Very sad news

We in the Glamorgan Bird Club are very sad to have to announce the recent passing of Richard Smith, who many members will remember with great affection.
His funeral will be at Thornhill Crematorium, Cardiff, on Weds 9th February at 2:45 p.m. and anyone who knew him is welcome.
Richard was a founder member of GBC and was actively involved with the club since its birth in 1989, and in the birding scene in South Wales for very many years. He was on the GBC committee for a good number of years, holding various posts, and did a stint as the County Recorder. He was continuously involved with the production of our annual Bird Report, as part of the editorial team from 1996 and as the photo editor until very recently.
Regular attendees at GBC indoor meetings will no doubt remember his entertaining talks about his and Sue’s travels around the world in search of new birds, and in recent years his love of ‘big cats’. His skills with a camera produced some wonderful images. Indeed it was with great pleasure that we commissioned a framed print of one of his favourite tiger images, as a thank you for his services as photo editor when he retired from that task last year. Anne and myself presented it to him at home and he was absolutely delighted with it and it’s such a shame that the pleasure and memories it gave him were so short lived.
Richard was an absolute gentleman and a pleasure to know and be with, and will be sorely missed. We collectively express our condolences to his lovely wife Susie. John Wilson on behalf of the GBC trustees.

Two events next week

On Tues 25th at 7:30 p.m. there will be a Zoom talk entitled “Urban Peregrines – what we know so far” by Ed Drewitt, who is a freelance naturalist, broadcaster and wildlife detective – there’s lots of info on his website: https://www.eddrewitt.co.uk/. Members please contact John Wilson for login details [johndw1948 at gmail dot com].

On Thurs 27th Jan there’s a field trip to Garwnant forestry, which is above the N end of Llwyn-on Reservoir by the A470. I am suggesting meeting in the Visitor Centre car park at around 09:30 traffic permitting. The Garwnant Visitor Centre parking charge is £2. Post Code for Sat Nav is CF48 2HU. There’s a brown sign pointing left off the A470 after you have passed the reservoir, which is beyond Merthyr. Target species will be Crossbill, Redpoll, Siskin and hopefully Willow Tit. It will be a circular walk of approx 3 km, the first half on gravel/earth path, then there’s a steepish downhill section to the return loop which can be quite muddy and slippery, so wear walking boots preferably. Depending on how wet it is there may be a small stepping stone crossing of a drain-off channel, about 2m wide. Please contact me either in reply to this email or direct to my personal address [johndw1948@gmail.com] if you intend to come.

Field trip – Newton Point – Sat 27th Nov

A heads up re an upcoming trip on Saturday week, 27th Nov to Newton Point near Trecco Bay. I am away that weekend so Alan Rosney has kindly agreed to lead for me. Please let him know if you are coming – alanrosney@gmail.comThe start time will be 10 a.m. with high tide being at approx 11:34. The meet point is in Beach Road, Newton just outside, or in the Newton Beach car park – the car park address is 39 Beach Rd, Porthcawl CF36 5NH. This is a pay & display car park but we understand that the double yellow lines on Beach Road just outside, are not ‘active’ between October and May, so if there is room it is possible to park tidily there. It is about a 5 min walk from this location to Newton Point. If folk look at Google Maps there is a car park at the end of the road indicated as Trecco Bay Beach free car park, but a regular birder at this location says that this car park is randomly closed. This link shd give you a Google Maps page with the car park area showing:https://goo.gl/maps/S8BSA1TDWSCW8LY36 Beach Road runs past adjacent on your left to the church and graveyard in Newton. From the main road [Bridgend Road] take Clevis Crescent which then becomes Clevis Hill [quite narrow]. When the village green appears ahead take thed road visible ahead between the two trees. This is Beach Road. Have a good day. JDW

Recent talk

Yesterday evening, 23 participants enjoyed an excellent talk via Zoom, by Naturetrek leader Tom Mabbett. It centered on his favourite locations in the UK, entitled “The best of Britain, Ardnamurchan to The Forest of Dean”. In fact it covered those two locations plus Spurn in E. Yorkshire, the Somerset Levels and a couple of locations in his local patch near Cheltenham. An interesting presentation by an clearly enthusiastic naturalist. Thanks to all who ‘attended’.
Many folk will have heard of Naturetrek, a UK based natural history tour company. During the peak Covid period they set up free online virtual tours to some of their destinations and also have a number of free online talks scheduled, which folk might find interesting. There are links to these below. The talk yesterday was one of another set of talks which are given for free, to suitable organisations or groups such as ours, by some of their leaders. Also of interest is the forest reserve set up in Ecuador using money from their carbon offset donations that are allocated for every individual making a trip with them. Rather like our own carbon offset collections for our trips except we won’t be creating an Ecuadorian rain forest!

Free online talks to sign up for: https://www.naturetrek.co.uk/news/naturetrek-online-winter-roadshow
Free virtual tours: https://www.naturetrek.co.uk/tour-focus/virtual-tours
The carbon offeset nature reserve in Ecuador: https://www.naturetrek.co.uk/about-us/the-naturetrek-reserve

Two events next week

Tues 5th at 7:30 p.m. GBC committee member and local BTO rep Wayne Morris is giving a Zoom presentation on the ongoing Willing for Willow Tits project. Most members have been advised via the email news group but if you’re not on that, contact John Wilson for the login details – johndw1948 at gmail dot com.

On Thursday 7th Oct we have a local field trip to Cwm Nash hoping to see some migrants, and maybe even Chough if we’re lucky. If we have time we’ll maybe move east slightly to Nash Point where there may be a small parking charge if it’s still manned. Cwm Nash itself slopes down to the sea and there’s a concrete stile to negotiate, and if we venture at the seaward end of Cwm Nash up to the clifftop fields to the west, there will be a steep slope to negotiate – the fields are always worth a look. Meet in the car parking field at the end of the lane past the Plough & Harrow pub at Monknash [see maps below] at 9 a.m. or thereabouts. As always please let me know if you plan to come and please read the terms & conditions on the Website page https://glamorganbirds.org.uk/gbc-events/. As usual there is a voluntary green offset contribution to our climate emergency fund of £1 per head. If it’s wet, walking boots are recommended.
PS click each map to get a bigger one, then you shd be able to click and ‘Save as’, or take a screen shot.

Nature Plan for Vale of Glamorgan

A 10 year local nature plan is being devised for the Vale of Glamorgan, and of course included in the plan is birds. Below is the text of a a request for interest that has come to GBC, with details of what is involves and who to contact.

Can you help out the birds of the Vale of Glamorgan? 
The Vale of Glamorgan Nature Partnership, with the support of the local authority, is preparing a ten year nature plan. As part of that work it needs to set out the species of birds that will be prioritised for the period. Getting this right is important, as the wide range of bodies involved in the Partnership, which includes Glamorgan Bird Club, will commit to taking conservation actions to support the species identified in the Plan. 
We are looking for individuals with an interest and some knowledge of the birds in the Vale to help us agree on the priority list. We will be holding two, or maybe three, hour-long virtual meetings  in October with the first one on October 5th at 4pm and the second in the final week. The meetings would be about an hour long, and would be provided with SEWBREC records to help come to a view. We will also be able to give some ideas about the kind of actions that could be taken to support the species identified. 
Please let us know if you can help out – even if you can’t make the meetings your views or ideas would be welcome. Please contact local member David Pritchard (smudgepatch@gmail.com or @birdfossil on twitter) to express an interest or to feed in your thoughts. 

Upcoming field trip

Next Sunday, 26th Sep, there’s a field trip to Aberthaw, W of Barry  & Rhoose. We’ll have a wander round the area known as The Leys, west of the power station, then walk around the walkway that fronts the buildings, to East Aberthaw, to explore the area around the  pool there. If anyone is interested we could visit Rhoose afterwards to have a wander round the pools there. We start at West Aberthaw/Gileston as the parking for E Aberthaw is very limited, unless you use the carpark of the Blue Anchor pub but that is a very popular venue at the moment. Below is a map showing the access to W Aberthaw beach car park. Basically, travelling W on the B4265 you turn left at the St Athan crossroads, signposted Gileston, making sure you do a right at the minor T junction. Take care when entering the parking area – it is pretty bumpy [rocky] and pot-holed. I suggest meeting there at 9:30 a.m. Please email me to book a place – johndw1948 at gmail dot com.
Full details of current terms & conditions re field trips are on the Field trips events page here, including ref to our voluntary £1 per head green offset donation per our Climate Emergency Policy.

Upcoming trip & walk

There’s a trip to Kidwelly and Burry Port on Weds 18th Aug. High tide is around 2 p.m.. Please let me know by email if you would like to attend so I have an idea of numbers [johndw1948 at gmail dot com]. At present I think we shd still stick to our own transport as there’s no clear guidance on people sharing cars, although if one can travel on public transport [one assumes including taxis] with a mask then sharing car in the same manner could be argued to be no different. In any event in this case our usual meet point in N. Cardiff is in the wrong direction for me. At present I am inclined to suggest meeting at Burry Port first, at say 10 a.m. so that we have Kidwelly at its best on an incoming tide later. Otherwise meeting at Kidwelly at 10 would give us a long time around there before the tide became favourable. Below is a map showing the access to the Burry Port [old harbour] parking area. I note that just east of Burry Port town there’s a location called Ashpits Pond and Pwll Lagoon Nature Reserve. Does anyome know amnything about that?

Also there’s the standard KNNR monthly walk on Sat 21st Aug meeting at the KNNR centre at 9 a.m. Just turn up for that.

Upcoming field trip

Upcoming field trip. We have decided to cancel the scheduled trip to Taf Fechan NR which was to be on Sat 31st Jul, due to access problems and also the person who had offered to show us round is now not available.So, there will now be a trip to the old Llanilid opencast site SW of Llanharan on Sun 1st Aug. I cannot be there so Alan Rosney has kindly agreed to lead and be the contact to book a place. The meeting arrangements are 9 a.m. at St, Illtyd’s Meadow, just off Enterprise Way, CF72 9FX. See the map below. Book with Alan via email only, first come first served – alanrosney at gmail dot com. One track might be muddy so wear suitable footwear. The usual precautions regarding field trips at the moment are detailed on our Field Trips page on this website

The map is a little blurred but Enterprise Way is the road that goes south off the roundabout by the Co-op Food store Bryncae. The red arrow indicates the St Illtyd’s Meadow area. The main road through Bryncae is the A473

Field trip this w/e to Dare Valley CP

A bit short notice for which apologies. Most people have been alerted via the email group and on FB. We have a field trip to Parc Cwm Dare aka Dare Valley CP this coming Sunday, 13th June. As per current arrangements please email me, John Wilson, if you want to attend. Full details about the current field trip arrangements are on the Field Trips page of this site – click here. Plan is to meet in the car park at 9:30 a.m. Parking is free. Bring a packed lunch.

AGM 2021 -a summary

The 2021 AGM took place on 27th April and was attended via Zoom by 27 participants for which we are very grateful. It was followed by an excellent and enjoyable quiz devised by Alan Rosney. Thanks Alan! Minutes have been compiled by reference to the recording made of the meeting and can be seen, together with the accounts, on the GBC documents page on this site – click here to go there, and scroll down to the bottom. The minutes contain verbatim, our Chairperson’s [Jean Haslam] Trustees report.

Zoom presentation, Weds 5th May

Alert! We have organised another Zoom presentation for next Wednesday, 5th May 7:30 p.m.. This one is by Rob Thomas of Cardiff University who will be talking about the ‘Conservation of Welsh woodland birds in a changing environment’. An email invite with a link has been sent out to those on our News email group. If you’re not on that and wish to attend then please email John Wilson in good time, and he will email you the link. John is on johndw1948 ‘at’ gmail ‘dot’ com.

Newsletter April 2021 – contains AGM notice

Alan Rosney has just published our newsletter for April 2021. This has been emailed out electronically as a pdf document. It is now uploaded to GBC’s storage on Google Drive so can be viewed and downloaded by clicking on this link.

This one is top notch and contains lots of info, and importantly also contains notice of the AGM which of necessity is being held virtually via Zoom, as per our recent ‘indoor’ meetings. An invite link will be sent out nearer the time.

Photos for the 2020 Bird Report

It’s time we started collecting together potential images for the 2020 East Glam Bird Report [EGBR] now that all the records are in and work will soon start on writing up species summaries.
First of all our photo editor for the last 23 years has been Club member Richard Smith [indeed Richard was one of the founding members of GBC]. Richard has now decided to pass the baton on and we are truly very grateful for the excellent job he has done for all that time. It is worth recording that his ‘term of office’ started in the pre-digital age when we were collecting in colour prints and transparencies, which had to be scanned, either by ourselves or the printer. Many thanks Richard. The good news is that we already have a new photo editor in Club member Tom Wright of Ewenny. Tom is one of our younger members and a good photographer in his own right. So many thanks Tom for stepping into the breach.
Basically we are after images taken in our area in 2020. Rather than elaborate fully here, all details about what is required, together with Tom’s contact details and ways of transferring images, have been put together in a pdf guide which can be downloaded by clicking here.

Upcoming Zoom presentation

Glamorgan Bird Club is very excited to promote one of our upcoming events. As part of our on-going Swift project, we have the founder of the Swift Conservation organisation, Edward Mayer, presenting an on-line lecture “Swifts- birds we can help”. Edward will be telling us all about this charismatic urban bird and the work that is going on to conserve them. Edward set up “London Swifts” in 2002, which later morphed in to “Swift Conservation” in 2008 www.swift-conservation.org As a former urban planner he has a great understanding of the built environment and consequently the conservation of urban wildlife. The talk will be via Zoom and will take place next Tuesday, 2nd March at 7:30 p.m. If you’d like to attend please contact Alan Rosney or John Wilson to arrange an official invite.

Click here for a pdf of a resumé of what the presentation is about.

Click here for Edward’s CV.

Zoom talk, Tues 2nd Feb

As already alerted, here’s the invite to the above talk by Paul Bowden. The room will open at 7 p.m.. Please make sure your audio is muted whilst the talk is in progress. You can join either by entering the ID and password or clicking the link.

Glamorgan Birds is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: GBC talk Northern Africa
Time: Feb 2, 2021 19:00 London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88458752820?pwd=NHpneE5IaTVIRDMrK1E2RVVlZVlvZz09

Meeting ID: 884 5875 2820
Passcode: 225492

Notice of Zoom talk

Following our successful last couple of Zoom talks, we have another, on Tuesday next week, 2nd Feb, when club member Paul Bowden will be giving us an illustrated talk about birding in northern Africa – Morocco, Libya and Egypt. Some warmer climes to take us away from the cold & damp. It will start at 7:15 p.m. A link to join the meeting will be put on here and our Facebook page, and also in the list of meetings under ‘Events’, on Sunday 31st Jan.