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 : https://secure.fera.defra.gov.uk/nonnativespecies/home/index.cfm 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: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Environmentandgreenerliving/Thewiderenvironment/Protectingwildlife/DG_196114
If you come across any invasives in the Ewenny catchment, please contact Geoff Hobbs on 01656 643196 geoffrey.hobbs@bridgend.gov.uk

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!

Friday, 10 February 2012

Quiz - when and where?

Anyone out there twitch this one? No prizes, but who can name the county [not bad], nearest town [better], site and date [top notch]. This is a scan of a print, found whilst tidying up a cupboard.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Water Pipit - Llwyn on - spillway

Record shot of the Water Pipit today - first time I have seen it in about 7 visits!!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Willow Tit at Nelson Wern

Binos for sale

Opticron Taiga 8x25 binos; unwanted gift last year from In-Focus. Good quality optics.

Used only a couple of times, with case and strap, still boxed. As new. Ideal spare pair for car etc.
Looking for £50.
Please email me at howard.oates@yahoo.co.uk

Monday, 6 February 2012

Glossy at Cossie II

Here's a couple more:

<You put your left leg in
                      You put your left leg out>
etc etc :-)

Indoor meeting

Don't forget the indoor meeting Tues 7th 7:45 KNNR - ID-ing ALL 'sylvia' warblers.
[Corrected by JDW  - meet aims to cover as many of the sylvua warblers as poss].

Glossy at Cossie

Finally got this on my Cossie list :-)

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Scope for sale

Nikon ED50 Fieldscope with zoom eyepiece 40x 60x 75x. Always-on case and Velbon tripod.Pristine
condition.Current new price around £650. Looking for £400.