Bluethroat – records

Luscinia svecicaScarce visitor

First record on 9 May 1946. All records from then until 1992 are summarised in Bluethroat 1994

1993 – Female Bosterston 8 June (P&AC)

1995 – A first summer red-spotted male Skokholm 29 June (MB)

2008 – A white-spotted male on Skomer on 10-11 April (M Butler, J Milborrow)

2010 – A stunning male of the red spotted race on Skomer on the 21st May (DB).

2017 – Adult male caught on Skokholm on 27th May (RD, WJ et al), photo by R. Brown. Accepted by WRP.

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

A stunning male mist netted at the Well on 27th May 2017 was the first Skokholm record since 29th June 1995, only the 13th record for the Island and the 18th for Pembrokeshire (RD, WJ et al.). A lack of red feathering amongst its blue throat feathers and a relatively short wing chord of 73mm both suggested that it was not a Red-spotted L. s. svecica of northern Europe and Asia, however deducing its origins based on appearance alone becomes more problematic as White-spotted L. s. cyanecula of south and central Europe do not always have a white spot, meaning that they closely resemble Blue-throated, Spanish breeding L. s. azuricollis and the larger Turkish breeding L. s. luristanica. It is perhaps thus no surprise that there is limited genetic variation between all these forms and that this is very much a single species. Nevertheless it is hoped that a retained feather held by Professor Martin Collinson at the University of Aberdeen will provide a sufficiently distinctive genetic signature so as to allow this bird to be linked to a particular breeding area in the future.

Of the 12 previous Skokholm records, the first seven between 1955 and 1968 were all in autumn, whilst four of the latter five were in spring.

Following the first for Skokholm, a first winter male L. s.svecica on 10th October 1955, there was a first-winter L. s. svecica between the 12th and 15th September 1956, a first-winter male on 15th September 1964, a female-type bird on 24th September 1964, another first-winter male L. s. svecica on 29th September 1964 (taking the year total to an unprecedented three individuals), one logged on 11 dates between 16th September and 1st October 1967, the only Skokholm record of L. s. cyanecula on 20th October 1968, males of L. s. svecica on 21st May 1975, 15th May 1982 and 14th May 1985, an unraced male on 27th September 1992 and most recently a male L. s. svecica on 29th June 1995

Skokholm Annual Report 2017

More about the Bluethroat in Pembrokeshire

Red-eyed Vireo – 2019

Vireo olivaceusFireo Llygatgoch / Telor LlygatgochVagrant

Jodie (storm petrel researcher) found a stunning Red-eyed Vireo in the Courtyard. This was just the second for Skokholm and the third for Pembrokeshire! Having fed for a while on Craneflies outside of the Cottage, it made its way back into the Courtyard where it showed a bit of interest in the flies which have gathered around the oranges stuck to Elder branches in anticipation of tomorrow’s Baltimore Oriole (the last vireo on Skokholm, the first for Wales and fifth for Britain found on 14th October 1967, occurred four days after our first Baltimore Oriole was last seen, so we are being optimistic).

Having been trapped in the Courtyard mist net and ringed, it was released back into its favoured bushes where it fed until dusk (and a really quite spectacular sunset).

Skokholm Blog

Pembrokeshire Bird Report 2019

More about the Red-eyed Vireo in Pembrokeshire

Great Shearwater – records

Puffinus gravis – ADERYN-DRYCIN MAWR – Near annual rare autumn passage migrant

Earlier records are summarised in Great Shearwater 2007

2009 – Single birds recorded on three occasions this autumn off Strumble Head: on 17th Aug (AR), 29th Aug & on 3rd Oct (RS).

2010 – Only one record was received of a single passing Strumble Head on 29th Aug (RS).

2011 – The weather conditions in early September were suitable enough for this species to be recorded at Strumble Head this year with two seen each day on the 5th (AR) and 6th (SEB).

2014 – At Strumble Head a very good passage during the last two weeks in August with single birds seen on 17th & 24th then four on 29th, a good count of ten on 30th & finally another two on 31st (AR et al). As with Cory’s Shearwater, it is the first time both large Shearwaters have been recorded on three consecutive days at Strumble.

A single bird was seen & photographed from the Fishguard to Rosslare Ferry on 20th Aug (thought to have been in Irish waters, included here for information only).

2015 – Single birds on 8th & 19th July were the only records for the year, the 8th July record being the earliest county record. (AR, RS).

2016 – A good showing this year off Strumble Head, with the suitable conditions giving a total of 13 birds. In Aug, two on 8th, three on 21st and a single on 28th. In Sept, four on the 2nd and singles on the 4th, 16th & 25th. Additionally one at sea on 18th Aug (RC, SL Murray et al).

2017 – The only record this year was of one off Skokholm on 19th Aug (RB).

A substantial amount of seawatching effort in recent years has proven this to be a truly rare species in this part of the world, however it is perhaps surprising that one heading into moderate westerly winds off the Lighthouse on the morning of 19th August was only the third Skokholm record (or fourth Skokholm bird). The only other Island records to be accepted by the Welsh Records Panel concern two birds logged on 9th September 1993 and a single on 9th August 2000. A probable was noted on 11th September 1969 and singles in 2007 and 2011 have subsequently been deemed ‘not proven’. Skokholm Annual Report 2017

2018 – Single off Skokholm 18th Aug (DJA, ME) and five off Strumble Head on 16th Aug (TP, RDJ).

One which passed over rough seas off the Lighthouse on three occasions between 1525 and 1540hrs on 18th August was just the fifth for Skokholm (DA, ME). This came one day earlier than the fourth for Skokholm logged last year. Skokholm Annual Report 2018

Records from the Pembrokeshire Bird Reports, except where noted from the Skokholm Annual Reports

More about the Great Shearwater in Pembrokeshire

Common Rosefinch – records

Carpodacus erythrinusLlinos GochRare visitor

Previous records summarised in Scarlet Rosefinch 1994

1994 – Singles Skokholm 13 and 16 Sept (MB et al) and Strumble Head 10 Oct (GHR)

1995 – Singles Dkokholm 6-9 June, 6-8 Aug and 11-12 Oct

1996 – Singles Skomer 17 and 25 July, 5 Sept, 23 and 26 Oct

1997 – Singles Strumble Head 20 & 29 May and 30 Nov (SB et al) and Skokholm 16 & 17 Sept (GT et al).

1998 – One Skomer 5-7 June (SS et al)

1999 – Singles Strumble Head 31 May (SB et al) and Skokholm 11 Sept (GT et al).

2000 – Singles Skokholm 7-8 Oct (GT), was predated by a Merlin, Skomer 19 Oct (MJP).

2001 – 3 juvs together Skokholm 11 Oct (GT).

2002 – 1st s male, singing, Caerbwdi 12 June (IDB).

2003 – One Skokholm 25 May (GT), Imm male Strumble Hd 29 May (SEB et al) and one Skomer 12 June (JGB).

2004 – Three records: imm male Strumble 30 May (SEB), Skomer 5 Sept (JGB) and Ramsey 10 Sept (SA).

2006 – A female or imm male Pen Anglas 8 Jun (SEB, AR), a red male Skomer also 8 Jun (JGB) and a Juv there 4 Nov (JGB).

2010 – Quite a good year for this species with 4 records all of single birds. Ramsey on 25th May (1st s male) and another on 26th Oct (GM), on Skomer on 15th Sept (DB) and a fem/imm in a St. Davids garden from 22nd until at least 28th Nov (BD).

2011 – All records were: a single immature male on Ramsey on 13th July (GM), on Skokholm from 2nd to 11th Sept. which was trapped & ringed (BH et al) and an immature / female on Skomer 29th Sept – 1st Oct (DB).

2012 – A female / immature was Skokholm on 27th – 29th Aug. trapped and ringed on 28th (SS).

2013 – A fine male frequented a garden in Trefgarne 19th – 26th May (M. Carne), and a 1st summer male was trapped on Skokholm on 8th June (RB, GE).

2014 – A juvenile on Skokholm from 5th to 10th Sept was trapped and ringed during its visit to the island (RB,GE), the Teifi Ringing Group then trapped and ringed a juvenile on the Pembrokeshire part of the Teifi marshes reserve on 27th Sept (CHJ et al) & another juvenile was on Ramsey from 4th to 6th Oct (GM, LM).

2015 – Female / immatures were trapped and ringed on Skokholm on 11th June (RDB), others on Skomer on 13th & 14th June (JWM et al) and 14th Oct (JWM).

2017 – A singing immature male on Skomer on 22nd – 25th June (ES, LN, JWM).

2018 – Female / immature on Skokholm 16th – 27th Sept (RB et al).

2019 – Juvenile / female on Skokholm 23 – 25 Sept and same bird 1 Oct (S. Westerberg et al)

More about the Common Rosefinch in Pembrokeshire

Cattle Egret – Records

Bubulcus ibis – CRËYR Y GWARTHEG – Rare migrant.

Earlier records are summarised in Cattle Egret 1994

1996 – One Skomer, 30 April (BP et al)

2008 was the best year to date for this species in the county, birds  were appearing all over the rest of the U.K. and Pembrokeshire seemed to be missing out until eventually:

  • one was found roosting with Little Egrets at Sandy Haven on 17th Oct. This bird remained in the same area until 30th Dec. (DJA). This was followed by:
  • Three Cattle Egrets at Pwll Deri by R. Crossen
  • One was found at West Angle on 9th Dec. but flew off, however further searching found a different bird at Hubberton which remained until 26th Dec. (both CH).
  • Another was found at Philbeach Farm, Dale on the 17th Dec. and remained in that area into 2009 (KSJD).
  • Remarkably on 22nd Dec. a report was received of 5 feeding with Cattle in a stock yard at Llanferran Farm Trefasser, these were last seen on 29th Dec. and during this period at least 3 of the birds were seen at Llanrhian Farm near Porthgain (RD).

2009 – Philbeach bird from 2008 1 – 3 Jan before flying off south-west on the latter date.  Castlemartin also had a bird on 1 Jan (CH).  Then there was the long-staying bird at Newport found on 22 Feb and remained in the area until 14 April (SB).  Finally a bird at Angle on 19 Oct (RC). 

2010 – After enjoying good numbers for the last two years 2010 produced just a single bird at Withybush Airfield from 15th Oct until 5th Nov (T. Gover). Accepted by WRP.

2014 – One on the creek at Teifi Marshes on 4th Oct (T. Evans, CHJ) spent the afternoon on both sides of the Ceredigion / Pembrokeshire border. Accepted by WRP.

2016 – A single at Newport from 10th Dec – into 2017 (K. Meatyard et al), presumed same as one at Goodwick on 15th Dec

2017 – Single birds were at Newport from December 2016 until 1st May at least (KM et al), in the Bosherston / Stackpole area on and off from 12th Mar until 8th June (per RE), at Skokholm 17th July (RB) and at Treleddyn Farm St. David’s on 8 – 10th Nov (M & JB et al).

A stunning breeding-plumaged individual roosted with gulls at North Pond on the evening of 17th July, however this first for Skokholm had already departed by the following morning (HP et al). Skokholm Annual Report 2017

2018 – One on Skokholm 9th Oct (RB et al). One at the Gann 4-5 Nov (DJA). One at the Teifi 7 – 16 Nov (WJ et al)

2019 – Singles: on the Teifi Estaury at St. Dogmaels Jan – 31 Mar (mainly on the Ceredigion side of the estuary), at the Gann 14 – 26 Oct and at Nevern 4 – 7 Dec, with four at Trefasser 17 May.

Source: Pembrokeshire Bird Reports

More about the Cattle Egret in Pembrokeshire

Richard’s Pipit – 2016 Skokholm

Anthus richardi – Corhedydd RichardScarce visitor

Rare – logged in 16 previous autumns and two springs with peak day-counts of four in 1968 and 1970

A vocal bird on 21st October circled North Plain and then Orchid Bog before heading east (GE, RDB); it seemingly continued for the mainland as it could not be located on the Neck. This was the first Island record since another east bound flyover found on 15th September 2014. The only other records this century were on the 4th and 5th October and 10th November 2001 and on 2nd May 2000.

From the Skokholm Annual Report 2016

More about the Richard’s Pipit in Pembrokeshire

Spoonbill – records

Platalea leucorodia – LLWYBIG – Occasional visitor

Summary of previous records in Spoonbill – 1994

2007 – A colour-ringed immature was on the Teifi Estuary 26-30 April.  In December there was a small influx, with a colour-ringed juvenile (ringed in Holland) on the Teifi Est 26-28 Dec, an adult at ‘The Point’ Angle Bay on 28 Dec, and two nearby at Bentlass on the 29th.  (Also – July, 1 Pembroke Upper Millpond JH – blog)

Teifi immature bird:

– left leg, green ring with B1 in black above a metal ring.  Right leg, dark blue ring with B1 in yellow.

  • ringed as a nestling Lauwersmeer NL 08/06/2005
  • seen: Ile de Sein, Finistere F 05/10/2005
  • seen: Scilly Islands GB 07/10/2005-08/10/2005
  • seen: Scilly Islands GB 19/04/2006-11/10/2006
  • seen: Teifi Est. Wales GB 26/04/2007 – 30/04/2007 at least.
  • Therefore the bird is a 2nd summer. Details from Richard Dobbins on the sightings blog

2008 – 1st year at the Teifi Est 1-5 Jan, it then moved to the Nevern where it was present until the 16 Jan.  An adult at St Davids on 28 July, then another or possibly the same adult at the Gann from 17 – 26 Sept.

2009 – Skomer had 2 birds fly over on 23 May and 9 June and later in the year two were present on the Pembroke river on the Pennar side on 28 Dec, but only one was left by the 31st.  Otherwise records of single birds: in the Lawrenny/West Williamston area from 12-14 Jan, Marloes Mere 10 May, and Nevern Estuary from 15 Oct until 4 Nov.

2010 – An adult & a juv. were present on the Pembroke River from 10th to 17th Jan.

2012 – Single birds observed: flying over Ramsey Sound on 26th Mar (MB), another flew over West Angle on 26th Aug (DJA) and at Sandy Haven on 30th Sept (DP).

2013 – One in the Marloes / Skomer / Skokholm area 19th – 21st May, another over Skokholm on 7th Aug.

2016 – The only record is of a bird seen in flight at Newport on 6th Aug

2017 – The only records were of five (two of which were colour-ringed, but not from Holland) that flew into the Teifi Estuary, fed, then flew upstream on 24th Sept and of singles on Skomer on 14th & 15th June and on Skokholm on 26th June.

One was seen briefly at North Pond on 26th June, although it soon departed for the north (VH, MR). This was the first Skokholm record since 14th March 2014 and only the 15th for the Island, following further singles in 2013 (2), November 2011 (2), June 2009 (2), June 2001, 1996 (2), June 1994, August 1993 and October 1957. Additionally two birds were seen together on 9th June 2009 and 12th October 1988, the latter pair including a bird colour ringed in the Netherlands. Skomer Annual Report 2017

2018 – Two over Skomer 19th May, one in St. Bride’s Bay 29th Sept and a single the Gann 18th – 28th Oct (also seen Dale Airfield on 28th) were the only records received.

2019 – Singles at Carew 12 Apr and Teifi Marshes 17 Apr were the only records received.

Source- the Pembrokeshire Bird Reports

More about the Spoonbill in Pembrokeshire

Hawfinch – records

Coccothraustes coccothraustes – GYLFINBRAFF – rare visitor. Not recorded in February and March

Photo above (c) Richard Brown – one of four hawfinches on Skokholm in 2017. This doubled the number of hawfinches that had ever been recorded on the island.

Earlier records summarised in Hawfinch 1994

1993 – one in an Eglwyswrw garden 12 Nov (MS)

1994 – Two records of this elusive bird: singles Teifi Marshes 13 June and on the coastal path at Carregwasted 7 Sept

1996 – One Haverfordwest 7 Oct (HGE)

1997 – One Porthclais 18 Oct (DJA, RWW et al)

1998 – 2 Skomer 14 June (SS et al)

2005 – Two records: A male Pembroke 19 Oct (PKG) and one Skomer 26 Oct (JGB), this being the fourth island record

2008 – Single St Nicholas on 19 Nov (G.McM) was the only record.

2012 – One on Skomer on 24 April (DB).

2013 – A female in the farmhouse garden, Ramsey on 12 April was a new bird for the island.

2017 – A series of autumn records, part of an exceptional influx into the UK.

  • One at Skomer on 14th October;
  • One at St. Brides on 15th October;
  • Four on Skokholm between 15th October and 7th November
  • One at Redberth on 18th October;
  • 10 at Porthclais on 30th October;
  • A male at Sealyham on 3rd November.

Skokholm: The easterly airflow brought about by Storm Ophelia transported remarkable numbers of Hawfinch into Britain and produced an unprecedented sequence of records on Skokholm. The first was a female found late on the evening of 15th October at the Well; it was still present the following morning (RDB, GE). A first-winter female in Crab Bay on 23rd October later moved to the Cottage Garden where it was trapped and ringed (RDB, GE). A third bird briefly alighted in the Courtyard on 31st October (GE, RDB) and the last of the year headed east over Crab Bay and South Haven on 7th November (GE). Skokholm Annual Report 2017

2018 – One was photographed feeding in a garden near Lodge Park Stackpole on 9th July 2018.

Source: Pembrokeshire Bird Reports

More about the Hawfinch in Pembrokeshire

Radde’s Warbler – records

Phylloscopus schwarziTelor RaddeVagrant

2007 – One on Skomer on 17th October was the first record for the island and only the second county record.

Source: Pembrokeshire Bird Report, 2007.

2017Skomer – One of these cracking warblers was found at the Garland Stone in the afternoon on October 20th (LN). It was first seen flitting around in the dead bracken next to the path and showing extremely well. Unfortunately, a search later that day by all the staff on the island could not re-find the bird, although the weather had deteriorated.

2017 – Skokholm One caught in the Library Net on 26th October was the second for Skokholm and only the fourth Pembrokeshire record of this Siberian leaf warbler (GE, RDB).

Records from the respective island annual reports.

More about the Radde’s Warbler in Pembrokeshire