The Conference was very well attended, with 103 people gathered in the Picton Centre. A particular welcome was extended to the many people attending for the first time.
The morning began with Bob Haycock giving the PembrokeshireBird Diary for the year, focussing on some of the more interesting sightings reported since the 2017 bird conference.  After coffee, Paddy Jenks gave us an insight into the work he has been doing to log the decline in the kestrel population in Pembrokeshire and to identify which of many possible factors are of greatest importance in this regard and hence for future conservation efforts.
Professor Richard Lucas gave us an introduction to the work being done in using satellite images to monitor changes in habitats, particularly agricultural, and encouraged us to visit the Living Wales project and the Sentinel 2 satellite images.
The morning session concluded with an excellent talk by Professor Tim Birkhead on “The most perfect thing: a bird’s egg”. He covered a wide range of aspects of the egg, from the number of sperm required to fertilise an egg, to the real reason for the shape of a guillemot’s egg, and invited us to consider why a chicken rotates the egg within the oviduct before laying!
Despite the large numbers present we all managed to find space to enjoy the excellent lunch again laid on by Gina Smithies, and to peruse the Trust shop and the Bird id quiz, before settling down for the auction of a very special day on Skomer in the summer, which was won with a bid of £220, thanks to David Gardner’s auctioneering skills.
The business of the AGM was conducted efficiently and Chris Taylor was elected to the Committee. (The Minutes of the AGM can be found on the Events page of the Bird Group Blog).
Clive Hurford, the first of the afternoon’s speakers, provided us with some local insights into changes in agricultural practises affecting bird populations, drawing upon his work on the Angle Peninsula and demonstrating the value of the Sentinel 2 images referred to earlier by Professor Lucas. He invited us all to contribute to the Living Wales project.
In addition to updating us on the work of the BTO and its surveys, Kelvin Jones also entertained us with his experiences in exploring Hawfinch populations in Dolgellau and of others working on the species in Wales, and shared his pain at the hand (beak) of the birds.
There was a clear winner of the Bird Quiz with Arfon Williams the only person to get all ten correct.
Dr Annette Fayet, of Oxford University illustrated how, with the aid of ever-smaller tracking devices, much more is being discovered about the movements of puffins, both seasonal and on feeding forays. Her work, and similar collaborative projects by other puffin researchers, clearly demonstrated the effects of poor food availability on puffin populations at breeding colonies either side of the North Atlantic and the Arctic Oceans.
In the final talk Peter Royle, in “The Big Dipper” shared some of the highlights and low points of birding on four continents.
Thank you to everyone who attended the conference, the speakers and the organisers for what everyone agreed was a thoroughly enjoyable and informative day. Thanks also go to Valero for their continued sponsorship of the Conference which allows us to bring speakers from around the country.
We will be starting to think about next year’s Conference in January, so if you have any ideas about speakers, topics, or any other aspect of the Conference please get in touch. Thank you to those who have already provided us with very valuable feedback on this year’s Conference.
Peter Royle

Pembs Bird Group Secretary

The Pembrokeshire Bird Group AGM
Minutes of the AGM held on Sunday Nov. 25th 2018.  at the Picton Centre

Chairman:                                                       Bob Haycock
Secretary                                                         Peter Royle
In Attendance:        The names of WTSWW members present is appended
1.     Apologies for Absence 

2.     Minutes of the previous AGM
These had been posted on the Blog and were available in hard copy at the Conference.
Dave Perry proposed, and David Gardner seconded, the approval of the Minutes which   were  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 Year Ending March 31st. 2018 resulted in a small surplus of £59.
The Conference generated a surplus and income was boosted by the Skomer auction, and the Conference Raffle.
The Group gave financial support of £620 to bird-related projects within the Trust, and the Bird Group is financially well-placed to continue to support appropriate projects.”
A copy of the Accounts is Appended to these Minutes
Sash Tusa proposed, and Dave Perry seconded that the Accounts be adopted. This was approved unanimously

5.     Election of Committee Members

The Chairman reported that none of the current Committee Members need to be re-elected until 2019. He was pleased to report that Chris Taylor has been suggested as a Committee Member and has agreed to stand.

Steve Sutcliffe proposed and Rosemary Royle seconded that Chris Taylor be elected as a Committee Members. This was carried unanimously.
The List of Committee Members for the next year is appended.

6.     Election of Officers;
Chairman: Bob Haycock, proposed by Steve Sutcliffe and seconded by Renata Thome: carried unanimously
Secretary and Treasurer: Peter Royle, proposed by Mike Sherman and seconded by Dave Evans: carried unanimously

Vice Chair: David Gardner, proposed by Bronwen Davies, seconded by Annie Haycock; carried unanimously

7.     AOB:
The meeting expressed their general approval for having the next AGM at the next Bird Conference
 APPENDIX 1:  Chairman’s Report

The Bird Group committee met on four occasions during 2018 and discussed a wide range of bird-related topics. Obtaining suitable locations for our meetings has sometimes been an issue. We are grateful to Natural Resources Wales for offering us the use of a suitable room at their Hawthorn Rise premises and hope that this arrangement can continue for future meetings. 
Pembrokeshire Bird Conference 
As reported on previously, much of the committee’s annual work centres on organising the annual Bird Conference. The committee unanimously agreed to hold another one this year - this one being the 35th in the series - and to hold it again at the Picton Centre. The number of attendees here today is excellent and we hope this will have been another enjoyable day for everyone. It was pleasing to see quite a few new faces at this year’s event.
The committee is extremely grateful once again to Valero for their continued support of our conference and also to Picton Centre staff and Town Hall staff for continuing to host us here. As ever, we very much welcome feedback from conference attendees to help us plan and deliver future events.
General events and communications 
We ran another waterfowl ID event “Going Quackers” in February. A very enjoyable and successful day was led by Lyndon Lomax. The committee plans to run something similar again this winter and to run some other outdoor events during the year ahead. A show of hands from the floor indicated quite strong support for more events to be held.
We helped to promote four pelagic trips to the Celtic Deep (managed by Lyndon in association with WTSWW mid-Pembs Group). These were well-supported, but poor weather conditions prevented all but one of these trips from going ahead. Those who were successful had an excellent day.
Some committee members attended the three day Pembrokeshire Show, manning a small display at the WTSWW stand. The event, a new one for us, required quite a lot of effort and was partially successful as a means of raising awareness of Bird Group activities.
With regard to communicating general Bird Group activities, the committee is once again indebted to Richard Crossen for his continued help with the management of the Bird Group Blog Site. 
In addition, subscribers to the Bird Group and BTO” E-Newsletters and Pembrokeshire Birders Facebook pages were hopefully kept informed of our activities via these resources.
We manage our contacts database in accordance with the new General Data Protection Rules (GDPR), which came into force in May 2018.

Reports and surveys
Pembrokeshire Bird Report:
As in previous years, committee members provided feedback and some assistance to the County Recorders, to help with the production of the 2017 Bird Report.

Pembrokeshire Bird List:
The annotated bird list was updated in March by Mike Young-Powell to include additional records following publication of the 2016 Bird Report.
Later in the year, Mike provided an annex listing the more unusual sub-species (races) recorded in the county.

These and other reports are all available as free down-loadable PDF documents via the Bird Group Blog Site Reports Section.
 General projects
We made a contribution to hide re-roofing costs at WTSWW Teifi Marshes reserve, Cigerran and also to some new interpretation panels there.

We contributed to a WTSWW bird-food/pollinator crop project at Llangloffan Fen reserve. About 2 acres of improved grassland was re-seeded in the autumn. We await the results with interest.
The committee is constantly exploring ideas for other possible projects that we might be able to assist with.

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
Chris Taylor
D Gardner, A Haycock, S Sutcliffe, A Sutcliffe, N Walton, M Young-Powell, K Young-Powell, K Meatyard, D Saunders, A Hughes, Clare Ryland, A Hare, B Walters, J Small, A Humphries, J Whitehurst, R Rastall,  H Clarke, D Clarke, A Rees, L Bullingham-Taylor, Chris Taylor, J Roden ,L Morgan, S Coker, A Coker, J Hodges, R Thome, A Taylor, T Taylor, R Taylor, M Jenkins, D Livingstone, L Todhunter, J Shrouder, N Lawrence, R Lawrence, D Perry ,P de Mengel, H Harries, J Potter, W James, Dawn Jay, D (Dean) Maiden, D (Donna) Maiden, R Box, C Box, J Walmsley, C Walmsley, L Lomax, M Jones, N Evans, A Evans, B Davies, D Evans, M Brown, R Beardsmore, L Wilberforce, R Parry, A Williams, D Vaughan, D Crancher, N Stephens, H Davies, T Lewis,

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.