Red-breasted Merganser – WeBS 2021-22

Mergus serrator – HWYADEN FRONGOCH – Winter visitor

Updates to the Wetland Bird Survey counts for this season.

This graph will be updated as more counts come in.

2021-22 – A female/immature in Goodwick Harbour on October 30th, 2 in Lower Town harbour on 2/11 & 12/11 missed the WeBS counts. A male at Lower Town & Goodwick harbours from 2/1/22 managed to get himself counted for WeBS. ( 5 at Amroth on 13/11 and 6 at Wiseman’s Bridge on 8/1 – not a WeBS site)

No Red-breasted Mergansers were seen during WeBS counts for the 2020-21 season.

Annie Haycock (BBS & WeBS local organiser)

More about the Red-breasted Merganser in Pembrokeshire

Barnacle Goose – 2021-22 Winter

Branta leucopsis – GWYDD WYRAN – Winter visitor and passage migrant. 

The Teifi Estuary holds, on a rolling five-year average, the second-largest winter population in Wales.

The 1980s counts are for a flock that spent the winters between Skomer and Marloes Mere (see Barnacle Goose – 1994 for more details).

The counts since 2005 refer mainly to a feral flock breeding Cardigan Island, and wintering on the Teifi Estuary. One or two birds are sometimes seen elsewhere, usually in the company of other geese. As the geese often feed away from the estuary, they may not be present for WeBS counts.

Annie Haycock (BBS & WeBS local organiser)

More about the Barnacle Goose in Pembrokeshire

Mallard – 2021 Winter

Anas platyrhynchos – HWYADEN WYLLT – Breeding resident, passage migrant and winter visitor

Mallard can be seen at any time of year in Pembrokeshire, however, numbers in autumn and winter are augmented by arrivals from north-east Europe and Russia (based on ringing recoveries from Orielton and throughout Wales). Numbers are also increased by the release of birds for shooting, and it is possible the variability of this source accounts for much of the variability of the annual maxima recorded by the Wetland Bird Survey locally.

In the UK as a whole, numbers of (wild) mallard increased in the 1970s and 1980s, but have subsequently fallen. There is no clear reason for the decline, but there is a clear relationship with the ingestion of lead shot. Ringing recoveries have also shown that there is a reduction in the number of winter visitors from continental Europe (Birds of Wales)- probably due to a combination of less severe winters and a reduction in shooting pressure there.


Distribution

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.

Main sites

  • Pembroke Millponds
  • Teifi Estuary
  • Cleddau Estuary: Little Milford – Haverfordwest

Other sites, such as Millin Pill, Llys-y-fran and Marloes Mere have also held over 100 mallard on occasion.


Wetland Bird Survey

Current monthly WeBS totals can be seen here


Annie Haycock (BBS & WeBS local organiser)

References

HODGES J E. (2010-2020) Daugleddau Estuary and Milford Haven Waterway: annual surveillance of summer shelduck populations. Reports to the Milford Haven Waterway Environmental Surveillance Group.

PRITCHARD R, HUGHES J, SPENCE I.M., HAYCOCK R.J. & BRENCHLEY A. (Editors) (2021) Birds of Wales. Liverpool University Press

More about the Mallard in Pembrokeshire

Little Grebe – 2021 Winter

Tachybaptus ruficollis – GWYACH FACH – Breeding resident and winter visitor

See also Little Grebe 2016 WeBS

Little Grebes spend the winters at a variety of sites from small pools, such as irrigation reservoirs, to large sheltered estuarine embayments. The coastal sites are more important in cold winters when inland sites freeze over. The susceptibility of the species to cold winters is illustrated by the drop in numbers (on WeBS sites at least) after the 2009-2010 and 2010-11 winters.

Distribution

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.

Main sites:

Pembroke Millponds – the fourth most-important site in Wales for little grebe

The Cleddau Estuary complex as a whole is the fifth most-important site in Wales, with the greatest concentration now being on the Pickleridge lagoon at the Gann Estuary.


Wetland Bird Survey

Note that Little Grebe were counted only on freshwater sites before 1994-95

Current monthly totals from WeBS counts can be seen here


Annie Haycock (BBS & WeBS local organiser)

References

HODGES J E. (2010-2020) Daugleddau Estuary and Milford Haven Waterway: annual surveillance of summer shelduck populations. Reports to the Milford Haven Waterway Environmental Surveillance Group.

Pritchard R, Hughes J, Spence I.M., Haycock R.J. & Brenchley A. (Editors) (2021) Birds of Wales. Liverpool University Press

More about the Little Grebe in Pembrokeshire