Scientific: Phylloscopus collybita

Cymraeg: Siff-saff

A widespread breeding summer visitor in woodland, perhaps less numerous in the uplands. Common passage migrant with small numbers

1983
Singles wintering (January-February), at Witchett Pool, Burry Port, Pwll and Llanelli. First singing at Gwenffrwd Reserve, 16 May; Stradey Woods, Llanelli, 20 March.

1984
Overwintering Pwll, January; Tumble, December. First, Burry Port, 24 March, main fall, 16 April.

1985
Difficulty in discerning between late winterers and spring arrivals, Burry Port, 9th; Gweunydd Cochion, Tumble, 13th, Pembrey Burrows, 17th; Bryn, 24th; Castle Woods, Llandeilo, 26 March overwintering, Llanelli, January Pembrey, November and Castle Woods, Llandeilo, December.

1986
First, 2, Penybedd Wood, Pembrey; Castle Woods Llandeilo, 17 March; last, Pembrey Forest 15 October; 2 wintering Ffordd Y Wagen, Pwll, 2 February; 3, 28 December.

1987
Earliest arrivals, Morfa Coedbach; Pontyberem, 29 March; last, Ginst Point, 8th and possibly, Pwll, 21 November. wintering singles, near Dryslwyn, 3 January; Pwll, 12 February & 8 March; Mynydd Sylen, 20 February; Laugharne Burrows early March.

1988
First singing male, Rhandirmwyn, 11 March. Wintering birds Laugharne Burrows (3); Upper Lliedi Reservoir, January; Pwll and Pembrey, February and Llanelli, December.

1989
First arrival, Llanybri, 6 March, last Pwll, 3 November. 112 ringed Ffrwd Nature Reserve ; 1 ringed 13 September taken by a cat at Salisbury 20 October.

1990
First, singing Pembrey Forest, 9 March. Wintering birds at Pwll, and Pendine Burrows.

1991
One singing, Pembrey 13 March. Overwintering at Dafen, January Pembrey Forest and Pendine Burrows November/December.

1992
In Feb, there were singles at Stradey Woods on 2nd and at Pendine Burrows.

The first spring migrant was 1 at Castle Woods, Llandeilo on 15th March.

From 26th December up to 5 birds were seen feeding on the filter beds of the sewage farm at Cydweli Quay. These included 2 grey birds showing characteristics of one of the eastern races P. c abietinus/tristis. Subsequent observations in January and February 1993 revealed up to 16 birds wintering at this site. Other records from the second winter period were 1 at Ferryside on 15th November and 2 at Pwll in December

1993
Wintering birds were again regular at the sewage farm at Cydweli Quay with 8 (including 2 grey birds showing characteristics of one of the eastern races P. c. abietinus/tristis) on 1st – 9th January and 6 on 15th February. In February singles were at Ashpits Pond on 22nd, Burry Port on 23rd and Witchett Pool on 27th. Early March records were 7 at Witchett Pool on 2nd and 1 at Pilroath on 10th, whilst a singing bird at Upper Lliedi Reservoir on 13th probably represented an early spring migrant.

One was at Cydweli Quay on 11th November. Numbers built up rapidly at this site following a spell of freezing weather on 22nd – 24th December with 20(including 2 grey types) present on 30th December. The only other late year record was 1 at Morfa Bychan on 18th December.

1994
In January and February 16 birds were trapped and ringed at the sewage farm at Cydweli Quay, these included 5 grey birds showing characteristics of one of the eastern races P. c. abietinus/tristis. An individual trapped on 12th February had been ringed at Bushy Park, Greater London on 17th May 1992. A wintering bird was also noted, in Jan-March at Pinged, just north of Bevan’s Pond. The first spring arrivals of singing birds were at the Upper Lliedi Reservoir on 14th March and at Gelli Aur on 15th March.

Again wintering birds were present from at least mid-November (possibly earlier), with birds at Ffordd-y-Wagen, Pwll from 14th November to 5th December; Machynys Pond on 16-17th November; Pembrey on 21st November and at Cydweli Quay where 2 were seen on 21st November and 8 on 24th December.

1995
Wintering birds were noted as usual at Cydweli Quay with 23 on 2nd January; these included 2 grey birds showing characteristics of one of the eastern races P. c. abietinus/tristis. In February there were 2 at Witchett Pool on 2nd and 1 at Penclacwydd.

The first spring arrivals may have involved the singing birds at Stradey Woods, Dafen Pond and Llandyfaelog on 12th March.
December records included 2 at Cydweli Quay on 10th with 3 on 31st and singles at Llandeilo on 7th – a ‘grey’ type; at Ferryside on 11th, Burry Port on 22nd and 30th and Pembrey Forest on 29th.

1996
Records for the first winter period were of singles at Witchett Pool on 1st January, Llanelli on 13th and Burry Port from 31st January – 20th February, with another grey type on 21st. At Cydweli Quay there was a maximum of 4 on 29th January, with 3 on 2nd February and 1 singing on 10th March.

Records for the second winter period were of 2 at Cydweli Quay on 9th and 23rd November and on 28th December and of singles at Llandeilo on 4th and 26th December and Upper Lliedi Reservoir on 25th

1997
Records for the first winter period were of singles at Cydweli Quay on 19th January and 22nd February and at Witchett Pool on 14th February.

The first spring record was of 1 singing at Machynys Pond on 10th March. Seven were singing along Ffordd-y-wagen, Pwll on 30th March. Two pairs bred at Gwenffrwd/Dinas Reserve, the first breeding records for the site.
Records for the second winter period were of 1 at Taliaris on 12th December and 3 at Cydweli Quay on 21st.

1998
Four birds were seen at Cydweli Quay on 24th January. The first incoming spring migrant however was probably one at Penclacwydd on 12th March..Seven were counted at Pembrey Forest on 22nd March with 13 along Ffordd-y-Wagen, Pwll by the 7th April. The second winter period saw 6 (2 of the grey type) back at Cydweli Quay on 22nd December.

1999
At the usual wintering site of Cydweli Quay Sewage works, 6 were present (including 2 of the grey type) on 4th January, with 4 on 10th. The first spring migrant may have been one at Burry Port on 8th March although an individual in song on 14th at Broad Oak was more likely to be a true summer visitor with a second bird at Penybanc, Ammanford on 17th and a third at Ffordd-y-Wagon on 19th. By the 20th April 7 singing males were located along a one-kilometre stretch of the last-named site. Second winter period birds consisted of one at Penclacwydd in November and December with a single at Sandy Water Park on 29th November and 2 there on 13th December.

2000
Records for the first winter period were of 1 at Cydweli Quay and 2 at Ffrwd Fen on 2nd January and 4 at Cydweli Quay on 22nd. A singing bird at Dinefwr Ponds on 12th March was possibly the first spring migrant, certainly by 15th there was a big influx on the coast. In December there were singles at Cydweli Quay on 3rd and 16th, with 2 there on 29th.

2001
As usual Cydweli Quay held some overwintering birds – 5 – recorded on 20th January.Probably the first spring incomers were the birds at Troserch Wood, Llangennech on 13th March and Llandeilo on 19th March. Also noted in spring at Cwm Hiraeth on 24th March and Pwllau, Taliaris on 30th March. Pwllau, Taliaris saw it’s last bird on 2nd October. Presumed overwinterers – 1 and 4 respectively – were at Cydweli Quay on 16th and 26th December. A single was at Pontwelli on the last day of the year. Monthly maximums at Penclacwydd included 7 in April and August, 9 in May and 10 in September.

2002
The sewage works at Kidwelly provided suitable habitat for overwintering birds: 4 on 4th January and 5 on 6th. 1 singing near Penrhyngwyn Pond on 12th March has claims to be the first spring arrival. Soon after ‘ …singing chiff chaffs…’ were at the east end of Stradey Woods on 15th. The earliest returnee at Cwm Hiraeth was on 17th, the same date as Penclacwydd’s first. Llandeilo registered 2 on 19th (Migration Watch). 1 was noticed at Cefnilwydcoed, Penybanc on 21st; 1, Salem, on 24th and 1, Pwllau, Taliaris, 26th. Carmel Woods held 15 singing birds on 30th (Migration Watch), Dolau Fan, 1 on 3rd April. At Morfa Bychan on 18th June 7 sang. A dawdler at Pwllau, Taliaris on 11th October. Maximums at Penclacwydd included 6 in May, 7 in July, 5 in August and 6 in September.

2003
An overwintering bird at Kidwelly on 4th January. Probable spring incomers. singles unless stated otherwise: on 13th March at Cwmhiraeth: 14th at Tyrwaun, Pwll and 2 at Upper Lliedi Reservoir: on 15th at Pwllau, Taliaris. Stradey Woods and St Ishmael: 16th. 3 at Castle Woods, Llandeilo. Cwm-oernant and South-West of Llanfihangel-uwch-Gwili church. Rhydcymerau on 24th. 11 at Llyn Lech Owain on 12th April. Autumn leaver at Rhydcymerau on 4th October. Probable overwintering singles at Kidwelly and Ffrwd Fen, on 5th November. Singles also at Ffordd-y-wagen. Pwll on 21st November and Pwll fishing lake on 23rd. 5, Kidwelly, 20th December. 1 at Ffordd-y-wagen, Pwll on 29th and 2, Burry Port, 30th.

An individual of the Siberian race tristis was claimed for Penclacwydd on 16th November.

Penclacwydd: first on 10th March, last on 11th November with maximums of 7 in May, 8 in June and 12 in September.

2004
First singing bird Ffordd y Wagen March 16th. Wintering birds included 2 Burry Port January 2nd, 5th & 8th; 6 Kidwelly Sewerage Works January 3rd and 7 there December 28th. 177 singing birds reported from 46 sites.

2005
Five territories were noted by the Usk Reservoir in the summer and a further 50 from 15 sites. In winter there were up to 12 at Kidwelly Sewerage Works in January and 16 in February with one at Laugharne February 6th. First singing bird Pembrey Country Park March 19th.

2006
10 breeding territories located at the RSPB Gwenffrwd/Dinas Reserve. 7 singing in a 1km square at Garth near Ammanford May 11th. Wintering birds included an impressive 21 at Kidwelly Quay February 5th.

2007
With so many birds wintering now it is difficult to be certain when the first spring migrants arrive. The middle of March saw several birds singing which suggested an influx.