Zoom talk

We now have a firm date for our first Zoom talk. This will be on Tues 20th October with the Zoom meeting opening to join at 7:15 p.m., and hopefully beginning at 7:30 p.m. So, I hope all interested parties have now installed Zoom. To assist, I have put together a ‘dummies guide’ on its use for meetings of this type, which is available here:
https://drive.google.com/…/1Xc13agdUidrChlbnKij…/view…,
so do have a look at that so you can see what to expect. The talk will be by Mike Shewring who is an ecologist, and he will be talking about the Lost Peatlands Project which has been funded by Heritage Lottery funding. There’s more info on the BBC Wales website here:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-49584671 so do have a look at that so you can see what to expect.
IMPORTANT: we are not making the meeting ID and password public so if you wish to partake and are not a recipient of our Club News email, you need to contact myself or another committee member for the details. Hope you can join us. John Wilson

Indoor meetings UPDATE

Hi everyone. Humble apologies but due to the short time left until Tuesday we have decided to postpone Mike Shewring’s talk [with his agreement], to enable folk to have time to get set up with Zoom and have a look at it to see how it works. The last thing we would want would be our first effort ending in chaos. If you are interested in participating in online presentations we suggest you download the app now so you can see how it works. The download site is https://zoom.us/, and you choose the free option. We will issue invites to these talks via email rather than publicly, so if you want to participate, please get in touch, unless you are already on our email news group, when we will contact you via that. In the interim we will try and draw up a ‘dummies guide to Zoom’ which we can make available. John Wilson

Featured

Inclusivity, Equality and Diversity

Glamorgan Bird Club have drawn up an Inclusivity, Equality and Diversity policy, which reads as follows:

Glamorgan Bird Club is committed to embedding equality and inclusion in all of its practices, referring to the characteristics of age, disabilities, gender, race, religion and belief, marriage and civil partnerships, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, pregnancy. We aim to celebrate diversity and be free from discrimination. Everyone is welcome at GBC events and activities.
August 2020

A hard copy of this policy can be downloaded here.

Important announcement re trips

In view of the lifting of some limitations regarding Coronavirus your committee have decided to try and run some trips and walks to suitable locations. We have drawn up a supplementary risk assessment for such activities which can be seen here. Anyone who is interested in joining any of these ad hoc events should read this risk assessment document as it contains important information about the limitations and other requirements of participants. Apart from the usual precautions regarding Corona Virus, the other significant limitations are that each trip will be limited to 10 members plus a leader and deputy leader. Each will use their own transport [unless from the same household], and booking will be on a first come first served basis. Participants will be required to book by email only to John Wilson’s personal email address [or a substitute leader if required, whose email will be given at the time of advertising the event]. In this way it will be easy for John or whoever to see what order the requests for booking arrive in their inbox. Announcements about these trips will be made on this News blog, on the Fild Trips page below the map, before the list of originally scheduled trips, and also on our Facebook page and Twitter and to those members who have opted to receive email news. Current meeting arrangements detailed on the Field Trips page are suspended for the moment but the H&S guidelines and the section in the main risk assessment regarding trips still applies.

Under-recorded species update

We recently published on here a list of bird species that we hope to record more often, in order to help understand their current status in Glamorgan – see the News post of 24th April and this page. The bulk of these are included in Section 7 of the Environment Wales Act, which was drawn up in May 2016. Section 7 is a list of living organisms and types of habitat in Wales which are considered to be of key significance to sustain and improve biodiversity. There are currently 51 bird species on the S7 list. Glamorgan Bird Club have selected 27 of these for our “under-recorded species project”. The remaining 24 are highly unlikely to be found in our recording area of Eastern Glamorgan i.e. the Unitary authority areas of Bridgend, Caerphilly (west of the Rhymney), Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil, Rhondda Cynon Taf and the Vale of Glamorgan. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be highlighting some of these Section 7 species and showing why they are so important to the natural fabric of Glamorgan (and Wales).

Update on GBC and the current Covid-19 situation

Hi everyone. Just a message to say we haven’t given up altogether on functioning and on providing a programme of events. Doing our best to carry out the work of the club we’ve produced the Spring Newsletter electronically and work is well underway on the 2019 EGBR.

We are still having committee and sub-group meetings via Zoom and are constantly reviewing the current Covid-19 situation in respect of [a] whether field trips to certain locations might be possible if distancing would be feasible, (b) how the monthly walks at Kenfig NNR might be resumed safely and [c] whether there’s any possibility of having ‘virtual’ indoor meetings via something like a webinar or Zoom or the like. We hope you understand that these issues and their risk assessments are pretty difficult as there are a lot of things to consider – for example even if we decided a field trip was OK at a certain location, no-one could car share, except members of the same household of course, so then there’s the question of what parking facilities there might be. Apart from the need for social distancing within a group, anywhere where the use of hides was of necessity would probably be out of the question too. We are looking into this and will keep you updated so keep checking here or the website ‘News’ page.

Meanwhile we have made the hard decision to not go ahead with an AGM this year after all, having been unable to hold the one we’d planned for April ’20. On the basis that we’re not able to envisage one taking place before the end of the calendar year, effectively this means that the “next” AGM will be the one scheduled for April 2021. Be reassured we will be submitting our 2019/20 accounts by the end of next January, to follow Charity Commission requirements and also producing the 2019/20 Annual Report which we’ll be able to share with you in the New Year, if not before. During this pandemic, we have a duty of care to each other as trustees, to all members and to the wider community in not exposing anyone to an increased risk of infection of Covid-19, especially those who are “shielding”. We sincerely hope no one has, or will face, serious illness or the tragic loss of loved ones.  And that bird watching, at the very least in the garden if not locally and further afield, can be a source of solace and comfort in these unprecedented times.

Climate change

After some discussion on committee and at a Commttee meeting just before lockdown in March 2020, Glamorgan Bird Club agreed a Climate Change Emergency Policy, by which we could commit to various actions to try and reduce the Club’s affects on climate change by virtue our activities. The policy document can be seen & downloaded here.

June GBC Newsletter

Alan Rosney has now completed the latest newsletter – well done Alan. Due to the current situation we were not able to produce a printed version so if you normally receive it by email that will happen. If you don’t then there’s a copy online which you can get by following this link: click here

It should be noted that there are quite a number of hyperlinks in the newsletter. Unfortunately these are not clickable and nor do they work if cut & pasted [only possible if the link is on a single line alone, although that is academic]. This is because the pdf is a compressed file [otherwise it would be too large with the images it contains]. So, in order to visit the hyperlinked locations it’s necessary to laboriously manually type in the address in your browser. We’re sorry about that but circumstances predict.

Strange birdsong

I have had a message concerning a strange unidentified and unfamiliar bird song/call heard from a thicket by J.32 Coryton by someone called Jonathan Harris and forwarded to me by GBC member John Aggleton. Jonathan did two recordings the links to which are below. They are stored on our Google drive so these links should work. The recordings are .wav files. Turn the volume up – it’s a piping call on some occasions with a descending trill at the end
First one: click here
Second one: click here

Possible problem with Safari on Mac computers

Just recently on my new Macbook Pro I have noticed that despite being logged in, when I visit this website, the narrow bar at the top of the screen which has the ‘+Write’ button top right and the WordPress ‘W’ and ‘Reader’ top left, does not display no matter what I do, making it impossible to post. Logging out and in again didn’t help either. It appears that this is a problem unique to the Mac browser, Safari. Having now installed Firefox, the problem has disappeared. Oddly enough the same problem exists on my old Macbook when usng Google Chrome but not on my iMac desktop with Chrome. So maybe it’s a Macbook problem with these browsers? With Safari on my iMac I can’t even login to WordPress, and the GBC home page displays the logo as a huge image. Just thought I’d flag this up in case anhyone else is having problems although I’ve not been notified of any. John Wilson

Help needed for under-recorded species!

Hello all. From recent feedback highlighting the fact that some species are under-recorded, especially in respect of breeding information, a Committee sub-group was set up to look into it. They have come up with a list of species which need to be concentrated upon when you’re out and about. There’s a new page here on the web site which explains all – please have a read and see if you can help. Click here for the new page. This is also now in the menu under ‘Records’ on the main menu bar.

Bird report 2019 – photos required

Bird Report photos. Our photo editor for the East Glam Bird Report is now ready to receive possible photos for inclusion in the 2019 Bird Report, which is currently in the editorial phase. Members who may have suitable photos are invited to submit no more than 20 per person. There are some requirements as to file size etc and full details and Richard’s contact details can be found in the pdf guide viewable by clicking here. This guide is also linked in the East Glam Bird Report info page here.

2019 Bird Records/Bird Report

The result of a rainy, self-isolated day chez Wilson: all the 2019 bird records from 5 different sources are now in a single spreadsheet which contains, wait for it …. 105,112 records!! Now to split it up into species groups for SECTION WRITERS, your bird report needs you! 🙂 Any volunteers? Usual requirements – must be familiar with MS Excel and able to sort data within them.

Covid19 situation

In view of the national situation regarding the Covid19 virus, and government advice in that respect, it has been decided to cancel all GBC meetings and walks until further notice. This includes the planned Kenfig walk that was to have been on Saturday 21st Mar. We shall monitor the situation carefully and hope to resume activities as soon as it safe to do so. This is in line with the similar decisions taken by our neighbouring clubs and societies.

Upcoming events

First a reminder about my talk on the Brazilian Pantanal tomorrow [Tues 3rd] eve. All details re venue under ‘Events’, ‘Indoor meetings’.

Second, there’s a field trip next weekend on Sunday, 8th March when we will visit the Forest of Dean. The aim is to see Goshawks from the New Fancy View viewpoint overlooking the forest canopy, and to find Hawfinch, and there’s also a Great Grey Shrike in the area too. Mandarin Ducks and Cannop Ponds and also Marsh Tit and other passerines.I plan to leave Cardiff promptly at 8 a.m., picking up at St Margaret’s Road in time for a departure at that time, for anyone who wants a lift. We try to encourage car sharing if possible. Some areas there could be quite muddy so come suitably shod. Please let me know if you intend coming. The first location will be New Fancy View where there’s a gravel car park, not far north of Parkend. Click here for a map. Please let me know if you’re coming and whether you will be at St Margaret’s Road. A map for that is on the web site under ‘Events’, ‘Field Trips’. John Wilson

Field trip – Aberthaw & Gileston

There’s a field trip next Weds, 19th Feb to the above. Parking is rather limited for east Aberthaw unless you use the Blue Anchor carpark which I am reluctant to do as it’s a popular pub/restaurant and we will be running past lunch time. So I suggest meeting in the gravel car park on the west side of the power station, down past Gileston village. Easiest access, to avoid a very narrow lane, is to go past the petrol station on the B4265 and turn left at the St Athan crossroads into Gileston Road [it’s the next left after the garage]. Follow this down into Gileston village where you need to turn right, sign posted Beach. Just follow this along to the end where there’s a gravel car park by the west flank of the power station. I suggest meeting there at about 10 a.m.. We can explore there a bit then walk along in front of the power station to the East Aberthaw end. It can be very muddy so bring appropriate footwear. I will not be picking up at St Margaret’s Rd as it’s in the opposite direction! Plse let me know if you are coming. Here’s a link to a map – the orange arrow is where to park:
https://streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=301994&Y=166310&A=Y&Z=120