Scientific: Charadrius dubius

Cymraeg: Cwtiad Torchog Bach

Breeding summer visitor to riverside shingle on the Tywi, Cothi and Bran. Still increasing in numbers and range. Occasional coastal records on passage.

1984
Territorial behaviour by pair at shingle bank, River Tywi below Llandeilo, 1 on 5th, pair 6th, 1 on 13th, pair on 17th, 1 on 26 June, not subsequently. No nest or young seen, so presumably did not or failed to breed, possibly due to disturbance by cattle coming to river.

1986
Pair at nest with 4 eggs, River Tywi, near Llandeilo, 19 May, male, first seen 21 March at breeding site, 3 April pair detected, 19 May, when nest found. Eggs present up to 5th, but not 7 June, when both adults were very vocal. The pair seen to be accompanied by 4 small chicks, probably a successful second brood, 17 July, last seen with 3 fledged juvs 9 August. First confirmed breeding record in the County.

1987
First arrival, pair, River Tywi below Dryslwyn, 12 April. Following last year`s confirmed breeding by a pair on the Tywi, up to 6 pairs were present along the river between Dryslwyn and Llanwrda. At Dryslwyn, 2 pairs raised 4 & 2 young respectively, 14 & 22 June. A pair at the 1986 site near Dinefwr, raised at least 1 young. A male, Tygwyn Pond, Ffairfach, 3 May, stayed 2/3 weeks, displayed, made a nest scrape but failed to attract a mate. Not far distant, 3, 8 May. Two pairs quite close, near Bethlehem, 24 June, no evidence of breeding. Pair, near Llanwrda, 28 April & 5 May, not present 24 June.

1988
First arrival River Tywi, Castle Woods, Llandeilo, 7 April (I.B.). At least 20 birds identified on 3 separate stretches of shingle on River Tywi:- a) near Drywslywn – 4 pairs. b) Llandeilo/Rhosmaen – 3prs +1 c0 Llanwrda/Llandovery – 1pr +3. Breeding success affected by sporadic shingle extraction and flooding mid May and early July only 2 pairs were thought to have raised young..

1989
First arrival, Dryslwyn, 20 April 14 nesting pairs on River Tywi from Dryslwyn to Llandovery. 8 successful pairs with at least 17 young, 6 pairs holding territory may have succeeded with replacement clutches. Last seen 2, Dryslwyn, 4 September.

1990
27 pairs in the county raised 46-50 young. 25 pairs nested on the River Tywi between Llandovery and Llanarthne (slight extension of range westward) also 4 territorial males, one of these at Abergwili. 2 pairs nested on the River Cothi near Crugybar, brought down at least 3 young. Last, an immature, Dryslwyn 2 September. 11 adults and 35 pulli ringed under permit. Juvenile Banc y Lord, 27 July.

1991
First arrival, River Cothi, Glanrannell, 29 March Total of 39 breeding pairs, 34 on River Tywi, 4 pairs on River Cothi, 1 pair on River Brân. A poor breeding season due to wet and cold weather also flooding with only 20-30 chicks believed to have fledged. Elsewhere 1 Penclacwydd 9 May.

1992
Recorded from 26th March with 1 at the Dinefwr Ponds. Between 39-40 pairs attempted to breed with 34-35 pairs on the Tywi, 3 pairs on the Cothi and 2 pairs on the Bran. Twenty nine chicks were seen, with 8 known to have flown. Three passage records from Penclacwydd : adult on 22nd May, juvenile on 4th July and juvenile on 9th to 10th August.

1993
Recorded from 24th March with 2 at the Dinefwr Ponds to 29th August with a juvenile at Tygwyn Pond, Ffairfach. Main arrival throughout April with at least 40 individuals noted back on river shingle by the 24th. Between 39-42breeding pairs counted with 34-37 pairs on the Tywi, 4 pairs on the Cothi and 1pair on the Brân. Heavy rain on 14th May and 29th/30th May flooded out many nests. The thunderstorm that struck on 10th June finished off nearly all remaining nests and young (including those that had re-laid). Consequently a poor breeding season with only 9-10 young known to have flown. Disturbance caused by unlicensed gravel extraction still occurred at 5 sites, despite landowners being advised against it by the National Rivers Authority. Three passage records from Penclacwydd: adults on 25th April and 13th to 18th July and a juvenile on 18th to 19th July.

1994
Recorded from 30th March, with 1 at Tygwyn Pond, Ffairfach to 23rd August with a juvenile at Penclacwydd. A total of 31-32 pairs were noted on the Tywi, 5 pairs on the Cothi, but none on the Brân. A decrease on the 1993 totals, which was probably a reflection of the poor breeding season that year. A minimum of 20 chicks were seen of which at least 8 were known to have flown. Productivity was still disappointingly low despite favourable weather conditions.
A pair were holding territory at the site of the former Cynheidre Colliery on 14th June, although breeding was not proven. This was the first such occurrence away from their Tywi Valley stronghold.

Coastal passage records were; 2 adults at Penclacwydd on 21st May, a juvenile at Banc y Lord Pond on 30th June, an ad. at Penclacwydd on 4th August, with a juvenile there on 23rd.

1995
The first spring record was of 4 at Dinefwr Ponds on 23rd March. A total of at least 44 pairs bred, with 37 pairs on the Tywi, 5 on the Cothi and single pairs on the Sawdde and Bran. A minimum of 12 young were known to have flown. Passage records at Penclacwydd were 2 on 4th May and 1 on 27th – 28th June.

1996
The first spring record was of 1 at Llandeilo on 16th March. About 40 pairs attempted to breed on the Tywi and Cothi, but suffered a very poor breeding season, with high water levels and continuous rainfall destroying nests and killing young. Only 1 flying young was noted.

Passage records at Penclacwydd were: 1 from 31st March – 1st April, 2 on 19th May, 1 from 26th – 27th June, 1 from 2nd – 3rd July, 2 (juveniles) from 16th – 18thwith 1 remaining to 21st.

1997
Forty five pairs bred along the Tywi and Cothi valleys fledging 23young.

Passage records were of 2 adults at Penclacwydd on 3rd June and single adults on 18th – 19th June and 10th July and of 3 juveniles at Pibwrlwyd on 10th July.

1998
A total of 44-45 pairs were located in the county of which, 39 pairs bred on the Tywi, 3-4 pairs on the Cothi, 1 pair on the Bran, and 1 pair at the new Millennium Wetland at Penclacwydd. A total of only 10 flying young noted.

Passage records at Penclacwydd were of singles on 26th April, 5th-6th May, 17th, 20th and 27th May. A juvenile there from 29th July – 1st August was possibly from the Millennium Wetland pair.

1999
A pair bred at a new site – the Millennium Wetland at Penclacwydd and managed to fledge 1 young. No complete survey of the Afon Tywi and tributaries was undertaken though a search between Manordeilo and Whitemill revealed 28 pairs. Breeding success was unknown but one pair at Manordeilo did raise all 4 young – only the second time this has been noted out of a 10 year total of over 400 clutches. A bird ringed as a pullus on the Tywi at Llanwrda on 12th June 1992 was recovered on 20th April 1999 at Djenne, Mali, West Africa.

2000
No survey was made in the core stronghold of the Tywi, Cothi and Bran Valleys. Pairs at new sites; the Carmarthen by-pass, an old colliery site at Capel Hendre and Penrhyngwyn Pond indicate a range expansion. The population was estimated as probably between 40 and 50 pairs. There was a passage bird at Penclacwydd on 15th May.

2001
The 18th March marked the arrival, at Llandeilo, of the first bird of the year. There was another near Llwynhendy on 29th March. Three birds were seen at Penclacwydd over the year.

2002
Llandeilo and Dryslwyn produced the first incomers, on 24th March and 7th April respectively. In the breeding season 12-14 pairs were estimated to be between Rhosmaen and Dryslwyn, on shingle adjacent to the Tywi. A pair raised 2 chicks at Dinefwr oxbows.

2003
As last year, Llandeilo and Dryslwyn again produced the first incomers, the former a single on 27th March the latter 2 on 28th. On 25th June there was a family group at Typicca. Near Bishop’s Pond a nest with 3 eggs was found, the furthest downriver recorded.

2004
Sixty two pairs nested in the Tywi valley and its tributaries – surely the highest density in the UK. Ten nests contained high clutches of 4. A pair giving alarm calls suggest nesting attempt at Ffoslas June 16th. Impressive was a pre-migration gathering of 16 at Pentre Davis July 6th.

2005
A CCW sponsored survey was carried out on the Tywi only but commenced a little late. 67 sites were identified where this species was present, though attempted breeding only occurred at 53 of these. 67 breeding attempts were recorded, 13 of these were replacement clutches and five were second broods. The total number of birds fledged was 54, though another 19 were noted that were over 2 weeks old, but were not subsequently monitored. It is likely that a significant number of early nests would have been missed, thus this total does not give a complete result for the breeding season.

2006
There are no complete breeding figures available for the Tywi Valley but 11 pairs between Ro–fawr and Pentre Davis may be the highest density in the UK. Migrants were noted from Penclacwydd July 15th & 26th.

2007
The BTO Survey revealed 76 breeding pairs on the Tywi and its tributaries the Bran and Cothi. The Tywi is scheduled as a Site Of Special Scientific Interest as the population is 7% of the total in the UK. This is the only site in the UK to be scheduled for this species. There is a possibility that another pair bred at Coedbach. Up to 5 were seen there for much of the summer with a juvenile present July 3rd. A passage bird was at Penclacwydd April 11th.