Pembrokeshire Bird Conference Report
Nov 2017
80 people gathered in the Picton Centre, Haverfordwest for the Bird Conference on Nov. 26th.
Dave Astins gave us a personal take on the years birding in Pembrokeshire, demonstrating his well known fieldcraft. Roger Mathias then gave us a wide-ranging farmer’s personal view of wildlife within the world of farming. After coffee we enjoyed a typical Kelvin Jones round-up of BTO surveys and what we can look forward to in 2018.
After an excellent lunch from Gina Smithies David Gardner donned his auctioneers apparel with great effect, the winning bid for the personalized day on Skomer being £340.
For the first time the Bird Group AGM was held at the Conference. The business was conducted briefly and effectively, indeed with some humour, and the meeting agreed this format for next year!  (AGM Minutes can be found on this blog).
The Afternoon started with Peter Royle managing to link Prairies, Pack-Ice and Pembrokeshire with pictures and videos of Canadian birds which happen to largely be on the Pembrokeshire list. Brittany Maxted, an undergraduate student from Oxford University fascinated us with the latest, research on the movements of Manx Shearwaters even allowing us to handle the amazingly small trackers.
The bird id quiz ended up with a tie-breaker between Kelvin Jones (BTO) and Arfon Williams (RSPB). Perhaps next year we will have to make it an “Amateur only” competition!!
The final talk was from David Saunders, at his inimitable and enthusiastic best, telling the remarkable story of the Orielton Duck Decoy, concluding with previously unscreened footage from the 1930’s, now digitised and safely in the archives.
Thank you to everyone who attended, contributed, and organised, for another very enjoyable Conference. Thanks also of course to Valero for their continued sponsorship of the Conference. As always we would love to get your feedback, and even more importantly your ideas on subjects for talks, speakers and anything else to add to next year’s conference.
Peter Royle


                               The Pembrokeshire Bird Group
Minutes of the AGM held on Sunday Nov. 26th 2017.  At the Picton Centre
Chairman:                                                       Bob Haycock
Secretary                                                         Peter Royle
In Attendance:        See list appended
1.     Apologies for Absence 
John Potter

2.     Minutes of the previous AGM
These had been circulated by email.
Mike Sherman proposed, and Sash Tusa seconded, the approval of the Minutes which was approved unanimously
3.      Chairman’s Report.
The Chairman covered the main points of his report which was shown on the screen. A copy is appended.
Mike Sherman proposed, and Jane Hodges seconded, the acceptance of the Report. The meeting accepted the report unanimously
4.     Treasurer’s Report.
Copies of the Annual Accounts for the Financial Year Ending March 31st. 2017 had been previously circulated by email and were shown on the screen, and the Treasurer presented a report as follows:
The overall surplus of £350 for the Financial Year ending March 31st. 2017 was another very satisfactory outcome for the Bird Group.
The Conference, together with the associated raffles and auctions, generated a surplus again and we are grateful to Valero for their continued support.
Delays in two projects meant that we did not make any payments to support them during this year. We are still expecting to make payments in support of these projects in future. They include contributions to interpretive panels at the new hides at Teifi Marshes Reserve Cilgerran and to the sowing of bird seed crops in the County. The Bird Group is in a good position to support other new initiatives in support of birdlife in the County.
The Web-hosting cost refers to payment in respect of several past years’ costs which had not been claimed earlier, and do not represent the annual cost.
These Accounts have already been incorporated into the Wildlife Trust’s Account for last year.
Steve Sutcliffe proposed, and Sash Tusa seconded that the Accounts be adopted. This was approved unanimously
5.     Election of Committee Members
The Chairman reported that Lyndon Lomax had resigned from the Committee after many years on the Committee including being Chairman. He thanked Lyndon, on behalf of the Bird Group, for all his hard work over the years. The remaining members of the Committee still have one year to serve, having been elected in 2016, and had indicated that they were willing to continue on the Committee.
Karen Meatyard had agreed to stand for election to the Committee. Lyndon Lomax proposed and Mike Sherman seconded her election which was carried unanimously.
The List of Committee Members for the next year is appended .
6.     Election of Officers;
Chairman: Bob Haycock, proposed by Mike Sherman and seconded by Sash Tusa: carried unanimously
Secretary and Treasurer: Peter Royle, proposed by Holly Harries and seconded by Dave Perry: carried unanimously
Vice Chair: David Gardner, proposed by Annie Haycock, seconded by Sash Tusa; carried unanimously
7.     AOB:

With the agreement of the Chairman Sash Tusa informed the meeting that

“The Skokholm "Petrel Station" won an award from the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts'(RSWT) Dame Mary Smieton Research Fund. This was announced at the RSWT AGM on 22 November. The fund's awards recognise and celebrate conservation work and projects across the whole of the UK. For a project like this to be recognised at that level is a huge credit to the Skokholm team, and the inspirational nature of this particular piece of construction”

The meeting expressed their general approval for having the next AGM at the next Bird Conference.
APPENDIX 1:  Chairman’s Report
A large proportion of the committee’s annual work centres on organising the annual Bird Conference. We are pleased to see everyone here at this, the 34th conference in the series. The committee is extremely grateful to Valero for their continued support for the event and also to Picton Centre staff and Town Hall staff for hosting us here. We very much welcome feedback from conference attendees to help us plan and deliver future events.
General events and communications  
The committee is once again very grateful to Richard Crossen for his continued support for the management of the Bird Group Blog Site. Browsers of this site and subscribers to the Bird Group and BTO” E-Newsletters and Pembrokeshire Birders Facebook pages are hopefully kept informed of events, projects and activities.
Lyndon Lomax led a Waterfowl “ID” day in February, an event that was well attended and seemed to be enjoyed by everyone. A similar event may be planned for next spring.
In March, some of the Bird Groups work was represented on a display at the "West Wales Biodiversity Information Centre Recorders day". This special event was a celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Local Environmental Records Centre.
Celtic Deep pelagic trips, managed by Lyndon in association with WTSWW mid-Pembs group, were all fully booked in 2017. There had been some great views of various marine species and some good feedback received from attendees.
Following an auction at last year’s bird conference, of a personalised guided-trip to Skomer, hopefully Paul Varallo (the successful bidder) had an enjoyable day on the island with committee member Anna Sutcliffe.
Reports and surveys
* Pembrokeshire Bird Report: As in previous years, committee members provided feedback and some assistance to the County Recorders and the editorial team to facilitate the production of the 2016 Bird Report.
* Pembrokeshire Bird List: The bird list was updated by Mike Young-Powell to include additional 2016 records. Hopefully it will be further updated in 2018 to include any 2017 additions etc.
* Dartford Warbler survey: A breeding population survey was coordinated by Mike Y-P during the year. The results indicate a welcome population increase since a previous survey in 2014. A copy of the 2017 survey report was forwarded to the secretary of the UK Rare Breeding Birds Panel.
* NB These reports are all available as free down-loadable PDF documents via the Bird Group Blog Site Reports Section.
Other General projects
Work is presently underway to design and produce new hide panels at WTSWW Teifi Marshes reserve with some financial support anticipated from bird group funds. We are also supportive of a project to sow bird-seed crops in the County - WTSWW Llangloffan Fen reserve being one likely location. There will be more to report on these and other projects in future. 
Nikki Anderson
It was with considerable sadness that we lost a long-standing Bird Group committee member Nikki Anderson who passed away early in the year.
Nikki was a very committed member of the WTSWW. As well as being a dedicated and hard working committee member for the South Pembrokeshire Group, she was also a great contributor to Bird Group business and played a significant role in the running of our annual conferences. She is greatly missed by us all!
The South Pembrokeshire Group has organised a special event in her memory
“The Nikki Anderson Nature Reserve Memorial Challenge”.
Information about this and more details on how you can take part can be found on the Wildlife Trust web-site. 
Bob Haycock
Chairman Pembs Bird Group
Bob Haycock               Chair
Peter Royle                 Secretary and Treasurer
Dave Gardner             Vice Chair
Annie Haycock
Anna Sutcliffe
Steve Sutcliffe
Nathan Walton
Mike Young-Powell
Karen Meatyard
D Gardner, A Haycock, S Sutcliffe, N Walton, M Young-Powell, K Young-Powell, D Perry, N Lawrence, R Lawrence, R Box, C Box, C(Christine) Jones, J Wiseman, M Wiseman, H Harries, B Walters, D Livingstone, S (Susan) Livingstone, S (Sarah) Livingstone,J Small, L Todhunter, A Coker, S Coker, R Wilkinson,J Wilkinson, R Taylor, A Rees, M Sherman, T Sherman, D Evans, J Parker,  J Hodges, T Taylor, A Taylor, J Walmsley, S Brown, D Stacey, S Tusa, L Tusa, M Burton, C (Chris) Jones, Wendy James, Richard Dobbins, D Saunders, S, Saunders, A(Anne) Hewett, A (Alan) Hewett, A Hughes, R Royle, L Lomax, D Astins, R Mathias, D Smith, M Brown, P Varallo, R Beardsmore, C Ryland.
Note WTSWW Members only; other Conference Attendees were also present, but not participating


Outdoor Meetings 
Occasional outdoor meetings take place with the Mid Pembs Group of the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales and will be advertised on  the Pembrokeshire Birds Blog as well as on the Pembrokeshire Bird Group Blog, and in the Bird Group Newsletter.