Scientific: Ficedula hypoleuca

Cymraeg: Gwybedog Brith

Breeding summer visitor, most common in upland woods; but which has recently colonised nearly all woodland down to the coast.

First and last Gwenffrwd Reserve, 13 April & 14 August Breeding success lower than usual. Extending breeding range in South-east, 3 pairs nesting, Fforest, Hendy; singing males at Carway, Coed y Marchog, (Mynydd Penbre), Stradey Woods and Cwm Lliedi.

First, Gwenffrwd Reserve and Llanwrda, 9 April 136 breeding pairs, Dinas Reserve, higher than 103 in 1984, helped by increasing numbers of nest-boxes. Female, Pembrey Forest, 1 September.

First, Cynghordy, 22nd; Gwenffrwd and Dinas Reserves, 24 April about 10 days later then normal. Late arrival and cold wet spring resulted in lower than usual breeding success, 284 successful nests, producing 1559 young, but 54 nests failed 64 young ringed from 13 nest boxes, Gelli Aur Country Park. Singing male, Pont Abraham, 9 June several pairs nesting near Cwm Colliery, Pontyberem. Last, Llandovery, 16 August.

First and last, Gwenffrwd Reserve, 15 April & 18 August where 322 pairs reared 1388 chicks. Extension of range South & West continued, 3 pairs bred for first time (in boxes), Lliedi Reservoir 53 chicks reared in boxes, near Pontyberem, 1 pair reared 9; also nested near Five Roads. In West, nested Abbey Wood, Whitland; pr. near St Clears, 8 May. 1 brood near Llandovery, killed by a Weasel which entered nest box.

First, a male, Ginst Point, 20 March a remarkably early date main passage, mid April 4 on return passage, Pembrey Forest, 30 August.

First arrival, Llanllwni, 14 April. Sample count on 184 nest boxes, Gwenffrwd and Dinas Nature Reserves, gave 112 pairs which reared 626 young.

First, Llandeilo, 25 April, last, Llandovery, 18 August. 357 pairs nesting in boxes, Rhandirmwyn, produced 1696 young.

First arrival Upper Lliedi Reservoir and Gwenffrwd Reserve 11 April.

First spring record was at Gelli Aur on 10th April..

Following the species successful colonisation of the south and west of the county, presumed or confirmed breeding birds were noted at Llanedi, Horeb, near the Upper Lliedi Reservoir, Stradey Woods and Pembrey in the south east and Cynwyl Elfed/Cwm Duad, Cwm Cych and near Llanddowror. Birds utilised nest boxes at Llanedi, nr. Upper Lliedi Reservoir and Gelli Aur. At Gelli Aur 19 pairs bred of which 17 successfully fledged 98 young. One of the adult birds trapped for ringing at Gelli Aur was a ‘control’, having been ringed as a nestling at Llanbedr, Powys demonstrating that individuals are not necessarily faithful to the area they were reared. At Gwenffrwd/Dinas 310 pairs bred in nest boxes.

First arrival dates were at Gelli Aur and Abbey Woods, Whitland – both on 10th April, followed by others around the Upper Lliedi Reservoir the next day.

Pied Flycatchers are heavily dependent on nest boxes at all three of the above sites, with 20 pairs fledging 91 nestlings at Gelli Aur, and 18 boxes occupied(of which 11 were successful) at Abbey Woods. Thirteen pairs in nest boxes at Troedyrhiw Farm, Tregib raised 95 young, whilst 268 pairs at the Gwenffrwd/Dinas Reserve fledged 1688 nestlings. At Gelli Aur there were also two retraps of adult female s which had been ringed there in 1992 and also a female controlled at the site on 26th May had been ringed, as an adult, at Cwm Claisfer, Crickhowell (Powys) on 26th May 1991. Additionally, a female, originally ringed as a nestling at Llanbedr (Powys) on 2nd June 1989 was also ‘controlled’ at Gelli Aur.

The first record of spring was of a male at Gwenffrwd/Dinas Reserve on 18th April. At Gelli Aur 22 pairs were recorded, but breeding success was low (51 young fledged) due to cold and wet weather in late spring. Nine males, 16 female s and 47 nestlings were ringed at this site, whilst 4 female s and 3 males were already ringed (including birds ringed as nestlings in 1992 and 1993). Two particularly noteworthy ringing recoveries in 1994 were a bird ringed as a nestling at Llanbedr (near Builth Wells, Powys) on 2nd June 1989 and recaptured as an adult, at Gelli Aur in 1992, 1993 and 1994. Another bird, ringed as a nestling at Gelli Aur on 8th June 1991 was recovered dying on presumably its northward springtime migration at Dar Bou Azza, Morocco on 9th April 1994. The recovery site is 2,012 km from Gelli Aur and the bird lived for 1,036 days after ringing.

Nine pairs occupied nest boxes near Tregib, raising an average of 6 young, whilst at Abbey Woods, Whitland 18 pairs fledged 99 young. At the Gwenffrwd/Dinas Reserve 183 pairs raised 1092 young. Four pairs bred inboxes at Ty’n y Waun, Myddfai.

The first spring record was at Abbey Woods, Whitland on 7th April.

At the Gwenffrwd/Dinas Reserve 271 pairs fledged 1653 young and at Gelli Aur 21 pairs fledged 54 young. Breeding success at this site was generally poor – 28% failed to hatch and only 55% of nestlings survived to fledge. This may have been influenced by the extreme temperature variations of mid to late May. Nineteen pairs raised 64 young at Abbey Woods, Whitland.

A male at Middleton Hall, Llanarthne on 13th April was the first record of the year. At the Gwenffrwd/Dinas Reserve 252 pairs fledged 926 young, at Gelli Aur 21 pairs fledged 75 young, at Lower Lliedi Reservoir 1 pair fledged 3 young and at Abbey Woods, Whitland 17 pairs raised only 6 young due to the cold weather.

The last bird seen was at Penclacwydd on 2nd September.

The first spring record was near Llanwrda on 8th April.

At Gwenffrwd/Dinas Reserve there were 225 pairs in nest boxes (252 in 1996), at Gelli Aur 20 pairs fledged 61 young, at Abbey Woods, Whitland 19 pairs raised 47 young and at Nantyllyn, Ffarmers 5 pairs raised 29 young.

An early male at Rhydywrach, Broad Oak on 7th April provided the year’s first record, this was the third summer species to turn up in the first week in April in Carmarthenshire in 1998 (see also Whitethroat and Redstart) – perhaps an indication of earlier than usual arrival dates in the coming years? The nest box totals were 218 pairs fledged 911 young at Gwenffrwd/Dinas Reserve, 19 pairs at Abbey Woods, Whitland raised 49 young, and 10 pairs fledged 19 young at Gelli Aur (down 40% on 1997 at this last site).

An early migrant turned up at Llanddeusant on 2nd April after snow had recently fallen and was still lying on the ground. At Gwenffrwd/Dinas Reserve 489 pulli were ringed from 160 nestbox pairs. There were two new sites for nestbox occupancy: Coed Pont Felin Gat, where 1 pair fledged 4 young and Rhydywrach, Broad Oak where 2 pairs raised 13 young.

At Gelli Aur, 9 pairs fledged 15 young from 55 eggs – a success rate of only 27.3¹. The status of the species at this site gives cause for concern, since the average number of pairs between 1988 and 1997 was 15, whereas over the period 1998 to 2000 it has declined to 8. Breeding success was also very poor, with 5 boxes failing at the egg stage. At Abbey Woods, Whitland 17 pairs raised 57 young; at Coed Pont Felin Gat, 3 pairs fledged 22 young); at Rhydywrach, Broad Oak 5 pairs raised 17 young and 1 nestbox pair bred at Aberglasney Gardens.

14 singing males/pairs were counted in Dinefwr Park and Castle Woods. 2 pairs used the nest boxes in the Bog Wood. 1 at Llanddeusant on 3rd April was the only other record received.

A fairly early bird was reported on 5th April at Llanddeusant. At Abbey Woods arrival started on 6th. Migration Watch had singles on 18th at Llandeilo and Broad Oak. Also at Darren Fawr, near the Afon Cothi; Llanwrda; Dinas; Lanlas; Brechfa and Pwllau, Taliaris. Breeding numbers came from Abbey Woods, where there were 17 attempts resulting in 116 eggs laid and 72 young successfully nest leaving.

Earliest, at Llandeilo, on 11th April, followed by a trio reports on 14th: at Lan-las, Broad Oak and Rhydcymerau, where 2 pair later bred. On 7th May, 2 at Glanrannell Park. Maximum of 3 each, at Dinas on 9th May and Dinefwr Park on 18th. No birds reported from the end of the season.

Male entering a nest box at Aberglasney April 19th and Male at Llanllwni May 9th. Of 19 clutches examined at Cynghordy 1 had 5, 4 had 6, 13 had 7 and 1 had 8 eggs. A very good season!

Twenty three clutches were examined at Llanllwni of which 14 had seven eggs or more. At Brechfa 12 pairs were located May 13th. A nest at Carreg Cennen woods contained 3 eggs May 6th. A pair at Usk Reservoir May 1st, pair at Cwm Golau May 26th and 5 males and 2 females at the RSPB Dinas reserve May 17th.

At the RSPB Gwenffrwd/Dinas Reserve 92 breeding territories were located. Elsewhere 3 pairs were present in Aberglasney Gardens May 17th.

No records received of numbers using nestboxes. Three pairs were reported from the Brechfa Forest. First migrant Cynghordy April 5th. Although in decline this species is very under reported. Please send in all breeding records.