Lapland Bunting – first and last dates

Calcarius lapponicus– BRAS Y GOGLEDD – Passage migrant.

Photo – one of two Lapland Buntings which dropped in on North Plain, Skokholm on 27 March 2017. This was the first spring record since 1995, the first March record ever and only the fifth spring sighting for the Island. Richard Brown, Skokholm Blog.

YearWinter/Spring recordsAutumn migrationNotes
198114 May
198428 September
198530 Sep – 20 Oct
198715 Sep – 1 Nov26 at Strumble on 5 October
198824 Sep – 14 Nov26 at Strumble on 24 September
19895 February30 July – 2 Nov
199030 Sep – 22 Nov
199115 Sep – 23 Oct
199227 Sep – 13 Nov
199326 January 17 Sep – 19 Novup to 34 on Ramsey 10 October
199411 Sep – 5 Dec
199518 May20 Sep – 3 Nov
199620 Sep – 10 Oct
19973 Sep – 24 Oct
199824 Sep – 15 Nov
19999 Oct – 25 Oct
200019 Sep – 22 Oct
200110 Oct – 18 Oct
20021 Oct – 26 Oct
200329 Sep – 14 Oct
200415 Sep – 31 Oct
200530 January23 October
20064 – 6 February14 October
200720 May13 Sep – 12 Nov
200822 April25 Sep – 13 Nov
200926 Sep – 28 Oct
20105 Sep – 26 NovLargest influx for many years – up to 100 birds
201112 March & 7 April22 Sep – 17 Decmax count 18 on Dale Airfield 23 October
20125 Feb & 22 March29 Sep – 15 Novmax count 16 Dale Airfield 6 November
20139 Jan – 9 April1 Nov – 26 Decmax count 19 Dale Airfield 25 November
20142 Jan – 4 April1 Oct – 5 Nov
201510 Oct – 13 Dec
20167 Oct – 27 Nov
20171 Jan – 23 March9 Oct – 25 Nov
201811 March4 October
20192 Oct – 23 Nov
202018 Sep – 22 Nov

Records summarised from the Pembrokeshire Bird Reports

More about the Lapland Bunting in Pembrokeshire

Snow Bunting – records

Plectrophenax nivalis – BRAS YR EIRA – Passage migrant and winter visitor

Previous records are summarised in Snow Bunting 2007.

2008 – Single at Fishguard outer breakwater from 5 Nov – 29 Dec, With two on 6 Nov and three on 23 Dec. Singles on Ramsey 12 Nov. and on Skomer 24 & 31 Oct.

2009 – On the outer breakwater at Fishguard Harbour, three on 1- 28 Jan with two here on 21 Feb. singles on 1 Mar and 17 Oct until the end of the year.  Singles at Strumble Head 11 Oct, on Skomer 9 Nov and Ramsey on 11 Nov and three on Foel Drygarn on 25 Dec.

2010 – In the early part of year single birds on Fishguard Outer Breakwater 2nd Jan, at St. David’s Head 13th Apr and on Ramsey 21st Apr – 3rd May. In autumn: up to four on Dale Airfield between 4th & 31st Oct. with three at St. David’s Head on 14th Oct, up to two birds on Fishguard Outer Breakwater from 6th Oct until the end of the year. Singles at Pen Anglas 9th to 30th Oct, and on St Davids Head 7th Nov. On Skomer single birds on 1st & 9th Oct then two on 12th & 21st Oct and finally one on 1st Nov

2011 – In the early part of the year two at Traeth Llyfyn on 22nd Jan. In autumn a single on Dale Airfield 29th Sept to 1st Oct then another on 24th Nov. Fishguard Outer Breakwater had up to three birds between 10th Oct to 11th Dec. Singles on St. David’s Head on 25th Oct, 10th Nov, 12th Dec with two on 9th Dec and one at St. Govan’s Head on 17th Oct. Ramsey Island singles on 20th & 27th Apr and four on 12th Dec. Photo below by C. Hurford.

2012 – In the early part of the year birds seen at St. David’s Head on from 8th to 13th Jan with a different individual on 25th Feb. Freshwater West had two on 16th Jan & one at Castle Martin on 19th Feb. Two on Fishguard Outer Breakwater in March, one of which was ringed by members of the Teifi Ringing Group on 11th, then two different birds on Fishguard Inner Breakwater on 22nd March & a single at Strumble Head on 1st April.

At the latter part of the year a single at St. David’s Head 22nd Oct, two at Strumble Head on 29th of same month & one at Castle Martin on same date. In November: singles at Broomhill Burrows on 6th, St.David’s Head on 8th, while on Fishguard Outer Breakwater various numbers recorded, max 5 on 20th.

2013 – All records were: seven seen on Foel Cwm Cerwyn on 12th Jan, in November, 12 on the Fishguard Outer Breakwater 15th, three at Whitesands on 7th, four at Newgale on 27th and singles at Freshwater West on 22nd & Broad Haven (S) on 28th. Another single was at St.David’s Head on 24th Oct.

2014 – All records were: single birds at Newgale 10th Jan, Strumble Head 20th to 21st Oct at least, Pencarnan 27th to 31st Oct, Marloes Mere 24th Nov (photo opposite by DJ Astins) and at Foel Feddau in the Preselis on 31st Dec, with six at the same site the day before. Skokholm had single birds on 6th Oct and 19th to 21st Oct, the second being trapped & ringed (race later confirmed as P.n.nivalis – Welsh rarities report 2020). The island then had two flyover records of single birds on 24th Oct & 3rd Nov.

2015 – A single birds on the Preseli’s at Foel Feddau on 17th Jan and another at St. David’s Head on 31st Oct were the only mainland records. On the islands, one on Ramsey on 10th Mar (photo right by L. Morgan) and one on Skomer on 7th Oct, a different bird was seen the following day.

2016 – All records were: a male Fishguard Harbour on outer breakwater 25th Oct-13th Nov, when feathers were found due to it being predated, a female also present 11th -13th Nov. On Skokholm a single on 11th Nov and on Skomer singles on 20th Oct & 7th Nov.

2017 – All records: 1 st w male on Skomer on 3rd Nov, three at St. David’s Head on 8th Nov and two on the Outer breakwater Fishguard Harbour on 16th Nov

2018 – Singles unless stated: at Porthgain on 7th Jan (photo below by B. Haycock), three at St. David’s Head 7th Mar, near Fishguard Fort on 31st Oct, male on Skomer 4th Nov and Outer Breakwater Fishguard Harbour on 8th Nov

2019 – Four on Dale Airfield 26 Oct, increasing to six 1 Nov with four there the following day, photo below by E. Davies. Five at Marloes Mere 27 Oct and singles at Gann 14 Oct, Skokholm 21 & 24 Oct and 4, 7-8, 10, 17 & 29 Nov and Skomer 3 & 11 Nov

2020 – All records were of singles: Fishguard Outer breakwater 30 Oct, Skokholm 4, 6 & 9 – 11 Nov, Strumble Head 24 Nov, Pwll Deri 27 Nov and at Llanrhian 6 Dec.66 Individuals of the race nivalis accepted by WBRC include: one trapped on the outer breakwater, Fishguard 11 Mar 2012 (per RD) and a female trapped and ringed on Skokholm 19 Oct 2014 (RB).

Records extracted from the Pembrokeshire Bird Reports

More about the Snow Bunting in Pembrokeshire

Hooded Crow – records

Corvus cornix – BRAN LWYD – Scarce visitor

The hooded crow was considered by most authorities to be a geographical races of the carrion crow as hybridization occurred where their ranges overlapped. However, in 2002, the hooded crow was elevated to full species status after closer observation showed that hybridisation was less than expected and hybrids had decreased vigour.

It continues to be a scarce bird in Pembrokeshire, with up to half a dozen records a year, mostly of single birds, and sometimes of long-staying individuals. The majority of records are from the St Davids to Fishguard area, although records from the south are becoming more frequent.

2002 – one Winterton Fm (Marloes) 14 Feb.

2003 – one Strumble Hd 30 Mar (SEB)

2004 – Three recorded: St David’s 1 May (LL); Trellwyn Fach nr Cwm Gwaun 31 Aug (J&MB) and between Dinas and Pontfaen 29 Dec (DJA).

2005 – Two records: St Davids 7-8 May (JB, PKG) and Skomer 8 May (JGB), this was the first on the island since 1995.

2006 – Two records: Treginnis Fm St Davids 9 May (RJC) and Pencarnan St Davids 18 Dec (JB&M).

2007 – Two records received both of singles at Ramsey, heading east, on 29 Jan. (GM) and at Marloes Mere on 24th Apr. (DG).

2008 – Singles St David’s on 12 Jan, Ramsey on 11 May and Skokholm on 16 June.

2009 – One over Ramsey Sound on 28 Apr.

2010 – A single bird on Ramsey on 21st Apr which was then relocated on the mainland at St. Justinians on 26th Apr and was last reported from Pencarnan on 16th May (GM, LM, JB. MB).

2011 – All records of singles were: in April at Cemaes Head on 17th, at St.David’s Head on 24th, and at Marloes Mere 25th. In December at the Dowrog on 17th and presumably the same bird was seen flying over Carn Lidl, St. David’s Head on 21st.

2012 – At St. David’s Head, single birds were recorded between 8th Jan & 22nd May on various dates which may all refer to just a single bird present during that time or up to three different birds, this could also be the bird that was recorded at St.Justinians on 27th of May.On Skokholm a bird was seen flying towards the mainland on 15th Apr and was most likely the same individual at Dale on 19th Apr and may be at Brownslade Burrows on 19th May. A single at St.Ann’s Head on 7th Oct.

2013 – All records received were of single birds at Ramsey 16th & 21st May and 10th June, at Haroldston Chins 26th to 29th May, Abereiddi 28th May, Teifi Est. 2nd & 3rd Aug, Marloes 12th Aug, Gann 5th to 14th Sept then probably the same bird on Dale Airfield on 15th Sept, Pencarnan 17th to 25th Nov which then again was presumably the same bird at St.David’s Head on 17th Dec

2014 – Single birds on Skomer on 24th Apr & 14th May, Pencarnan on 1st & 2nd May, then two Martins Haven on 7th May reducing to a single bird on 9th and finally another single bird on Ramsey on 16th May. As with other years it’s quite likely there are only two birds involved in these sightings.

2015 – Single birds recorded at Wooltack Point 15th March, Ramsey 3rd April with probably the same bird on Skokholm the next day, Skomer 8th June & Martins Haven 17th October.

2016 – Singles seen Marloes on 7th May, Pen Anglas and St David’s Head on 15th May also Pencarnan Farm St David’s on 12th June.

2017 – Singles at Aber Mawr 9th Feb, Skokholm on 22nd Mar, St. Brides Bay on 16th Apr, at Pen Beri on 8th Dec, with two at Pen Caer on 30th Mar And two on Skomer on 17th Apr.

2018 – Reported from at least 12 1km square locations. Singles Cause Way Plantation on 30th Mar, Pencarnan Campsite 24th -26th April, Marloes on 30th Apr and 11th Nov, St. David’s Head 1 st – 9 th May, Ramsey 14th June, Treseissylit on 22nd June, Angle 28th July – 12th Aug, Rhoscrowther on 7th Aug, St Ann’s Head on 6th Oct, Skokholm on 18th Oct, Gann 17 th Nov – 29th Dec.

2019 – Singles were recorded at: Croesgoch 31 Jan, Gann 2 Jan – 28 Feb, Nevern Est 25 Mar, Skokholm 25 Mar, 4 – 23 Apr and 19 May, Pencarnan Camp, St. David’s 2 Apr, 17 – 21 Oct, St. Justinian’s 13 Apr & 8 Sept, Porthgain 1 May.

2020 – Singles were recorded at: Nevern Est 16 Mar & 15 June, Pencarnan Camp, St. Davids 26 – 30 Mar (presumably the same bird was also seen on Ramsey 30 Mar), Skokholm 8 Apr, Carn Ingli 24 May, St. Davids 28 June – 1 July, Strumble Head – Carregwasted 9 – 10 July, West Dale 16 July, Goodwick 14 Aug, Strumble Head 5 Aug, Porthlysgi 17 Oct and at Heol Penlan 13 Nov.

More about the Hooded Crow in Pembrokeshire

Jack Snipe – first and last dates

Lymnocryptes minimus – GIACH FACH – Winter visitor and passage migrant. Not recorded from May to July

Previous records summarised in Jack Snipe 1994

YearLast sightingFirst sightingNotes
200018 March13 October 
200114 April20 September(1)
200217 April12 October 
20037 April2 October 
200410 April2 October 
200513 March7 October 
20064 March14 October 
200710 February17 September 
200817 March22 October 
200917 March18 October 
201024 April26 September 
20114 February14 October 
201231 January8 October 
20137 April6 October(2)
201424 March14 September 
20151 May5 October 
201621 March8 October 
20171 April12 October 
201813 April27 October(3)
201926 March2 October 
20208 March19 September 

Notes

(1) 2001 – 12 on Skomer 9 March – a record count

(2) 2013 – A cold weather influx was then evident in the period from 1 March to 7 April, with a single bird noted at Skokholm on 12th, 15th & 17th, at Coedcanlas on 16th March and site maxima of four birds at Castlemartin Corse on 1 March and at Teifi Marshes on 6 April.

(3) 2018 – Reported from at least 14 1km square locations

More about the Jack Snipe in Pembrokeshire

Black Tern – records since 2000

Chlidonias nigerCors-wennol DduAnnual passage migrant.

See also analysis of records presented in Black Tern 1994 and Black Tern 2006

2000 – 87 passed Strumble Hd on 14 dates, 27 Aug-23 Oct, max 45 on 24 Sept. Otherwise 2 Newgale Marsh 28 Sept with one remaining to 30 Sept.

2001 – Well above average passage with 182 logged at Strumble Hd, 25 Aug – 28 Oct, max 97 on 8 Oct

2002 – 18 passed Strumble Hd on 9 dates between 10 Aug-4 Oct, max 8 on 25 Sept

2003 – 7 passed Strumble Hd. on 5 dates between 16 Aug- 2 Oct. max 2 on 4 & 16 Sept. The smallest passage logged since 1993.

2004 – Passage noted at Strumble Hd between 8 Aug- 30 Sept. A total of 28 in Aug & 29 in Sept.  Max 13 on 8 Aug. Elsewhere singles from the Fishguard ferry 13 Aug, w of Grassholm 5 Sept & 3 Skomer 11 Sept.

2005 – 3 nr Grassholm 6 Sept, singles Nevern Est & Teifi Est 25thand Fishguard Harb 28th. Passage at Strumble Hd noted between 21 Aug – 26 Oct. Maxa a remarkable 536 on 31 Aug when party after party, on approaching the shore, bunched up & climbed steeply to disappear into the low cloud. Also 117 on 1 Sept (cf Commic Tern). Both dates surpassing the previous max day count of 112 on 27 Aug 1997. Totals for the whole Autumn add up to the best passage on record. Monthly totals were; Aug 543, Sept 133, Oct 1

2006 – Passage at Strumble Hd noted between 11 Aug – 9 Oct. Max 48 on 14 Sept. Monthly totals Aug 26, Sept 209, Oct 26

2007 – The only records were singles off Strumble Head on 12 & 20 Aug, and 10 & 16 Sept (GHR, AR, RS).  This is the smallest passage logged since 1993.

2008 – Spring records are unusual in the county, but this year there were a few, all sinqles. At Marloes Mere 17th Apr., in Jack’s Sound on 5th May, off Freshwater West on 14 May and one for three days at Bosherston 18th — 21 st Apr.

In autumn one at Bosherston18th — 20th Sept. and off Strumble Head one on 31 Aug. In September, 40 on the 1st, 14 on the 2nd, one on the 3rd & 4th, two on 11th and 8 on 14th.

2009 – Very few reported this year, only passage birds off Strumble Head, singles on 23rd & 31st Aug, two on 3rd & 4th Sept with one the following day.

2010 – A single bird was reported from Bosherston on 14th Sept, then another at Pembroke Mill Pond from 4th to 6th Oct. All other records came from Strumble Head where a total of 131 passed between 15th Aug & 6th Oct, max 54 on 5th Sept.

2011 – Strumble Head: A total of 105 birds passed on 15 dates between 31st Aug & 18th Oct max 40 on 18th Sept. The only other records were of a juvenile present at Bosherston from 30th Oct until 1st Nov and one off Skomer on 12th Sept.

2012 – 39 were counted amongst the Commons on Newport beach on 17th Aug. Otherwise the only records were from Strumble Head where a total of 232 birds passed on 19 dates between 13th Aug & 13th Sept, max 177 on 18th Aug. A bird seen on 27th Aug was present in front of the Strumble lookout for over 4 hours feeding with other flocks of birds that were moving through & was never seen to land during that time.

2013 – Again only recorded at Strumble Head, a very low year with only four birds seen. Singles on 28th Aug & the quite late date of 5th Oct and two on 30th Aug.

2014 – Another species only recorded at Strumble Head where 27 birds passed. In August a single on 27th, 16 on 28th, four on 29th and two each on 30th & 31st. The only other record was of two birds passing on 9th Oct.

2015 – Another species only recorded at Strumble Head. A good year for this species with 149 recorded, Maximum count 105 on 23rd Aug.

2016 – At Strumble Head, annual totals fluctuate; 2016 being a low year, with just 20 records, max.10 on 13th Sept. Skokholm had four birds on 13th Sept. Elsewhere: two at St. Brides Bay on 13th Sept and eight in Fishguard Harbour 24th Sept. 13 seen off Skomer on 29th Sept and three the following day.

2017 – Only five birds recorded at Strumble Head again underlining a very poor year for Tern species there and in the county generally.

2018 – A total of nine logged passing Strumble Head, all in August: two on 25th, four on 26th and three on 27th. Single off Broad Haven 2nd Sept.

2019 – Off Strumble Head nine on 31 Aug, single 1 Sept, two 5 Sept. Only other record was of two off Teifi Est 12 Sept.

2020 – All records were of birds passing Strumble Head: two on 22 Aug and one on 26 Aug & 5 Oct.

More about the Black Tern in Pembrokeshire

Yellow-legged Gull – records

Larus michahellisGwylan GoesfelenScarce winter visitor

2020 –

  • All individuals reported were: an adult in Fishguard Harbour 1 – 9 Jan, presumed same returning bird 8 Sept & 4 Dec.
  • Adults at the Gann 6 Jan, 15 Sept, 18 & 24 Oct and a 2CY 4 Dec.
  • Counts from Llys-y-fran Res gull roost: five adults and 3CY 4 Jan, two adults and 3CY on 17 Jan, five adults & 3CY on 2 Feb and four adults on 23 Feb. An adult on 15 Aug. Six adults 15 Nov, four adults & 1CY on 25 Nov, three adults & 3CY on 29 Nov, five adults & 3CY on 6 Dec.
  • An adult at Nevern Est 20 July, 1 & 23 Aug, 25 Sept & 31 Oct – quite probably the Fishguard individual. 1CY there on 1 Sept, had been ringed as a nestling in Switzerland.
  • Elsewhere an adult at Broad Haven (N) 20 Sept.

Records extracted from the Pembrokeshire Bird Reports

More about the Yellow-legged Gull in Pembrokeshire

King Eider – first for Pembrokeshire

Somateria spectabilis – HWYADEN FWYTHBLU’R GOGLEDD – Vagrant.

First county record was of an immature male at Little Haven / Goultrop Roads 10 Nov onwards, moving around the coast, off Howney Stone, St. Brides until the end of the year (DO et al). Circulating BBRC. The only previous Welsh records have come from Caernarfonshire & Meirionnydd in 1989 – 1990 and Aberaeron, then Ynyslas, Ceredigion
2017 – 2019.

Puffin – first and last

Fratercula arctica – PAL – Breeding summer visitor

YearFirst sightingLast sightingSkokholm
max count
Skomer
max count
Notes
see below
1981
19823710
198328 December3500
198422 March25 October3668c.7000+ pairs
1985(1)
1986
1987
1988
19892175c.5700 pairs
1990c.2000-2500 pairsc.5000-6000 pairs
19914432c.5000-6000 pairs
19922505c.5000-6000 pairs
19936 March
earliest recorded
5 December2,145 in April
6,209 in July
c.11,000 spring
c.18,000 in July
(2)
1994
199521 March19 August (Skomer)2,700 in spring10,473 in spring
199624 March27 September3,332 on 7 April
5,275 in July
9,141 in spring
11,869 in summer
(3)
199721 March24 September3,250 in spring9,049 in spring
19985 Jan (Strumble)17 Oct (Strumble)2,774 on 1 April9,235 in spring
199920 March30 Sept (Strumble)3,083 in spring9,213 in spring
20003,092 in spring10,614 in spring(4)
2001 15 March31 Oct (Strumble)7,854
20026 Feb (Strumble)7 Nov (Strumble)c.4,00010,338
200319 March9 Oct (Strumble)8,537 in May
21,292 in July
200413 March6 Oct (Strumble)10,688 on 14 May
200525 Oct (Strumble)10,717 on 6 May
200627 Dec (Wooltack)4,51010,876
200717 Sept (Strumble)4,900 AOS11,821 on 4 April
200819 March14 August (with fish)10,487
200912 July (Strumble)13,508 in spring
201012,577
201117 Dec (Strumble)
201211,479
20134,83419,280
201426 March17 August5,070 on 10 April18,237
20156,645 on 14 May21,349
20164 Feb (Ramsey)21 Oct (Pwll-deri)6,69222,539
201723 March14 Oct (Strumble)7,800 in May25,227
201813 March21 Sept (Strumble)8,762 30,895
20191 March5 Sept (Strumble)7,44724,108
202016 March5 September8,53434,796

(1) 291 found oiled during the Bridgeness incident

(2) Leucistic bird on Skokholm

(3) No puffins affected by Sea Empress oil spill, as this predated their arrival

(4) All white bird on Skomer

Records extracted from the Pembrokeshire bird reports

More about the Puffin in Pembrokeshire