNotes
199317 April26 October
19942 May19 October
199514 April20 October
199622 April1 November
199725 April25 October
19985 April15 November
199925 April23 October
200023 April7 October(1)
200126 April28 October(2)
200222 April15 October
200318 April13 October
200426 April11 October
20051 May5 October
200619 April9 October
200718 April15 October 
200823 April7 September
200926 April14 October(3)
201015 April7 November
201119 April4 September
20125 April11 September (4)
201317 April31 October(4)
201415 April22 November
201520 April19 September
201614 April15 October
201720 April25 September
201826 April25 September
201917 April30 September

(1) one was caught by a cat in Penally on 26 Dec. 2000

(2) singles Skomer 16 Nov & Hook 7 Dec. 2001

(3) One on Grassholm on 13 August 2009

(4) Records from Birdtrack

Records extracted from the Pembrokeshire Bird Reports which may contain more detail.

More about the Garden Warbler in Pembs

Hoopoe – records

Upupa epops – COPOG – Annual visitor. Not recorded in November

Earlier records are summarised in Hoopoe 1994

1990Singles Druidston 27 & 28 Mar, Llanycefn 31 Mar, nr St. Nicholas 30 Apl, Dale Fort 20 June and Dale Airfield 30 Sept.
1991Singles at St Nicholas on 16 April (GK), Porthclais on 3 May (JE), Skomer on 28 May (SJS et al) and Penberi on 16 July (MT)
1992Singles St Govan’s Head (KM), Barafundle (KM), Saundersfoot (AG) and Mathry (per SB) on 21s April and Dinas 14 May (KL)
1993Singles Llangloffan 15 Mar (DW), Penbrush 9 Apr (DDF), Strumble Hd 10 Apr (SB) and 12 Apr (MH), Ramsey first week of Apr (IDB), Angle early Apr (MH), Nevern 1-4 May (MAP), Tretio 9 May (JRH), St David’s 9-10 and 12 May (JB), Mathry 16 Sept (JB), Solva 16 Sept (per PR) and 18 Sept (per GHR), Elf Refinery 26 sept (HHG).
1994Singles in April at Talbenny 1st, Goose Pill 4th, Skomer 21% Martin’s Haven 22 – 24th. Trevine 26th and St. Davids 29th. Singles were at Spittal on 18 May and at Corner Piece 15 Sept.
1995Singles Marloes Mere 3 Apr. Skomer 15 Apr, St. Ann’s Hd 17-18 Apr, Whitesands 19 Apr, Skokholm 3-6 May. Skomer 12-17 Oct and Marloes Mere 19 Oct.
1996Singles Skomer 5 & 17 Apr, Skokholm 5-1 1 May, Waterston I I Apr and Ramsey 7-11 Sept.
1997Singles Martin’s Haven 9 Apr (per WTWW), Solva 12 Apr (JB), Trefin 20 Apr (BR), Priskilly 1 May (VJ) and Lydstep 8 Aug (JS).
1998Singles Caldey 9 – Il Mar (NA), Broad Haven (N) 29 Apr (KJSD) and Barafundle 24 sept (RJH, AW, RE)
1999No records in report
2000Singles Ramsey (RH) and Westfield Pill (AH, AJH) both 9 Apr, Skokholm 19 Apr which was killed by a female Merlin a few hours after arrival (GT).
2001No records in report
2002Single Freshwater W 6 Apr (P.R.H)
2003Singles Ramsey 27-28 Mar and 8-15 Apr (SA, PKG, LL), Skomer 22Apr (JGB), Tretio Caravan Park 19 Apr (JB).
2004No records in report (but one at Llanwnda 2 April listed in GHR archive)
2005Singles St Davids High Street 31 May (JB), Skomer 11 Apr and 25-30 May (JGB).
2006No records in report
2007The only record was of a single on Ramsey 23rd-25th May and was even seen feeding with Chough on one occasion (GM).
2008On Ramsey a remarkable year with three different spring records. The first being a single bird from 18th -20th Apr followed by a second bird seen flying in from off the sea on 23rd Apr with a third individual on 8th May. On the mainland singles at Crosswell 7th & 16th Apr., at Moylegrove 16th — 18th May and at Landshipping on 6th June.
2009Singles seen at Martins Haven 20th-21st Mar (ST) and Deer Park, Martins Haven on 5th -7th Oct (DGl).
2010In spring singles at St. David’s on 22nd Mar (MW), at Tenby 25th-27th Mar (JC et al), on Ramsey on 2nd & 3rd Apr (GM), on Skomer 18th-24th Apr, at St. Brides on 9th May. In autumn a single in Milford Haven on 11th-17th Sept (GK).
2011Singles St. David’s Head / Trefeiddan on 7th-9th Apr, Ramsey 10th – 12th Apr. and St. David’s 14th Apr. and Skokholm 25th – 29th Aug.
2012No records in report
2013The only reported individuals were at Angle Bay on 15th Apr, Pembroke 1st June (photo opposite) and on Skokholm on 8th June.
2014Single Watering Valley on Ramsey on 23rd Apr
2015Two on Skomer on 9th Apr, with one remaining until 11th, then a single Marloes Mere on 14th Apr (photo below by R. Royle) with two here the next day. One in a garden near Castlemartin on 10th Apr and another near Freystrop on 9th July.
2016The only records were of singles at Broad Haven South on 13th May and on Skokholm on 19th Apr and 14th-17th Oct.
2017Singles reported at Haverfordwest on 30th Mar, Abercych on 27th Mar, Marloes on 28th Sept, at Wooltack Point on 1st – 3rd Oct, at St. David’s Head on 15th Oct and on Skokholm on 31st Oct,
2018Singles reported in April at: Pelcomb Cross 14th, Marloes Mere 19th – 20th, Rosemarket 24th, Broad Haven 25th, Carnffoi, Newport 26th – 28th and Strumble Head 26th. One autumn record at Abercastle 25th Oct.
2019Singles reported at Walwyn’s Castle 1 Mar, Broad Haven 3 – 11 Mar and West Lambston 19 April.

Records extracted from the Pembrokeshire Bird Reports which may contain more detail.

When can hoopoes be seen?

Hoopoe: cumulative number of records per week (1990-2019) 
35 
30 
25 
20 
11 
13 
17 
19 21 23 25 27 29 31 
Week number 
33 
37 
39 41 43 
47 
49

Records from Birdtrack, showing the period in which hoopoes are likely to be seen. Note that these records may include several sightings of the same bird, and additional records are likely to have been supplied to the county recorder.

Week 11 = second week in March, week 17 = 3rd week in April.

Week 36 = 1st week of September, Week 43 = 3rd week of October

More about the Hoopoe in Pembrokeshire

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

First and last dates extracted from the Pembrokeshire Bird Reports

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

Hen Harrier – winter 2019

Circus aeruginosus – BOD Y GWERNI – Winter visitor.

The Hen Harrier is widely distributed across northern Eurasia. In Britain it breeds primarily over 450m on heather-covered uplands, including in north Wales. In most areas it is migratory, heading south for the winter, although in some areas (including the UK) the migrations may be short – eg from the Welsh uplands to lowland heaths and mires, and to coastal areas – depending on the food supply. 

More information in Hen Harrier 1994

When can they be seen?

Hen harriers are seen from the beginning of September (week 36) with the peak number of observations in October and November. It remains throughout the winter, with observations tailing off during April. Occasionally a straggler is seen during May.

Where can they be seen?

This map was produced by the West Wales Biodiversity Information Centre using data collected between November and February for the BTO Atlas 2007-11, with additional data collected in 2011-12 winter to fill gaps in coverage.

The best areas for observing hen harriers are the St Davids Peninsula, Mynydd Preseli, Dudwell/Plumstone Mountains, the Marloes Peninsula, and the Castlemartin area.

More about the Hen Harrier in Pembrokeshire

Curlew Sandpiper – 2018

Calidris ferruginea – PIBYDD CAMBIG – Scarce visitor

The Curlew Sandpiper breeds along most of the Arctic coast of Siberia, and winter mainly along the coasts of sub-Saharan Africa but also in India and as far south as Australia and New Zealand (HBW).  Individuals from the western Siberian population migrate via Scandinavia, stopping off at the Waddenzee off the north coast of the Netherlands and Germany.  A number of these find their way across the North Sea to Britain, with a few making it as far west as Pembrokeshire.

Males leave the breeding grounds in July, followed later by the females; thus birds seen here in August are mainly adults, with some still in full breeding plumage.  Larger numbers occur in September, and these are almost all juveniles.

Numbers are variable – one or two records in some years, dozens in others.  This depends partly on the weather conditions over Scandinavia at the time of autumn migration, and partly on the number of young fledged in that year.  The latter depends on the number of lemmings on the Curlew Sandpiper’s Arctic breeding grounds. When lemmings are numerous, predators such as the Arctic Fox prefer them. When lemmings are few, the predators turn to wader eggs and chicks (BTO Migration Atlas 2002).

Large influxes were recorded in 1969 and 1988 (see Curlew Sandpiper 1994); and in 1996 when 29 were recorded at the Nevern Estuary on 22 Sept, along with 11 at Hook on the Cleddau estuary the same day (high numbers were also recorded elsewhere in Wales). 

Spring migration only occasionally brings one or two birds to Pembrokeshire. Most of these are seen in late April and May, the earliest record being 16th March on Skokholm, 1959.

When can they be seen?

The graph shows the cumulative number of records (not the number of birds) entered into BirdTrack since 1980. Although BirdTrack did not exist in 1980, a lot of data, especially from the island bird logs, has been added retrospectively. Conversely, not all records go into BirdTrack, and there is a lot of data missing from this graph. However, it does give a good indication of a few records in May (weeks 18-22), a few in July, but most from mid-August to late October (weeks 34 to 43).

Where can they be seen?

Records are scattered through the main coastal sites of the Teifi Estuary, Nevern Estuary and the Cleddau Estuary, on the latter mainly at the Gann and Angle Bay. Birds are also recorded passing Strumble Head.

Ringing

There have been few ringing recoveries involving Wales, and only one from Pembrokeshire. This individual was ringed at Angle Bay – one of the September 1996 influx – and was caught by a ringer in Spain nearly 15 years later in August 2011.

Annie Haycock (BBS & WeBS local organiser)

References:

BALMER D, GILLINGS S, CAFFREY B, SWANN B, DOWNIE I, FULLER R. 2014. Bird Atlas 2007-11: The Breeding and Wintering Birds of Britain and Ireland.  HarperCollins.  UK

HBW – Handbook of the Birds of the World

LACK P. 1986.  The Atlas of Wintering Birds in Britain and Ireland, T & A. D. Poyser, London

LOVEGROVE R, WILLIAMS G, WILLIAMS I. 1994.  Birds in Wales. T & A. D. Poyser, London

Pembrokeshire Bird Reports

WERNHAM. C, TOMS. M, MARCHANT. J, CLARK. J, SIRIWARDENA. G, BAILLIE. S. 2002. The Migration Atlas, Movements of the birds of Britain and Ireland, T & A. D. Poyser, London

More about the Curlew Sandpiper in Pembrokeshire

Black Redstart – 2019

Phoenicurus ochruros – TINGOCH DU – Winter visitor and passage migrant

The Black Redstart is found over most of Europe and parts of Asia in sparsely vegetated rocky areas, often at high altitudes. It is resident in parts of its range and migratory in others (HBW). In Wales, it is mainly a passage migrant and winter visitor.

There are few ringing recoveries involving Wales.  However, the BTO Migration Atlas indicates that birds migrate through the UK between their wintering grounds around the Western Mediterranean, and breeding areas on mainland Europe, particularly the Netherlands, Belgium and France, and further east.  Some birds stay for the winter, though it is not clear if these are mainly birds that have bred in Britain, or are continental ones.

The majority of records are from coastal sites, though as the map shows, there is a scattering of sightings across the county even in mid-winter.

This map was produced by the West Wales Biodiversity Information Centre using data collected between November and February for the BTO Atlas 2007-11, with additional data collected in 2011-12 winter to fill gaps in coverage.

Most records come from Skokholm and Skomer Islands, where data is gathered on a daily basis.  However, as the islands are not normally occupied during the winter, there are few over-wintering records from them.

Only a handful of mainland records have been entered into BirdTrack each year, although this has increased to 20-30 in the last three years.

Mainland records in dark green, Island records in lighter green

The graph shows the cumulative number of records (not the number of birds) entered into BirdTrack since 1980. Although BirdTrack did not exist in 1980, a lot of data, especially from the island bird logs, has been added retrospectively.

Migration peaks show clearly. It has usually started by the time the islands are re-occupied in early March (week 11) and continues until the end of May for spring migration. Autumn passage starts in mid-September (week 41), continuing at least until the end of November.

2009 was an exceptional year for black redstarts seen on the mainland, with up to a dozen recorded on several days during October, and up to twenty in a day noted on the sightings blog.

Annie Haycock (BBS & WeBS local organiser)

References:

BALMER D, GILLINGS S, CAFFREY B, SWANN B, DOWNIE I, FULLER R. 2014. Bird Atlas 2007-11: The Breeding and Wintering Birds of Britain and Ireland.  HarperCollins.  UK

HBW – Handbook of the Birds of the World

LACK P. 1986.  The Atlas of Wintering Birds in Britain and Ireland, T & A. D. Poyser, London

LOVEGROVE R, WILLIAMS G, WILLIAMS I. 1994.  Birds in Wales. T & A. D. Poyser, London

Pembrokeshire Bird Reports

WERNHAM. C, TOMS. M, MARCHANT. J, CLARK. J, SIRIWARDENA. G, BAILLIE. S. 2002. The Migration Atlas, Movements of the birds of Britain and Ireland, T & A. D. Poyser, London

More about the Black Redstart in Pembrokeshire

Bar-tailed Godwit – 2020

Limosa lapponica – RHOSTOG GYNFFONFRTH – Passage migrant and winter visitor

The Bar-tailed Godwit breeds in Arctic and sub-arctic habitats from northern Norway through Siberia to western Alaska. (European Atlas 1997). Ringing recovery data suggest that birds passing though, or wintering in, the UK have come from northern FennoScandia and western Siberia. Of these, three birds ringed in Norway have been seen in Wales, two of them in mid-winter. The third was a migrating adult, ringed in southern Norway in September 1950, and recovered in Pembrokeshire 21 days later.

Large numbers of breeding birds stop on either the Waddenzee coast or the large UK estuaries to moult in July-August. Juveniles follow in September. While many birds do stay in the UK for winter, a good proportion move on to the west coast of France, and some at least as far as the west African coast.

This species is generally less likely to be found inland than Black-tailed Godwit, but uses a wider range of coastal habitats including sandy shores, as well as muddy estuaries as far upstream as Boulston on the Cleddau.

This map was produced by the West Wales Biodiversity Information Centre using data collected between November and February for the BTO Atlas 2007-11, with additional data collected in 2011-12 winter to fill gaps in coverage.

When can they be seen?

The winter atlas sightings on the map above were made between November and February. However, Bar-tailed Godwits are more often seen on migration. The following graph uses records from BirdTrack since 2008 to show a wider period of sightings. (Note that this is the number of sightings, NOT the number of birds, so it includes records of birds that are present but not counted).

There are few records between 8th June and 17th August (weeks 24-33), but sightings are much more frequent in April-May (spring migration) and September-October (autumn migration).

Highest counts were 158 at Kilpaison in February 2018, and 133 on Pembroke River in December 2017. Very few other counts have exceeded 50 individuals. See also Bar-tailed Godwit 1994.

Wetland Bird Survey

WeBS counts provide a monthly snapshot of water-birds across the country. This graph shows the maximum count in Pembrokeshire each winter since 1982. Numbers are generally erratic, both from month to month, and year to year. The high count for 1988-89 was in September, although numbers did stay relatively high through that winter. Counts elsewhere in Wales were also generally above average at that time.

The total maximum count is calculated by adding up the counts for all sites for each month that season. The maximum may fall in any month between September and March.

Annie Haycock (BBS & WeBS local organiser)

References:

BALMER D, GILLINGS S, CAFFREY B, SWANN B, DOWNIE I, FULLER R. 2014. Bird Atlas 2007-11: The Breeding and Wintering Birds of Britain and Ireland.  HarperCollins.  UK

HBW – Handbook of the Birds of the World

LACK P. 1986.  The Atlas of Wintering Birds in Britain and Ireland, T & A. D. Poyser, London

LOVEGROVE R, WILLIAMS G, WILLIAMS I. 1994.  Birds in Wales. T & A. D. Poyser, London

Pembrokeshire Bird Reports

WERNHAM. C, TOMS. M, MARCHANT. J, CLARK. J, SIRIWARDENA. G, BAILLIE. S. 2002. The Migration Atlas, Movements of the birds of Britain and Ireland, T & A. D. Poyser, London

More about the Bar-tailed Godwit in Pembrokeshire