Scientific: Alcedo atthis

Cymraeg: Glas Y Dorlan

Resident breeder occurring along unpolluted rivers and streams where there are earthbanks for nesting. Post-breeding dispersal to coasts in autumn/winter.

Known breeding on both Gwendraeth & Tywi. Seen on tidal waters in winter.

Breeding season sightings, rivers Tywi, Gwendraeth Fawr and Gwili (Pont Abraham). More widely seen on estuaries in winter.

Breeding season sightings on River Tywi at Llandeilo-Rwnnws, Llanwrda and Rhandirmwyn. 2, River Brân, near Cynghordy, 26 October. Several coastal and estuaries sightings in winter.

Breeding season activity noted on River Tywi and tributaries, Cothi, Bran, Mynys and Dulais, also rivers Aman and Llwchwr. Winter coastal sightings at Pwll, Burry Port, Pembrey, Tywyn Point, and Cydweli.

Present breeding seasonon River Tywi and tributaries, family of 4, Abercothi, 23 August; juvenile Dryslwyn, 25 September. Several winter sightings near coast – Llanelli/Burry Port/Upper Lliedi Reservoir, Gwendraeth and Tâf estuaries.

10, all juvs ringed Llangennech Reedbed.

Many widely distributed sightings. Singles River Gwenffrwd, August and River Sawdde, Pontarllechau and Llanddeusant November/December (per `Kingfisher Call’ Returns) probably post breeding seasondispersal.

10 pairs (7 nests and 3 territories) River Tywi between Llandovery and Carmarthen; single nests River Teifi, Cwmann and River Dulais, Taliaris. Pair nested Gwendraeth Fawr, Pontnewydd.

Four pairs bred along the Tywi: 2 pairs at Dryslwyn, where an adult with 2 juveniles was present on 3rd June; 1 pair near the Dinefwr Ponds and another pair along a small tributary east of Llandeilo. A pair bred on the Loughor near Pantyffynnon. There were breeding season sightings on the Gwendraeth Fach, at Cwmisfael, Bishop’s Pond, Witchett Pool and on the Tâf near Old Pale.

A single wintering individual was present at Penclacwydd in January and up to 2 from August until the end of the year. At Commissioner’s Bridge a single wintering bird was present in January and also from 11th July to end of the year(ROH et al). In December single birds were noted at Cydweli Quay and Penrhyngwyn.

Breeding was confirmed along the Afon Goch, west of Penclacwydd, where birds were noted throughout the year and at the M.o.D. range, Pendine. Birds were also recorded during the breeding season on the Afon Tywi at Llandeilo, Whitemill, Rhosmaen, Dryslwyn and Llanwrda, and on the Afon Cothi at Glanrannell Bridge. Birds were also noted at the usual coastal and inland sites during the course of the winter, with regular sightings at Commissioners’ Bridge, the Lliedi Reservoirs, Talley Lakes, Cefn Padrig and Cydweli Quay. Single birds were also recorded in saltmarsh creeks at Penrhyngwyn on 9th August, Llandeilo-aberycywyn on 27th September, Berwick roundabout on 14th August and again on 27th December, St. Clears on 28th September and on the salt marshes at Llangennech on 29th December. An individual was an incongruous sight perching on boulders at the base of the cliffs at Gilman Point on 19th November. As adults remain on breeding territories throughout the year providing they are not frozen, most coastal winter records in 1993 probably refer to dispersing juvenile birds.

A large number of records were submitted for the first winter period from sites in the south of the county. Locations included Cefn Padrig 11th January, Carmarthen Bridge 21st January, Llandeilo-abercywyn 9th February, Pilroath 10th February, Cydweli Quay in February and March and Machynys 10th March.

Sites where breeding was confirmed were few however, with one nest site on the Afon Llwchwr below Buarthau, Breinant and Nantrhibo; with breeding season records on the Gwili at Hendy and the Cothi near Glanrannell. Post breeding records included singles on Gwendraeth Fach near Cwmisfael, Dryslwyn 31st August and Bishop’s Pond 2nd September. Birds were also seen at Gwenffrwd/Dinas in August with an immature at Commissioners’ Bridge on 18th August. The large number of records during the winter was no doubt a reflection of the effect of the mild winter on a species notoriously prone to high mortality during hard weather.

On the River Tywi 3 family parties were seen during the breeding season at Llyshendy, Pengoilan and Llandeilo, together with a roost downstream of Ffairfach. Another family party was seen on the Cothi at Abercothi. Breeding may also have taken place on the Gwendraeth Fawr and Afon Goch. Other breeding season records were 1 at Lower Lliedi Reservoir on 17th March and Ashpits Pond on 18th July.

Post-breeding records included 1 at the source of the Loughor on 28th August and 1 at Furnace Pond on 23rd September.

Winter records emanated from Witchett Pool, Kymer’s Canal, Commissioners’ Bridge, Pembrey Harbour, Burry Port Harbour (2), Cefn Padrig and Penclacwydd.
There were breeding season records from the rivers Gwili (Hendy), Tywi, Dulais and Cothi (at several localities), near the Witchett Pool and at Penclacwydd.

Autumn/winter records included sightings at Witchett Pool, Cydweli Quay, Commissioners’ Bridge, Cefn Padrig, Machynys, Penclacwydd and the Lliedi Reservoirs.

Breeding occurred on the River Teifi at Maesycrugiau (fledged young)and Llandybber (nest hole). A family group of 5 was seen on the Cothi on 18th September. Three pairs were reported from the Upper Cothi and Twrch area. (Glanrannell Bridge upstream to Cwrt y Cadno and Ffarmers. Also seen in summer on the Tywi at Dryslwyn and Llandeilo, the Dulais at Taliaris, at Ynys-fawr, Pontyates and the Upper Lliedi Reservoir. There were 8 winter sightings at various coastal locations.

A nest hole was found on the river Dulas at Cwrt Henry in April. In the Llandeilo area, another nest hole was found on the Breinant, with a family group noted on the Tywi near Tygwyn Pond, Ffairfach. Birds also probably nested on the Nant Gurry Fach near Penybanc, one was also seen on the Gwendraeth Fach near Cwmisfael in February and March. Another breeding season record came from the Lower Lliedi Reservoir on 26th August. During the first winter period, 2 were seen at Cydweli Quay on 15th January. A bird on the Afon Dulais in Stradey Woods on 15th March was the first seen on this river in c.35 years of bird watching. Second winter period sightings of individuals came from Machynys and Loughor Bridge on 11th October, Usk Reservoir on the 10th November, Rhydcymerau on 13th November, Ashpits Pond on 16th December and finally Cydweli Quay on 30th December.

Breeding season reports originated from the Afon Tywi at Dinefwr Ponds where 3 individuals were watched as they engaged in territorial activity and also nest excavation by one of the birds concerned on 20th March. On the Afon Llwchwr just downstream of Pantyffynnon a single bird was noted on 7th June. A pair was seen on the River Dulais at Taliaris on 24th June. Few winter observations with lone birds at Machynys Pond on 12th March and Penclacwydd and Commissioners’ Bridge in the second winter period.

Bred on the Tywi at Dryslwyn, where 2 nests were located and young seen and also at Nantgaredig and Abergwili. Possible breeding birds were seen on the Afon Cothi at Abergorlech and Darren Fawr on 14th May. Other records received were of singles at Cydweli Quay on 2nd January and 16th; pond at the rear of Huntsman’s Chemical Works, Bynea on 13th July; Lower Lliedi Reservoir, 13th July, Felinfoel Road, Llanelli on 27th July; and Commissioners’ Bridge on 20th November. Single birds were also seen on the Tâf in January, August and September. Seen at Penclacwydd all months apart from May – July.

Equal third in terms of reports submitted, the Kingfisher was recorded present at fourteen sites. Most records were of singles but 2 were seen on one occasion and groups of 3 were twice seen. To the casual observer it is perhaps surprising to see it in its winter haunts, flying over or perched near an otherwise barren seeming habitat, but it knows better than most of us that hard weather, especially frosts and ice, mean that food will be easier to come by near larger bodies of water than is usually the case, e.g. the coast. Approximately half of the records were from this region, as follows: 1 by the reed bed at the west end of Bane y Lord on 15th January. 1 at Nevill’s Dock on 3rd February; possibly the same bird at the same place on 23rd: August; 3 – presumably a family party – at Cydweli on 1st September; 1 at Burry Port on 20th September; 1 at Pwll (near the cricket ground) on the same date; 1 at Pembrey Harbour on 3rd November: 1 at Machynys, also on 3rd of November and 1 at Pont Bacas, Bynea on 6th December. Inland records were: Lower Lleidi reservoir, 1on 13th June; 1 at Ffrwd Melin, Pentrecwrt on 14th August; 3 at the confluence of the Gwili and Tywi rivers on 28th August; 2 (1 seen hovering from a height of about 10ft) at Dinefwr Ponds on 30th August; 1 on the river Tâf, near Llandowr, on 16th October and finally, 1 on the river Usk on November 10th. Despite what I have already written it is not always the case that birds disperse to the coast in the winter. RA writes: ‘In 2000 which was reasonably mild up to Christmas, I did not see the Kingfisher after October. I had presumed then that it had migrated to the rock pools on the coast. In 2001, the final weeks have been quite frosty, yet it was in residence on mild days’. As always, variability is the rule!

Reported at Penclacwydd all year round.

One report of 3, five of 2 and ten of 1, make up the numbers this year: singles unless otherwise stated – at Commissioners’ Bridge on 7th March; Afon Dulais, Taliaris on 10th and 12th; Abergwili on 23rd; a pair at the confluence of the Gwili and Towy on 1st April; Ffosddu on 27th and 31st May; 2 at Abermarlais on 19th June; 2 at Dinefwr Park on 29th; 1 at Usk Reservoir on 7th and 28th August; 3 Kidwelly on 22nd September and 1 again at Commissioners’ Bridge on 27th of the month are all, with the exception of the 3 at Kidwelly, likely to have been breeders at or near those sites, the Kidwelly birds providing the only likely confirmation of breeding. Later in the year 2 were at the oxbows in Dinefwr Park on 12th October; 1 at Kidwelly and 1 on an upland stream at Brest y Fedw, both on 22nd, and 1 on the Bran at Llangadog on 11th December. A pair was seen at Abbey Woods. Maximum of three seen at Penclacwydd in September.

If the number of reports are anything to go by then the Kingfisher is thriving in the county. 2 at Kidwelly on 6th January. Singles in July, over the house at Ffosddu and at Talley Lakes, on 5th and 15th respectively. A pair acting quite agitated near steep eroding bank with occupied nest-hole…’ on the Afon Aman, North-West of Brynderwen on 22nd July. 2 at Dinefwr ponds on 2nd August. 3, including a juvenile at Kidwelly on 30th August. Singles again, at Dryslwyn and Cilsan on 1st September. 3 at Kidwelly and Bryn-Tywi on 8th and 15th September respectively. Singles, Ffosddu on 28th September and on the Afon Dewi Fawr, St Clears on 2nd November. 2 on the Afon Dulais, Pwll on 7th November; 1, Sandy Water Park, 23rd November; 2, Afon Goch, West of Penclacwydd on 28th November and 1 over saltmarsh at Llangennech on 10th December. A single at Cilsan and 2 at Kidwelly, on 18th December. Singles at Banc-y-Lord 24th December; Pwll fishing lake on 29th December and Pembrey Old Harbour 30th December. One was regularly at Rhydcymerau. Regulary reported at Penclacwydd with, as last year, a maximum of three in September.

Two flew into a plate glass window at Bronwydd Garage sadly killing themselves August 16th. Two at Kidwelly September 30th. A pair feeding young at Afon Gwydderig June 28th.

Penclacwydd January 28th, Coed Cae January31st, 2 Commissioner’s Bridge February 28th, Penclacwydd August 10th – October 26th, Cresselly Arms Pub September 3rd, Kidwelly Quay September 10th, 2 Pentrefelin September 20th, Banc y Lord Pond September 22nd, Sandy Water Park November 27th and Kidwelly Quay December 14th. Reported from 8 localities on the Tywi in June and July. Cynghordy September 5th.

Reported from 11 sites which included 5 birds at Kidwelly Quay September 16th.

Only reported from 3 potential breeding sites in summer. Much more obvious in winter when regularly noted in coastal areas.