Monday, 31 December 2012

Field trip Sat 5th Jan

The original destination of Blashford Lakes has been replaced by Slimbridge. I think south Hampshire is too far this time of year - the days are too short.
I plan to depart for Slimbridge at 08:30 from the usual place at St Margaret's Rd, Whitchurch, Cardiff. Please let me know if you want to come. I have a limited number of cut price guest vouchers for non-members of WWT.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Some photos from the 50th EGBR launch evening.

Thanks to Graham Powell who took and provided these.

John Wilson starts with a brief history of recording in Glamorgan
Richard Smith continues with a pictorial history of the development of the report itself
The attentive audience

 L>R; John WIlson - Editor; Recorders: David Gilmore [2009 - 2012]; Rob Taylor [W Glam]; Peter Lansdown [1976 - 1980]; Phil Bristow [1988 - 1993]; Richard Smith [1981 - 1987]; Steve Young [1973 - 1975]
Interval & Mrs Wilson's refreshments!
Finally Alan Rosney holds a summary and Q&A session.
 Thanks to all those who attended!

Monday, 10 December 2012

For those who don't do Facebook, here's 4 pix of the current Starling roost at Cardiff Bay Wetlands.

 Below - dropping off the flock into the reeds

The one below is ET!

Monday, 3 December 2012


Fed up with the cold & damp? Come to Botswana! GBC indoor meeting tomorrow eve 07:45 when I'll be giving an illustrated talk on our trip to Botswana last year. Lots of lovely pix of birds & animals :-)

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

EGBR 2011

The 2011 Bird Report will be posted out as soon as poss. We are hand delivering some to save postage [thanks to Dave Bush in Porthcawl] and me in Penarth :-) Need to get envelopes and hopefully my local sub postoffice will postage label them as he offered last year. JDW

Sunday, 18 November 2012


There is a special event to celebrate the 50th edition of the annual Bird Report at KNNR on the eve of Tues 20th Nov [i.e. this coming Tuesday] starting at 7:45 p.m. There will be refreshments including Mrs Wilsons exceedingly good cakes, sandwiches, and drinks and a couple of illustrated presentations on the recorders and reports past & present, some history, and a question & answer type session regarding the future. Please come
along and support this event.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Amur Falcon massacre in India

It has come to my attention that 12-15,000 Amur Falcons PER DAY!!!, are trapped and killed on migration in Nagaland, India, for sale for consumption and for sale in local markets. Huge nets are strung across a valley to trap them.
Here's a PDF of images - click here
Also here's a web site with more detail - it's appalling - click here.
I have shared on FB and Twitter [asking for re-tweets] and also shared with the Avaaz internet petitioning organisation on their FB page.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

East Glam Bird Report 2011

I now have the 50th Edition in my hands and at first glance it looks fantastic. Just gonna settle down in a chair now and read it through. We'll be handing out copies to members who come to the launch event on Tues next [20th]. The others will be posted as soon as poss.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Scaup Prospect Place

A couple of pix of two of the imm drakes on 23rd Oct - cropped and poor light. U can see the lower one just showing a couple of grey male feathers.

EGBR 2011

I now have the 2011 EGBR proof from the printer - looks great. Just calling in to see him 2moro then the press starts rolling.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Newly published book for sale

GBC member Colin Richards has just published a book entitled "Dotterel Days" relating to his love afair with this enigmatic bird from the mid 1990's to the present day. The book is basically a pictorial montage of all aspects of it's life record by Colin over 2 decades. Click HERE to see a flyer and an order form [direct from Colin].

Monday, 15 October 2012

Canvases for sale

Calling all you budding artists out there. A friend of mine has recently undertaken a house clearance. In the garage he found some high quality stretched canvases. These are suitable for oil/acrylic painting. The sizes are as follows:
No.        Approx size

1 -            35 x 50cm      

2 -            30 x 91cm      

3 -            40 x 50cm      

1 -            60 x 91cm      

3 -            76 x 76cm      

2 -            76 x101cm     

2 -            76 x121cm   
Any reasonable offers accepted.
Alan 01443 841555/07906558489

Friday, 12 October 2012

2011 East Glam Bird Report

..... is nearly finished! Just one article which is being e-mailed to me Sun p.m. and I will be taking it to the printers on Tues. I would like to say a huge thanks to all involved in getting it into shape, esp. as it's the 50th edition, the 'team' being:
David Gilmore [recorder & GRC, data accuracy, foreword, historical articles]
Richard Smith [photo editor]
Joek Roex [typography & layout advice & proof reading]
Colin Richards & South Wales Peregrine Monitoring Group [Peregrine report], {and drawings from Colin}
Paul Parsons [drawings]
and the following section writers:
Daniel Jenkins-Jones [wildfowl plus WeBS report]
Richard Smith [raptors]
Alan Rosney [spot fly to starling plus weather report]
Graham Tierney [doves to peckers]
Wayne Morris [plus BTO report]
Rob & Linda Nottage [divers to herons]
Viola Ross-Smith [Flat Holm report]
Rich Facey [Cardiff ringing report & non-gull Flat Holm data]
Peter Howlett [Glam ringing report]
David Carrington [KNNR ringing report]
Peter Morgan [obituary for Dave Bull]

I did waders, gulls, finches & buntings, larks to wagtails, dipper to thrushes, water rail coot moorhen and game birds - phew!
Thank you everyone :-) - I hope I have not forgotten anyone.

It's down to Nick and CopyPrint now ......
Don't forget the launch event on 20th Nov - to include free refreshments courtesy of Mrs Wilson of the famed Exceedingly Good Cakes :-)

Tuesday, 2 October 2012



Thursday, 13 September 2012


The little fella below was watching us from outside Cogan Wood this morning.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Himalayan Balsam

Re my and other posts on the sightings page. @Nicki Sunter - there's so much of it in the valleys now that when it seeds they float down on the rivers and thus end up by the coastal water bodies.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Welsh Ornithological Society Annual Conference, 2012

This year's annual joint conference of WOS, BTO Cymru & RSPB Cymru will be held on Saturday 10 November, at Myddfai, Carmarthenshire.

The theme of the day is Marvels of Migration, with a particular emphasis on how technology is revealing more about migratory birds and the habitats they use. It promises to be a fascinating day, bringing together top speakers from around the UK, including:

  • Roy Dennis (satellite tracking of raptors)
  • Andy Clement (cuckoo tracking)
  • Danae Sheehan (wood warblers wintering in Africa)
  • Tony Cross (Welsh woodcock tracking)
  • Tim Guilford (puffin and Manx shearwater navigation & behaviour)
  • Jon Green (rare migrants in Wales)

Subbuteo Natural History Bookshop and a Swarovski optics stand will be in attendance.

The full programme and booking form are available at the WOS website.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Cosmeston walk

To all potential walkers - I'm afraid the monthly walk at Cossie this month is off as it clashes with a field trip I am leading and I don't have a stand-in. Apologies.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Response to Birder

My sincere apologies to you for any offense caused.
I should have put the link on the first posting.I did not want to write my sightings out twice.Its only a click away.If it is the blog you refer to as crap,then feel free not to visit and that applies to reading any sightings of mine too.
Once more i am very sorry for any upset taken upon yourself.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

A keen junior

My grandson Flynn is getting to be a keen junior birder, surprise surprise :-) His recent excellent school report stated in one section "Flynn has an encyclopaedic knowledge of birds"! Anyway he has taken to drawing them and this one was inspired by a visit to Gigrin Farm. Flynn is 7 years old.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Field trip Thurs 26th July

For the Glyncornel Woods midweek trip meet at 10 a.m. in the Forestry Commission car park on the left of the B4223 about 2km north of Llwynypia near the Nant-y-Gwyddon stream. Plse let JDW know if you are coming.

Thursday, 21 June 2012


Anyone know what species this is. Seen nr Darren Woods, Llangynwyd on GBC field trip.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Bee Orchid at Cosmeston

There's a few of these in flower at Cossie. This is the sturdiest one I have found.

Saturday, 2 June 2012


This morning i observed a dog walker who usually turns right at the top of Cors Crychydd Reen use the gate to the seawall on the leftthand side.She is entitled to do so.The problem lies with a high tide and waders using the wall to roost.She owns a hunting dog which caused havoc.Breeding Lapwings walk their chicks across the path and onto the shoreline,these are very exposed to any disturbance.Also Skylarks nest here as to in the past Ringed Plover (not seen this year),Oystercatcher.Grey Heron,Egrets and a few others pushed up by the tide are in for a rough time now.The dogwalker uses this stretch of coast every morning as do one or two others,but thats all it takes.I know this will probably fall on deaf ears,The Wharf is ugly,unpopular and not of any signifcance as other coastlines,but surely something has to be put right now before we lose an important area.We already lost thousands of waders due to the barrage.Lets not leave this until its too late.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

GBC Portland Obs w/e

3 places have become available on what was a full trip to Portland Obs in Oct [2 night stay Fri 19th & Sat 20th Oct]. The Obs charge is £20 per night per person for the room. E-mail me if you are interested. John Wilson
johndw at ntlworld dot com

Friday, 11 May 2012

Biscay Pelagic

A trip across the Bay of Biscay to Santander has once again been organised and the dates are 14th - 6th August. It was a great trip last year with loads of good birds and cetaceans and good craic. The cost will be around £78. The current plan is to use a minibus or the like to get to the depature port. If you are interested please get in touch with Nigel Addecott [nigel dot addecott at sky dot com].


Saturday, 5 May 2012





Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Dawn Chorus Walk - Dyffryn Gardens

The dawn chorus walk that was scheduled for this Saturday (5th May) has been cancelled. Sorry if you had intended to participate.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Grasshopper Warbler:Maesteg

Got to the site after work at 6.00pm and bird eventually perched up at 8.10pm,therefore higher then normal ISO and a bit "grainey".

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Lesser Scaup at Cossie

The long stayer was playing hard to get behind the reeds by the first observation point on W lake this morning. Slight cast at front of head in 1st pic is a v out of focus reed.

Thursday, 29 March 2012


I see some idiots set fire to an area of Llanwonno the other day. Just as well the Nightjars haven't arrived yet. The silly season has arrived.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Chiffy at Cosmeston

The chiffy below was singing at Cossie this morning. I grabbed a couple of shots as it was just overhead. Having just looked at the pix the untidy feathers around the base of the bill drew my attention. Looking closer it seems to me that the distal end of the upper mandible is missing. If so I wonder how it ever manahged to feed up to get here, unless it has overwintered, but even then how did it feed ... tongue and lower mandible?
Agreed with diagnosis??

Friday, 23 March 2012

Mynydd bach, Maesteg.

                                  Male Sparrowhawk. More photos on the Llynfi valley blog at -

Thursday, 22 March 2012


a.m. - Chiffchaff singing near the car park, 2 drake Shoveler on W lake. Tufties now down to about 25. No Sand Martins.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Worrying development plans for Lavernock area

It was with some alarm that I became aware of VoG council possible development plans concerned with land between Cosmeston and the Lavernock coast. The Vale Council have published some Local Deveopment Plan Proposals, included in which is the possibility of building 450 houses on land which stretches from Lavernock Road right out to the coast path, immediately south of the Lavernock Park and Lower Cosmeston Farm estates, and includes the 'green lane' and associated hedgerows and adjacent fields which run from just opposite Cosmeston up to the coast path, an excellent area for migrant passerines. Here is link to an article in the Penarth Times . If you read this, please follow this link to an online petition opposing this proposal - and sign the petition..
Also below is a link to the VoG web site and the associated consultation documents, including a LDP Proposals Map.The area is labelled MG2 (16) at the extreme RH end of the map [it's an 8MB pdf]. This is the link to the page on the VoG site - . On top of this there is also a proposal for further housing on the right of Lavernock Road about halfway between Cosmeston and the turning for Sully Bay/CaptainsWife and Sully Island.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

The Gwent Beauty!

Too far for photos,but brilliant scope views,seen Sunday.                                                                  Add caption

Friday, 17 February 2012

Invasive species

I've had a communication from Charlotte Owen of the Environment Agency and Geoff Hobbs (Bridgend Ecologist) regarding invasive species in the Ewenny catchment. They would like GBC members to keep an eye out for species that are invading our waterways. The Bridgend Biodiversity Partnership is attempting to map species such as Floating Pennywort, American Skunk Cabbage, Japanese Knotweed and Himalayan Balsam. Go to : There are id sheets available for a lot of invasive species found on this website - look under the "Quick Links" box on the left hand side of the home page and click on 'id sheets' from there, and select the species in which you are interested. Further information on invasive species their effects and how individuals can help to prevent their spread can be found at the check-clean-dry stop the spread campaign:
If you come across any invasives in the Ewenny catchment, please contact Geoff Hobbs on 01656 643196

Thursday, 16 February 2012


I have been encountering problems with MapMate whilst extracting records for the 2011 report. One thing that has cropped up is the discovery that using the BTO two-letter codes for entering species is now not consistently choosing the correct entry from MapMates species list. In particular Willow and Marsh Tit are problematical. If you type in WT or MT in the species field and hit Enter, you get Parus montanus or Parus palustris but these are not now the correct latin names, which are Poecile montanus or palustris respectively.I have also discovered that if in your configuration for species,you do not have 'include synonyms' ticked then records entered using WT and MT will not appear when you subsequently query the database. Similarly with Blue Tit if you enter BT you get Parus caeruleus whereas if you type in Blue Tit you get Cyanistes caeruleus which is correct.
By googling I also discovereda very old GBC forum discussion where Jake requested people to choose specific names fo rsome species e.g. British Dipper Cinclus cinclus gularis not White-throated Dipper. I had some British Dipper records in the extracted 2011 list but there were also a lot of just Dipper Cinclus cinclus. Bizarrely these came in different places in the systematic list. If you use as I do, DI to get Dipper then MapMate chooses Dipper Cinclus cinclus and not British Dipper. Another example is Carrion Crow if you type Carrion Crow you get a choice of Corvus corone or Corvus corone corone. If you use C. you automatically get Corvus corone.
Another bizarre example to show the inconsistency is Black-headed Gull [now Croicocephalus ridibundus]. I checked my records for 2011 - although I entered them all using BH [which actually displays Larus ridibundus on the data input form] they have all gone into the database as Croicocephalus]. This shd happen wiht e.g. Willow and Marsh Tit too surely?
Anyone else noticed funny anomalies?

Ogmore & Pen-y-Bryn

Taken with even more basic equipment

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Ogmore & Pen-y-Bryn

A couple of pix taken on my inferior equipment in poor light:
Dozy Purple Sand at Ogmore
Iceland Gull at Pen-y-Bryn [much adjustment - sky was almost same colour as Gull!]

A few recent pictures of woodland birds

Nuthatch with bait!