Scientific: Accipiter gentilis

Cymraeg: Gwalch Marth

A scarce resident breeding species. Due to its secretive nature it is probably under-recorded.

1982
1 pair successfully nested in the North of the county; 1 female, Bancyffordd, 8 November.

1983
Two pairs present in a northern forest, one nest discovered, that of a pair who bred successfully in 1982. Two other sightings in widely separated areas in February and March.

1984
Adult, probably a female, flushed from kill, near Llangadog, 26 March.

1985
1, probably a female, near Brechfa, 6 May; 1st winter male, near Porthyrhyd, Llanwrda, 29 December.

1986
Several sightings of single male and female birds, in the North of the County, in every month January-September except March.

1987
Summer sightings in a mid-county district; present, June/September in a northern forest; male and female, seen singly in a “southern district”, January; isolated sightings of a single, near Llandovery, in March near Meidrim, April pair, Cothi Valley, 22 October; singles, Rhandirmwyn, July/August Llandovery, 29 October – late year.

1988
Pairs present and may have bred at five localities, with single birds seen elsewhere.

1989
Two nests known to have reared 3 young, at least 7-8 breeding pairs in the county.

1990
Two nests known to have reared young, probably 8 breeding pairs in the county. Isolated sightings elsewhere autumn and winter.

1991
A researcher found several pairs nesting throughout the county.

1997
Twenty eight pairs were found breeding of which 2 failed. The average clutch size was 2.68 with three nests raising 4 young from clutches of 4 eggs. The 26 successful nests produced a total of 68 young.

1998
An immature/female. at Penclacwydd on the 22nd August was the first record for the Centre.

1999
No full survey was carried out this year but records were received of four breeding attempts and another pair displaying. In one area they were less frequently observed following the felling of nearby conifers. Recorders should be aware of the continuing spread of this species and check potential birds in all areas of the county. A pair was reported from the Llanarthne-Porthyrhyd area in the spring and one was watched at Gelli Aur on 16th November; another was seen attacking a Magpie in Stradey Woods in December.

2000
A male was seen in Stradey Woods on 6th February whilst a female was seen at Pwllau, Taliaris on 3rd and 21st March, where a female was subsequently seen on four occasions in the autumn.

2001
One pair is known to have raised a single young. A male was seen in the south west of the county twice in the autumn.

2002
Beginning with 1 at Hendy on 21st January records were: 1 female at Usk Reservoir 17th March; 2 high over Horeb 27th; 1 Nantgaredig 15th April; a female near Capel Isaac church on 3rd June; 1 at Gweunydd Cochion, Tumble on 4th; a male at Llandeilo 25th August; immature female on 25th October at Allt-y-cavan Gorge; a male at the same place on 28th; 2 immatures males at Pwllau, Taliaris on 15th November, and at Penclacwydd, where it is rare, 3 – an immature female and adult male and female – intermittently from 10 September to 31st December. A pair bred in the Newcastle Ernlyn/Cenarth area. Pairs with young were at Nant Hirgwm and south Crychan Forest.

2001
Pair with young at Nant Hirgwm.

2003
A female was seen at Cwmhiraeth on 2nd February, and 2nd & 15th June. Another female, ‘frantically mobbed by a female Kestrel…’ was seen at Penybryn, Bynea on 13th February. The year’s only record from Pwllau, Taliaris was of a male on 1st March. At Llyn Brianne Reservoir a male – possibly 2 – and all immature were noted on 23rd March. A pair displayed in the Brechfa Forest on 241h March. Unsexed birds were at Dinefwr Park on 15th June: Allt-y-cafan gorge on 21st and flying over the Carmarthenshire / Pembrokeshire border on the A40 on 7th November. A male was recorded at Rhydcymerau – ‘… hunting in close proximity to house…’ – on 24th December. A pair at Felindre Drefach and an unsexed individual at Five Roads, Cwmduad on December 30th. At Penclacwydd an adult female from 14th to 28th February and an adult female and an immature male between 1st March and 13th April.

2004
Seven nests produced 15 young which were all ringed. Penclacwydd September 2nd – 10th.

2005
Twenty four young were ringed in 10 nests. Away from main breeding area a single at Penclacwydd August 18th – September 26th.

2006
Reported widely from throughout the county.

2007
In all recorded from 15 sites. Breeding certainly took place at two of these and possibly two others.