Scientific: Falco peregrinus
Cymraeg: Hebog Glas
Resident breeder. Now exceeding pre-war totals following a marked increase in numbers in recent years. After the breeding season birds may be seen hunting over a wide range of habitats particularly coastal sites.
Poor breeding season for 3 pairs known, 1 did not nest and 1 had nest molested. Many winter sightings.
Three pairs nested, possibly a fourth, with a male present at another former eyre. One nest failed, cause unknown, another was robbed, 43 pigeon rings dated between 1923-83 were reported found at a former eyre at Carreg Cennen Castle. A 1st year injured bird, found in Carmarthen in April had been ringed as a pullus on Bardsey Island. Several records, mainly coastal, in winter.
5 pairs known to have nested, 3 successfully, 1 molested and 1 outcome unknown. Birds present at another 2 sites may have nested. Two of the successful pairs tenanted new sites.
5 pairs known to have nested, 4 with success, possibly another 3 pairs present.
Pairs present at 6 sites (one completely new) and possibly 3 other pairs. Breeding success unknown except for one nest where 3 reared. 2 nests thought to have been robbed. Individuals increasingly used tall chimneys at former Power Station at Burry Port as look-out point. 1, seen pursuing a bat near Llanelli Town Centre, 1 October.
Probably 6-10 nesting pairs, possibly more, breeding success unknown.
Seven pairs known to have nested with possibly 1/2 other pairs. Many winter sightings.
6-9 nesting pairs, 3 eyries suffered from human disturbance.
9-12 nesting pairs.
The BTO Peregrine Survey discovered 20 eyries in the county, some used in alternate years. 15 pairs nested rearing 15+ young.
Fourteen pairs were thought to have bred, with 3 known to have been successful rearing 7 young.
Outside the breeding season there were regular sightings, particularly from coastal sites. Records included singles at Burry Port on 2nd February ; Llanarthney on 26th March; Machynys on 25th June and at Bynea on 1st July and 27th October A juvenile was at Llangennech on19th August, with 2 at Cydweli on 11th September. Two birds were seen at Pembrey Mountain on 13th December. Regularly seen at Penclacwydd, with a maximum of three birds seen in both February and March.
No survey was made of the breeding population, although one pair was known to have fledged 3 young. Regularly seen at Penclacwydd, with the highest count of four in September. There were two birds over Pembrey Mountain on 5th February. Noted over Pinged on 19th February, at Cydweli Quay on 16th April, and Penrhyngwyn 17th August.
At one site a pair raised 1 young and a pair was present at a new site, but breeding was not proven. No details were received of other known breeding pairs. Other coastal records in the first winter period were: 1 at Ginst Point on4th January, with other singles at Ashpits Pond, Burry Port on 31st January, Graig, Pwll on 26th February and Witchett Pool in May.
In autumn singles were at Llanmiloe in August, Witchett Pool in September and October, Usk Reservoir on 4th November, Machynys on 6th November and Ginst Point on 7th November. Regular at Penclacwydd with highest monthly count of three in April.
Records were received of five pairs, four of which reared a total of 6 young. The fifth pair was believed to be successful. Seen every month at Penclacwydd with several monthly counts of three birds.
Birds were seen during the breeding season at one coastal site. Inland, 4 pairs held territory in one area of which three bred. A second area also held 4 pairs, with one nest rearing 4 young and another probably robbed. This is not a comprehensive survey of breeding Peregrines in the county. Regular at Penclacwydd with monthly counts similar to last year.
Breeding was proved at 9 sites, with 11 young reared at 6 of these sites. Coastal wintering records were less common this year although birds were seen in every month at Penclacwydd, peaking at 3 birds in November. There were singletons at East House, Ginst Point on 10th February and 5th September and another was mobbing a Hen Harrier at Machynys on 14th December. There were singles at Dryslwyn on 4th January, 14th March and 18th November and at Dinefwr Castle on 6th April.
Five known sites checked but apparently empty, with 1 pair near the county boundary raising at least 1 chick . Three pairs at Gwenffrwd fledged a total of 3 young, another pair in the west of the county raised 2 young, and pairs noted at least 2 other sites. As previous recent year recorded in all months at Penclacwydd, highest counts in the early winter period of three birds.
Birds were found at seven possible eyries in the spring with confirmed attempts at three of these sites. Success was proved at one of these sites where an adult was seen with two juveniles on 29th July. In addition breeding was suspected close to the county boundary with Ceredigion (perhaps in Ceredigion) and in another area an adult and juvenile were seen together on 9th August but the whereabouts of the eyrie was not known. Coastal records away from Penclacwydd were 1 at Pembrey Saltings on 16th March, a single at Cefn Sidan on 21st August, with 3 fighting above the beach there on 21st November and a single on 8th December at Machynys. A single was seen to kill a Starling at Taliaris on 23rd September. Proof that not all Peregrines move down to the coast in winter was a single bird at Mynydd Llanfihangel Rhos-y-corn on 25th January. Two or three birds seen most months in Penclacwydd.
Peregrines were noted at the Tâf Estuary in February, August (3 birds), and October and a male near Capel Isaf, Cwm Ifor on 16th November. Birds were also at Mynydd Llanfihangel Rhos-y-corn during much of the year, but not in the breeding season. A survey of 8 known eyries in the county produced the following figures: No evidence of occupation: 3 eyries; Some evidence of use: 3 eyries; Breeding attempt in progress: 2 eyries (1 of these raised 2 young). Regular sightings at Penclacwydd, highest counts of three birds in January and August.
Breeding was proven at 5 sites, with a minimum of 4 young raised at two of them. It was suspected at six other sites. Otherwise, birds were seen throughout the county, with evidence of a non-breeder summering at Penclacwydd, high count of four in July.
A survey of 23 Peregrine nest sites was conducted in the spring/early summer. Breeding was probably attempted on c10 occasions, of which 7 were successful, although the exact number of young raised is not known. There was one instance involving theft of a clutch of eggs and another where young were taken. In view of this behaviour no details of sites are given here. Apart from the survey, other birds, all singles, were widely reported, from both coastal and inland areas, a roughly equal number coming from each. Several sightings were memorable affairs: at Cilsan Bridge on 20th July a bird was pursued by Sand Martins; another at Dinefwr Park was mobbed by c450 House Martins on 20th September and finally, one ‘ …which cleared nearly all birds from Tywyn Point…’. Some information about three presumed prey species – 1 Blackbird, 1 Redwing and two Starlings – was obtained as a result of rings being recovered from Peregrine nesting sites. The birds were ringed in Orkney, Belgium and, in the case of the two Starlings, Lithuania respectivly, the dates being April 2001, November 2000, June 1996 and June 1997. Interestingly, the two Starlings were ringed in the same place and met their ends in the same place. Two and three birds seen most months at Penclacwydd.
Eighteen widely scattered sites produced twenty records, evidence of the continued relative well-being of this species: a pair eating a Starling at Llangadog on 12th January, the first
birds reported. An immature was seen flying over a partially restored opencast site at Ffos-las, Trimsaran on 22nd January. On 15th February and 15th March singles were seen at Cilsan and
Ferryside, the latter with a curlew kill on a sand bar. A pair displayed on 23rd March close overhead at Tyrwaun, Pwll on 10th April. A male ‘…hunted over hedges like a Sparrowhawk..’ at Pwllau, Taliaris on 20th May. on 27th July a male, female and a juvenile preyed on Oystercatcher, and one of them took a dragonfly, at Ginst Point. A single at Kidwellv on 10th August. Two counts of 2, at Dinefwr Castle and Wharley Point, on 3rd September and 5th September respectively. A Goiden Plover being pursued by one at Brest Cwm Llywd on 22rd October. A single at Mynydd Llanfihangel-rhos-y-corn on 5th November. An immature at Telpyn Point on 7th November. Banc-y-lord with 2 on 24th December and singles at Mynydd Pencarreg and Rhydcymerau, the former on 17th December, the latter on 12th September. 13th October and 5th November. Usual regular sightings at Penclacwydd.
[The insect taking of 27th July is an example of a little recorded phenomenon, briefly noted in BWP, and drawn attention to in a note on ‘Raptors feeding on flying insects’, by Michael
Shrubb, in Welsh Birds. Vol 3 No.5 2003.]
Five pairs successful fledged 12 young. Birds were present at a further 9 sites but either failed or no further information is available. An additional pair fledged at least one young .
Six pairs nested and fledged 5/6 young. At Abergwili A pair hunting corvids together were taunted by the clever crows through a barbed wire fence on January 10th whilst one seen to take a Jackdaw at Penclacwydd July 23rd.
Birds were holding territory at 13 sites. Another 2 sites were found to be unoccupied. Pairs bred at 7 sites with a minimum of 5 young fledged. One pair may have been robbed at a site which has a history of such occurrences, while another failed at the egg stage due to wet weather in May (South Wales Peregrine Monitoring Group).
Twelve sites were occupied with 8 pairs successful raising at least 12 young. Three pairs failed at the egg stage and another was predated by a fox or badger. (SWPMG). At Cynghordy in November one bird was observed hiding in nettles in order to ambush corvids and Collared Doves.