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Gwent Bird Report 2014

Errata

Please note that:

1). Re. Gadwall:

In the species account for Gadwall, in the recently published Gwent Bird Report, the table of monthly maxima is incorrect. The corrected version of the table (included with the full account for context) is as follows -

Gadwall

Apart from the two main sites of NWR and Llanwern, numbers were generally lower that last year. Monthly maxima at sites with records in at least 3 months are tabulated below.

 

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

NWR

65

74

34

26

35

12

6

29

56

53

105

62

Llanwern Steelworks

23

20

12

14

6

14

5

17

34

24

34

1

Nedern Brook Wetlands

2

2

5

4

1

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peterstone Pill

 

1

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

Otherwise there were scattered records of very small numbers at another six sites: Wentwood Reservoir, up to 6 in Jan/Feb; Ynysyfro Reservoir, 2 in Dec; The Warrage, 2 in Aug; Magor Marsh, 3 in Jan and 2 in Apr; Collister Pill, 2 in May, 3 in Sep; Llandegfedd Reservoir, 2 in July (AA, DMS, SJT, BB, C&DJ, SRS).

Breeding: At least 3 pairs bred successfully at Llanwern Steelworks (PO’D), and one pair at NWR (ND).

_____________________________

2) Re. Grey Heron

In the Grey Heron species account, the record of 28 at West Usk lighthouse on 16th Feb, is incorrect. The sentence containing this reference should be removed in its entirety.

 
Your 2015 records needed
It's that time of year again!  Make it your New Year's resolution to download the Excel spreadsheet from the GOS website and start entering your sightings – records should be submitted by 31 January 2016.  Click here to see how to do this.
 
Although we’d definitely prefer to receive records submitted using the spreadsheet, records submitted via Word documents and paper slips will still be accepted.  If you use Word, please make sure there is a new line for each record and that data is entered in the following order and separated by a Tab: 
 
Species name, location/site, date of sighting, number of birds, comments (such as age/sex of birds, breeding notes etc), your name and initials.
 
But please try the spreadsheet method – you'll find it easy and we'll find sorting and assessing your records much simpler.  
 
Please email your records to Tom Chinnick at countyrecorder@gwentbirds.org.uk or post them to me at
                   School House, Llandenny, Usk NP15 1DL.
 
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.

 
Garden BirdWatch
Mick Bailey, the BTO's Garden BirdWatch ambassador for southeast Wales, is looking for more people to take part in this 'citizen science' survey which monitors the changing fortunes of birds and other garden wildlife.  
 
If you would like to learn more about it please contact GOS member Mick on 01633 869580 or at mickbail250@gmail.com .  If you know of any wildlife or social group who might like a presentation on Garden BirdWatch please let Mick know - he is always happy to explain what is involved.
 
Gwent ringing successes !
The BTO’s online Ringing Report lists the counties where the highest numbers of the national total have been ringed. In 2014 Gwent had the fifth highest total for Avocet, the fourth highest for Greylag Goose and Long-eared Owl, third highest for Goshawk and Wood Warbler, and highest for Whinchat and Hawfinch.  
 
Not bad for a county with relatively few ringers and only one ringing group ...
 
Read Jerry Lewis’ ‘Ringing Report’ in the newly published Gwent Bird Report 2014 for the detailed account.
 
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.

 
WOS Lifetime Achievement Award 2015

Dr Stephanie Tyler

 Until very recently, there were too few women in conservation or the natural sciences. Steph Tyler was one of the few, a pioneer. Today she stands down after eight years as a trustee of WOS and editor of our journal Birds in Wales. But this is just the latest chapter in a lifetime of championing bird science.

Growing up in Lincolnshire, a PhD at Cambridge took her to the New Forest where Steph discovered bird-ringing and fell in love with Grey Wagtails. In the 1970s, with her family, Steph lived in the Middle East then Ethiopia, where they were kidnapped and held hostage by rebels in Tigray for eight months. Since their return, home has been in Monmouthshire, from where Steph has worked hard for bird conservation in Wales, especially of river habitats.

Steph’s professional career took her from Gwent Wildlife Trust to the RSPB as Wales Conservation Officer, but she has been involved with the Gwent birding scene continuously since 1981: on the Committee of Gwent Ornithological Society, as BTO Regional Rep, as co-organiser and author of both Atlases of breeding birds in Gwent, chairing the Monmouthshire Meadows Group and joint plant recorder for Monmouthshire and of course studying the county’s birds, particularly Dippers and Grey Wagtails.

With Professor Steve Ormerod, Steph authored the standard volume on Dippers, and wrote numerous papers that highlighted the impact of acid rain and forestry on water quality, insects and Dippers in the Welsh uplands. That was a huge environmental issue in the 1970s and ‘80s, and Steph was central to gathering the evidence that brought about change for the better.

Steph is such a modest person, but has influenced conservation and many people, in Wales and in Africa, especially Botswana, and today joins the annals of those who richly deserve a WOS Lifetime Achievement Award.

 
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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