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.
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.
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.
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.