2020 Bird Records

It’s the new year, so time to get all your records/observations for 2020, however limited they may be, to me, for collation into the master spreadsheet of records so work can start on the 2020 East Glam Bird Report. I have already extracted the 2020 data from BirdTrack and have received individual records from four individuals. If you haven’t Bird Tracked your records yet then when you have you’ll have to extract them yourself and send them to me separately. Thanks in advance folks. John Wilson.

Jan 2021 newsletter

John Wilson here. Alan Rosney has now completed the first newsletter of 2021 so well done Alan. It’s problematic [and not necessarily safe] getting to the post office for him at the mo so those who receive theirs by email will do so. For everyone else, it is in pdf form and I have just uploaded it to our Google Drive. It can be seen [and downloaded] by clicking HERE.

Zoom presentation 5th Jan!

Just checking my laptop diary to suddenly be reminded that it was agreed I would give a Zoom prersentation on a trip we did to Thailand at the beginning of last year, the presentation being on Tuesday i.e. 5th Jan. Really sorry for the short notice but with Christmas in the interim it had slipped my mind. It will start at 7:30 p.m. with the Zoom room opening at around 7:15. Here’s a link to join: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/9727102016… John Wilson

Zoom presentation Tues 15th Dec

Just a reminder that we have our second online Zoom presentation tomorrow [Tues 15th] eve at 7:30 p.m.. A presentation by Dr Sophie lee-Williams on the Eagle Reintroduction Wales project, full details of which were in the post here on 10th Dec. If you want to join the meeting and watch the presentation you’ll need Zoom installed on your device and you can automatically join in by clicking this link:https://us02web.zoom.us/j/9727102016…Please ensure that your device microphone is muted during the talk. The meeting will be open to join from 7:15 with a view to starting at 7:30.

Zoom talk – 15th Dec

We have arranged another Zoom talk, which will be on Tues 15th Dec at 7:30 p.m. This one is about the “Eagle Reintroduction Wales” project, which is looking into the possibility of reintroducing Golden- and White-tailed Eagles into Wales. The talk will be given by the project founder and manager, Dr. Sophie lee-Williams who is a raptor biologist. Details about the project can be seen on their website – https://www.eaglereintroductionwales.com/. The meeting will be hosted on the GBC Zoom account and we will open it to participants at around 7:15 p.m. We’d rather not make the login and password public so if you are interested in listening, please email John Wilson for the details [johndw1948 at gmail dot com].

Covid–19 update – Club outings

Important announcement: We’re sorry to announce that we have decided that, at present, all future Kenfig walks and GBC field trips will not run. We took this decision at a committee meeting on Tues 8th Dec in view of the latest Public Health Wales Covid-19 statement, which can be seen here: https://covid19-phwstatement.nhs.wales/. The third and fourth paragraphs are particularly pertinent. We realise that the Welsh Govt rules still state that ‘organised outdoor events’ such as sport or exercise in groups of up to 30 people are still allowed with certain provisos [this is in the exceedingly long FAQ page under “Sport and outdoor activity”, here: https://gov.wales/coronavirus-regulations-guidance…]. We nevertheless feel that the NHS Wales statement carries more weight, particularly in the phrase ” everyone should immediately start to limit their interactions with other {sic} as much as possible in the lead up to the festive period”, hence our decision. We will continue to try and arrange Zoom talks – see separate post – indeed there’s another on Tues 15th – see separate post [which will be above this one!]

We hope you all understand. We also have in mind of course, the alarming increases in Covid cases in Wales at the moment.

KNNR – GBC position statement regarding the future

The GBC committee, along with many of the club’s members, is very concerned about the future management of Kenfig NNR following the recent announcement that NRW will not be taking on the lease to manage the site. GBC trustees wish to reassure members that we have always been committed to working with whichever organisation is ultimately responsible for managing the reserve. To that end we have requested a meeting with KCT, who intend to oversee the management of the site themselves, to discuss the immediate future of Kenfig and how we can work with them to secure its integrity as a NNR. We will update you all as the situation develops.

A second Zoom presentation

We are pleased to announce that we have arranged for someone from the Eagle Reintroduction Wales project to give us a Zoom presentation on Tues 15th December starting at 7:30 p.m. This will follow the same pattern as the ‘Lost Peatlands’ presentation we had on 20th October. Put the date & time in your diary and keep checking here for details of how to joint the meeting when the time comes. For further info on the project, here’s a link to their website: https://www.eaglereintroductionwales.com/.

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:
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


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