Saturday, 22 July 2017

Curlews in Wales Workshop


 Mary Colwell is organising a series of Workshops to discuss the plight of Curlews in Britain.
 
The details of the Workshop for Wales are below, together with contact details etc.

 

One-Day Workshop on the status and future of the Curlew in Wales Wednesday 24th January 2018

 We would like to invite you to the Hafod a Hendre, the Royal Welsh Showground Conference Centre, Builth Wells, to discuss the future of the Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata in Wales.   This is part of a series of Curlew Workshops aimed at aiding the recovery of the bird nationwide.

 Both breeding and wintering populations of Curlew are declining at an alarming rate throughout the British Isles and the species has recently been added to the Red List of endangered species and is considered Near Threatened, having already vanished as a breeding bird from large parts of the lowlands. Changes in farming practices, predation and human disturbance are the most commonly highlighted factors. This workshop will bring together various interested parties (field workers, conservation professionals, planners, land-owners and farmers) to hear what is happening in different nesting areas in Wales, and to find practical ways to conserve and extend the range of this genuinely iconic and widely-loved species.

 Conservationist and TV presenter Iolo Williams will open the day and the morning will consist of a series of short presentations on Curlew projects, followed by targeted panel discussions on specific issues, where the audience will be encouraged to take part. Practical ideas and solutions will be recorded and distributed after the meeting. A simple buffet lunch will be provided.

We would value your presence at this workshop, which is a vital step towards reversing the declining trend of Curlews in Britain. Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.  Please use the link below to register your attendance. An agenda will be sent out in December. We hope to see you on 24th January 2018.


 Please contact Mary Colwell - Curlew Media, mary@curlewmedia.com or

Mike Smart - smartmike143@gmail.com with any queries.

 

 

Friday, 16 June 2017

Great Bird Reserves - Skomer Island

The May edition of "British Birds" includes a really fascinating article on Skomer Island National Nature Reserve by David Saunders (the first Skomer warden in the early 1960s) and Stephen Sutcliffe (warden there from 1986 to 1994). 


If you already subscribe to BB then you will already have absorbed the article and hopefully enjoyed the read. If not, then it can be found in British Birds volume 110, May 2017, pages 278–295 - it's a really interesting article by two of Pembrokeshire's foremost Skomer aficionados.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Curlews In Trouble



Curlews in trouble: It has been many years since curlews were known to have bred on the Pembrokeshire mainland - Skomer Island currently being our only confirmed breeding location for them. Mid-winter WeBs counts on the Cleddau estuary (between November and February) suggest that numbers of this familiar bird are also declining there! 





Mary Colwell, who last year walked from western Ireland to eastern England to highlight the plight of the Eurasian Curlew, is planning a conference to bring together all those with an interest in the species' conservation in Wales, and she is hoping that birders and local bird clubs across Wales will get involved. 

The event is planned for 24 January 2018 at a venue to be announced later. Read more here, and get in touch with Mary if you'd like to be involved. 


Thursday, 20 April 2017


Reverend Murray Mathew in Pembrokeshire Life

 The April edition of Pembrokeshire Life contains a three page article by David Saunders about the Reverend Murray Mathew author of the first Birds of Pembrokeshire published in 1894.  Included in the article is a photograph of the Reverend himself, one of two tracked down just a few months ago, the second one being reproduced here. 
 
 

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Bird Group Display at the Local Environmental Centre 10th anniversary event

Bob and Annie attended a "West Wales Biodiversity Information Centre Recorders day" held at the Hermon Community Hall. This was a special event, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the LERC.

It was a well-attended by about 60 delegates with some very good speakers and displays.

Congratulations to WWBIC in your 10th anniversary year, and for organising an excellent Recorders day to commemorate it.

The Bird Group provided a static display for the event.

The Bird Group Display
The Bird Group display - one of several viewed at lunch-time by the delegates





Saturday, 18 February 2017

Monday, 30 January 2017

AGM Minutes

The Minutes of the Bird Group AGM held in January, including the Chairman's report, are now available on the Reports section of this Blog under Ad Hoc Reports.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Wartime oil spills almost wiped out Skomer's Guillemots



A recent study, published in the journal British Birds, suggests that major oil pollution in the 1940s had a major impact on breeding seabirds around Skomer, Pembrokeshire.

Tim Birkhead from Sheffield University used photographs of the island’s cliffs taken in 1934 to estimate there were 100,000 Guillemots before World War II. By the 1960s there were fewer than 5,000. Professor Birkhead used the annual number of shipwrecks off western Britain as an index of oil pollution, to which auks such as Guillemots are very susceptible.

Not surprisingly, there was a big increase in shipwrecks in the early 1940s (350 in 1940-41 alone). These would have released oil as they sank, and many would do so for a decade or more.

Since the mid 1980s, guillemot numbers on Skomer have increased at around 5% per annum, but at almost 24,000 individuals (in 2015), this is still a just a quarter of the pre-war numbers observed from photos taken some eighty years ago.

Tim’s study highlights the value of ongoing, long-term studies of the islands seabird populations and also the need to carefully archive the data collected.

For more on this story, read this article by Tim Birkhead.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Pembrokeshire Bird List

Mike Young-Powell, assisted by Bob Haycock and Graham Rees has produced a definitive "Pembrokeshire Bird List", detailing the 373 species recorded in Pembrokeshire up to the end of 2013. It also details the status of each species within Pembrokeshire.

You will find the List on the "Reports" page of the blog.

We hope that this list will be useful not only to local birders, but will also be a valuable source of information for visiting birders

Peter Royle

Dartford Warbler Survey

Mike Young-Powell has now published the report on the Dartford Warbler Survey carried out in Pembrokeshire in 2014.

The full report can be found on the "Reports" section of this blog, under ad-hoc reports

Many thanks to Mike and his team of volunteers for this very valuable and worthwhile piece of work.

Peter Royle