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Fri, 09 Dec 2016 Newport Wetlands Goldcliff Lapwing
Thu, 08 Dec 2016 Oxbow the Bryn Gadwall
Thu, 08 Dec 2016 Red Barn Hide Marsh harrier

Latest News

Llandegfedd Reservoir permits and keys

As you know, during the winter months (from 1 October to 1 March) a permit is required to access the north end of the reservoir.  This may be bought at the Visitor Centre near the dam at the south end of the reservoir (ST328986) at a cost of £8.  Keys to the gate, which is locked during this period, are now available again and may be also be obtained here – a key costs £6.  Phone Welsh Water on 01495 769281 for Centre opening times.

 
WOS Lifetime Achievement Award 2016
Many congratulations to GOS President Steve Roberts, the recipient of the 2016 WOS Lifetime Achievement Award.  
 
Iolo Williams presented the well-deserved award to Steve at the recent WOS Conference in Myddfai.  The citation reads: 
 
Steve was introduced to a lifetime of ornithology by Bert Hamar, the founder of the Gwent Ornithological Society. Steve's father had died when he was young and Bert took him on his birdwatching walks.  Bert showed him a Mallard's nest full of eggs and young Steve was immediately hooked. He has spent the rest of his time seeking out and researching birds and, particularly, their nests.  His work has been mainly on the rarer raptors: Hobby, Goshawk and Honey-buzzard.  Steve's long-term monitoring of these species has added considerably to the accumulated knowledge of what had been thought of as difficult birds to study. 
 
Steve, with others, has undertaken a long term study of Honey-buzzards, leading to two landmark papers published in British Birds in 1999 and 2014.  For decades, the secrecy surrounding this special woodland raptor made it difficult to bring together such knowledge, yet understanding of the species’ habits and behaviour during the breeding season is a critical step towards their effective conservation.
 
Steve has not worked alone.  Jerry Lewis is often his collaborator and Steve has shared his knowledge with others willing to help, including WOS President Iolo Williams.  Steve is an accomplished and apparently fearless climber.  The work at the nest is almost always Steve's.  This makes him a much sought-after specialist and he travels worldwide to climb to, study and photograph iconic species, however fearsome their reputation.
 
Steve is also an accomplished artist, having taught art at a local comprehensive school, and his line drawings and paintings appear in many bird reports and books.  This award is to a man who has pushed the boundaries of our knowledge, usually from high in the canopy of a tree.
 
Colour-ringed Great White Egrets

A Great White Egret ringing programme has been initiated this year in the Somerset Levels and the RSPB would like to hear from anyone seeing a colour-ringed bird, so they can understand more about the birds' post-breeding dispersal and movement around the country.  Birds have a white three-letter code on a red ring on the left leg.  Please report any sightings via the EURING website, www.cr-birding.org or directly to Amy or Alison at Amy.King@rspb.org.uk or ajm@alisonmorgan.co.uk . 

 
GOS policies

GOS policies, as required by the Charity Commission, can be read here.

 
Gwent Bird Report 2014

Click here to read corrections to the Gadwall and Grey Heron species accounts.

 
Help track waders on the Severn Estuary

BTO and Wildfowl and Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust have recently started a project to understand more about the home ranges of three species of waders (Curlew, Redshank and Dunlin) and a range of duck species on the Severn Estuary between Newport and Cardiff.  As part of this work the Redshank and Curlew have been colour ringed and Dunlin and some ducks marked with yellow dye.  In addition, they have put state-of-the-art GPS tracking devices on some of the Curlew, Redshank and Shelduck - this is giving fascinating information about how birds use the estuary through the winter during both the day and the night.  Work is ongoing, with the aim of marking more birds of these species and additional duck species during January and February.  Click here to read more about the project.

 
Fancy helping to monitor reptiles or amphibians?

The Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust (ARC) needs more people to take part in their monitoring scheme – the National Amphibian and Reptile Recorders Scheme (NARRS) – in the southern half of Wales.  Sites to be monitored could include one known to you (e.g. your garden or local park) or one in a randomly selected area near your postcode, and could be for reptiles or amphibians or both.  It is essential to register before spring.  Training/mentoring is available.  All you need to know is available on http://narrs.org.uk/ .

 
Spam attacks

We have recently started suffering from spam postings on the Sightings page.  These are removed as soon as possible but the Sightings page cannot be monitored continuously.  DO NOT CLICK on any link in a sighting post – it must be assumed there is a virus attached somewhere.  We are trying to find a solution and will keep members posted on progress.

 
Solar energy and wind farm developments
From time to time the committee is asked where the Society stands with regard to solar energy or wind farm developments.  Policy statements detailing our views have been drawn up.
 
Click here to see our policy on solar energy
 
and here to see our policy on wind farm developments.
 
Gwent Birders Facebook page
A Facebook group for anyone with an interest in birds and birding in Gwent is now up and running.  Set up by Marcus John, it is intended to complement the GOS website and other internet resources.  Birding news, photos and comments are welcomed on the Facebook page but sightings should continue to be posted on the GOS Sightings page http://www.gwentbirds.org.uk/sightings .  
 
To find out more about Gwent Birders go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/1402732016717810/ .  If you don't yet have a Facebook account go to https://www.facebook.com/ to open one.
 

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