Monday, 25 November 2013

EGBR 2012

 I have the proof copy of the 2012 East Glam Report. Looks good. I need to go through it b4 giving the go ahead. It looks like it's going to be cut & glue bound like the 50th Edn as it's too thick for stapling. Hopefully this won't delay things. I think I am going to have to rely on Alan Rosney to pick up and post the printed copies for me as I leave for Panama next Monday, but I'm sure he would welcome some help envelope stuffing when the time comes.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

EGBR 2012

Very pleased to say that the 2012 Bird Report is now more or less ready to go the printers - probably the week after next as next week is spoken for chez Wilson. It's been a long haul - as usual. Only Nov and Dec to go and then it all starts again. Aaaarrrgh!

Monday, 30 September 2013

Indoor meeting

A REMINDER - it's the first indoor meeting of the 2103-14 autumn/winter season tomorrow Tues 1st Oct. - an illustrated talk on a trip to Manitoba and Churchill in Canada by Richard Smith = Polar bears and exotic northern species. Usual time and venue - 7:45 p.m. KNNR.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Are ravens now an urban bird?

Ravens seem to fly over my suburban garden in Fairwater, Cardiff whenever I spend some time in the garden, can they now be considered an urban bird?

I suspect they fly between roosting area near St Fagans and various city parks etc. But direction of flight doesn't always support this as sometimes going east (towards St Fagans) in the morning, as just now. Maybe it flew in to city earlier today and is going back. Flight here is without exception on an East-West path.

What do the records say?

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Llanishen/Lisvane Res sold

The latest news is that the reservoirs have been sold by WPD to Celsa Steel, the Spanish firm that bought ASW's Tremorfa steel works. Their main aim is apparently to continue using Lisvane Res to supply water to their facility. Others, including RAG are speculating that Llanishen Res will be re-filled and sailing and fishing can resume. This seems doubtful, at least as far as simply refilling it is concerned. I would imagine that having been empty for so long, drying out of the structure will mean that it will no longer be watertight, although I'm not a civil engineer so stand to be corrected.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Supplement to The Birds of Cardiff [2006] now available

Dave Gilmore has just completed a supplement to his book The Birds of Cardiff which was published in 2006 by GBC. Go to the main website then Resources > Documents to view/download it. NO printed version will be produced.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Wood Pigeon visible migration - help wanted.

Hi all
I have recently received the following from Adrian Plant in Gwent - he is looking for a few volunteers from Glamorgan to record vismig of Wood Pigeons in Oct/Nov, which as we know can be pretty spectacular. If anyone is interested can I suggest you contact Adrian direct on:
Adrian dot Plant at museumwales dot ac dot uk. Here's the text of Adrians request to me:

For several years now I have been recording visible migration on the Gwent coast at Peterstone Wentlooge. One rather spectacular aspect of this is the large numbers of wood pigeon moving along the S. Wales coast in late October and early November when peak counts are generally 10,000-30,000 birds per hour (have a look at the results on the Trektellen website.-
These birds appear to be of British origin (there are few records of incoming flocks on the east coast at that time of year). From what we know, many birds move SW over the English Midlands and seem to get ‘bottled up’ somewhere in the area from Forest of Dean through to the area between the L bank of the Wye and R bank of the Severn. It is not clear how they reach the S Wales coast from there, but they do, in large numbers and continue to move westwards through Gwent and Glamorgan and probably leave the Welsh coast at some unknown point heading southwards into SW England (I have seen large flocks overflying Lundy for example).
This year I would like to get together a coordinated observation of direction and numbers. We do not know if they enter our region via the Severn, Wye or Usk nor how far west they travel in Wales before heading out to sea. I would like to get a small group of observers stationed at a few critical points to try and sort this out. I can probably arrange for the sites in Gwent but don’t know enough birders in Glamorgan who might be interested. It would need someone at Lavernock (perhaps also further inland as many birds follow the edge of the line of hills in Gwent and may also do so in Glamorgan). Also somebody looking seaward and inland in the Kenfig area, and of course if sites further west could be managed then all the better. Possible dates would be preferably the weekend of 2/3 November or perhaps 9/10 November. It would be best if all observers were in ‘phone contact with each other to help better coordinate things.
So my question is, do you know of anybody who might be willing to participate for 1 or 2 days? Seeing multiple big flocks of pigeons looming out of the dawn sky is a real wildlife spectacular. .  and one that many S Wales birders miss out on. There are usually simultaneous movements of other birds at that time and who knows, participants might even catch the viz-mig bug?

Friday, 28 June 2013

Brecons walk with Iolo Williams

On Sunday 7th July there will be an 8 mile fundraising walk to raise funds for the Velindre Cancer Care centre in Cardiff. The 'Ridgeway Walk' will be in the Brecons, from Pen-y-Fan to Talybont-on Usk and will be in the company of Springwatch presenter Iolo Williams. It starts at 10 a.m. There's only room for 40 trekkers and there's a £10 entry fee. Details can be found here:
John Wilson

Friday, 3 May 2013

Please sign petition to ban the dumping of bird-killing chemical from ships

In twitterspeak: @transportgovuk UK seabirds are dying from Polyisobutene, a toxic glue. Thousands of guillemots  razorbills and puffins were recenrtly killed in the Channel.. Tell the Gov't to #saveourseabirds:

Or in English: please sign the petition to prevent more sea-birds being killed by Polyisobutene. News story:

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

GBC Newsletter

As you may already know, Joek Roex has stepped down as the GBC Newsletter editor and the baton has been passed on to me. I shall be looking for photos, articles etc.There are already some candidates for inclusion. (Cracking shots, Jeff)  The next edition is due out in July. My contact details can be found on the club website. Alan Rosney

Monday, 29 April 2013

Urgent: Information on House Martin and Swift nests in Cardiff wanted

A project that has been incubating for 2 years has just hatched.

A little later than we planned, Cardiff Council have produced attractive, good quality, bi-lingual flyers to educate residents about the House Martins and Swifts that may nest in their buildings. We want to stop illegal destruction of nests by people who are unaware of the law.

I shall be distributing the A5 leaflets to the flats around the HM colonies in Adventurers' Quay (Cardiff Bay), and at Fairwater Green, while GBC members, Linda Newton and Julia Barrell, will be ensuring the known swift nesting sites are similarly treated. Both leaflets are below, they have Welsh on the reverse.

Linda and Julia are determined to track down all the House Martin and Swift nest sites in Cardiff, but don't want to survey areas where sites are already known. If you know of any nest sites in the Cardiff area, can you let Julia know? Julia can be called on 029 2030 3231.  You can also contact her if you would like some of the leaflets to pop through your local letterboxes.

We'll be writing up the project in due course and hope it can be a model to be used more widely in future years.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Wildlife & Countryside Act

For info in connection with the recent discussion on our sightings page:
Info on the Act here:
There's a link on the left on that page to the Schedule of bird species to which it refers.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Recording using the approved spreadsheet

I've just been going through all the 2012 records so far received from observers who use the standard spreadsheet I send out, or who have exported records from a database into a spreadsheet. These are of course much more useful than paper records which have to be manually input. However a huge problem for me and also the section writers when I/they try and sort them is caused by having site names preceded by an OS Grid Ref. e.g. ST1873 Cardiff Bay. Hence when you sort the records on site name, these sites all get listed together so all the SS's and ST's are grouped together regardless of what the actual site name is, and end up separated from those records where just the site name is used, sometimes by a large amount e.g. the example above, and Aberthaw and STwxyz Aberthaw would be miles apart in the sorted records - not very useful when you are trying to summarise maxima etc. I have noticed that in some instances observers have preceded a site name with the GR then repeated the GR in the GR column provided! So what I have been doing this afternoon is going through the spreadsheet I have so far [no recs off MapMate yet], and which contains almost 19,500 records!!!!! to remove GRs from the site name. It's taken me hours :-(
So, this is a plea to all observers who use the spreadsheet to just use the site name in the site name column and put the GR in the GR column only, please please pretty please :-)

Monday, 18 March 2013

Gbc nestbox event

Tonight, Tues 18th, we helped the 7th Bridgend Guides make up nest boxes from kits that GBC volunteers had produced from donated timber. These will go up in their respective gardens and we hope to get news of their success in due course. John, Adrian, Alan & Martin.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

An elegant dismount!

Our 4x4 got delayed by repairs to a landslip on Mount Victoria in Burma and we got a lift in the back of this truck full of rock! Disembarking was a delicate operation!

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Lets Make a Coastal Path

SSSI not worth the paper its written on
Cors Crychydd Reen firing range.Dead Swan adjacent field.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

BTO Offers Free BBS Training in Wales

Would you like to participate in the Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) in Wales but just need that extra boost to your confidence or skills?  If so, help is at hand!

Following the success of last year’s initiative, coverage of BBS squares was increased substantially.  Thanks to the generous support of the Countryside Council for Wales, BTO Cymru is again employing a small team of professional ornithologists to provide courses and one-to-one training of potential BBS volunteers on unallocated BBS squares around Wales.

There are a number of courses planned for March, which can be followed up by our trainers visiting a BBS square with you and walking you through your first visit, explaining how to record habitat data, how to record birds in different distance bands, recording mammals and how to enter your data online.

These sessions are completely free and are available to members and non-members of the BTO.

If you've got good identification skills for common birds and would like to take advantage of these training sessions, simply complete the form below and our training coordinator will contact you shortly.

Courses are currently planned for:
  • 9 March - Welsh Wildlife Centre, Cilgerran, Cardigan, SA43 2TB (map)
  • 16 March - Plas Dolerw, Milford Road, Newtown, Powys, SY16 2EH (map)
For further details or to express an interest contact:

BTO Cymrut: 01248 383285, or
visit this website to express an interest.

Of course, if you are interested in taking part in BBS in East Glamorgan, then please get in touch with:

Wayne Morrish: 01443 430284
m: 07890 528926

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Extreme Birding

8 lunatic intrepid birders left South Wales on January 17th - a matter of hours before the Met Office Red Alert Warning for heavy snow in the region - for the annual 'unofficial' Glamorgan Bird Club trip to Norfolk.

Can you identify 7 of the 8 Glamorgan Birders seawatching from 
just off the legendary East Bank at Cley? Answers below.

Not even the extreme conditions (below zero temperatures, howling easterly winds with occasional horizontal snow showers) got in the way of the birding. But, considering the weather, it wasn't surprising that the long weekend list was slightly shorter than usual.

Nevertheless, as always in Norfolk, there were a few highlights: Great White Egret, Cranes, Lapland and Snow Buntings (no Corn Bunting or Shorelark this year), Twite, both Partridges, Tree Sparrow, Rough-legged, Buzzard,  Black and Red-throated Divers, Little Gull, Merlin, Hen Harrier, Long-tailed Duck, Barn and Tawny Owls,  Taiga Bean, Pink-feet, Brent and White fronted Geese.

Of course, this annual trip isn't all about the birds. The craic in the evenings at the King's Arms at Blakeney was as good as usual, despite the weather.

From left to right: Kevin Hughes, Wayne Morris, Gareth Jenkins, Stuart Hardcastle, 
Alan Rosney, Mike Wheeler and Geri Thomas. Behind the lens,
having lost all sensation in his fingers, Daniel Jenkins-Jones.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Bird Reports on sale

Just a heads up that copies of the 2011 East GlamBird Report are on sale at Newport Wetlands. Thanks to Mathew Meehan for offering to take a few to put on display.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

From a walk back on 6 December 2012. I completely forgot that I had taken it.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

GBC Newsletter January 2013

It appears that a section of the BTO article was missed from the last newsletter. Joek has sent an amended version to e-mail recipients but postal recipients will not have seen the missing section. I have copied it below. Apologies.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Contact details required

Andrew Lucas is trying to find out the contact details of a birder who did an RSPB VFA survey [Volunteer & Farmer Alliance] on Monklands Farm, Gower, last summer, as they apparently reported breeding Tree Sparrow at several different locations. If this is you, Andrew would very much like to hear from you [not for purely personal reasons - he works for CCW]. His contact details are: or 07968 838152.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Bird Report 2012

It's that time of year again - already!!! Time to get your records ready for submission. Please send them all to me. If there are any that require the attention of the records committee in your batch that you are unaware of, I will weed them out and forward them on. We had 2 large batches of records fail to reach me for 2011, one due to a problem with MapMate syncing, and the other due to e-mail problems.
Sincere apologies at this point to the observers concerned.
It is best for all recs to come to me in the first instance [and I'm talking about your batch of year's records here]. If you have individual description species records these shd really already have gone to the Recorder almost immediately after you had seen the bird[s], but if you are submitting them late then they can go straight to whichever Recorder is appropriate.
Thanks at this point to the handful of observers who have been sending in their records as the year progressed. Also thanks to Graham Powell and Neil Donaghy their whole 2012 years' output just recently.
Full instructions about sending in records can be seen on the main web site under the menu items <Birding Resources>, <Record Submission>.

RGW, Wentloog & Rhymney Est.

A nice early walk around the wharf and adjoining sites: Shelduck, Pintail, Shoveler, Knot [c2700], Dunlin [c800], Grey Plover, Curlew & a Barn Owl. Surprisingly no Common Gulls or Great Blacks. Few passerines.