Scientific: Plectrophenax nivalis

Cymraeg: Bras Yr Eira

Rare winter visitor and occasional autumn passage migrant. Normally noted on coastal sites, but occasionally in the uplands.

1, Cefn Sidan, 2 and 20 January; 1 female, Machynys, 13 November.

2 females, Ginst Point, 13 January; 3 females there, 8 December.

1, Ginst Point., 8 February.

5, Ginst Point, 25 October.

Singles, Burry Port Harbour, 7th; Neville’s Dock, Llanelli, 26 January; female, Pembrey Harbour 22-23 October; Cefn Sidan 30-31 December.

1, Cefn Sidan Sands, 1 January and 5 March.

1, Laugharne Burrows, early January.

A flock of 11 at East House, Ginst Point on 14th January was the first record since 1990.

A male at Machynys on 11th November was the first record since 1993.

An excellent year for this species with numbers logged as follows: Up to 3 at Pembrey Harbour from 7th October – 3rd November; 11 at Cefn Sidan on 3rd November; 1 at Burry Port on 7th December and 13 at Cefn Sidan on 31st December.

Records for the first winter period were of a flock of 13 at Cefn Sidan from 31st December 1996 to 18th January and singles at Pembrey Harbour on 7th January, Tair Carn Uchaf on 7th February and Penclacwydd on 12th March -the first centre record. The only record in the second winter period was of a male at Llyn y Fan Fach on 23rd November. The 2 upland records are of interest – possibly this species is more regular here in winter.

The first record originated inland on the rocky slopes of Garreg Lwyd where a male was seen on 21st September. A group of 7 appeared on Mynydd Du on 17th October presumably on passage. Wintering birds turned up at Penrhyngwyn with an individual on 3rd October and at Machynys with the first bird present on 22nd October, 5 on 6th November declining to 4 by the 14th with 4 noted at Nevill’s Dock, Llanelli on 16th of the same month. A good year for this species, following the absence of records for 1998.

The 2 records probably relate to birds on spring passage; 2 at Machynys on 11th – 12th March and a male at Pembrey Harbour on 12th.

1 at Mynydd Du on 4th January. It is possible that this species is regular at this and/or nearby site/s in winter but many hours industrious searching and much protective clothing would be required to prove it.

Pwll Swnd March 6th, 3 Banc Melin October 15th, The Butts, Machynys October 17th and Pen-y-Clogan, Mynydd Du October 31st and November 15th.

Three Bancymelin October 15th.

A single Garreg Lwyd October 8th.