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.