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:

Two upcoming events

Apologies for the short notice. On this coming Sunday 2nd Feb there’s a field trip to Llanelli WWT reserve. We normally try and be there by opening time which is 09:30. This fits in with high water which is 11:30 so we’ll catch the rising tide. Please note there is a charge for non-members of WWT. Adult admission is £9.70 or £8.25 for concessions. If folk can car share all well and good. I’d rather not go to St Margaret’s Road as it’s in the opposite direction for me. It takes about an hour with a clear run from me so I’ll be leaving Penarth at around 08:30. Please let me know if you are coming.

The other event is an indoor meeting on next Tuesday 4th Feb, when Paul Bowden is giving us an illustrated talk on Birding in Eastern Europe, specifically Belarus and Bulgaria. As now announced on the Events page, this will be at the new venue of the Pencoed Miners Welfare Hall, which is 5 mins off J.35 of the M4. Click here for details. Meetings there start promptly at 7:30 p.m. so arrive before then.

Bird Records

It’s that time of year again! At the end of this month I will be tackling the dreaded BirdTrack download for East Glam for all the records from 2019. So this is a request to make sure that if you use BirdTrack, you are all up to date for 2019.

Also if you record in any other way, the the same applies. If you send records direct to me, then please do so, or if you use SEWBReC or any other method of recording, plus make sure your records are up to date.

Many thanks, John Wilson East Glam Report editor

Field trip Weds 22nd Jan

Late notice but I’ve been away on a birding trip to Thailand.

I’m at our hotel prior to our return fight from Thailand tomorrow, so whilst I have WiFi just to say that there’s a local field trip to Cosmeston and Cardiff Bay on Weds 22nd Jan. I propose to meet people at the Cosmeston car park at 09:30 or as near as poss depending on morning traffic. We will do a walk around there and then probably go to the Penarth side of the barrage so look for the Black Redstart and anything else that might be around. I can’t promise to be fully alert after the travel, plus I’ve had a persistent cough since 24th Dec which has lasted all this holiday and has still not cleared up, but we’ll see how it goes.

Field trip on Sun 5th Jan

The first field trip of 2020 is the annual jaunt to Whiteford Point on Gower on 5th January. I will be away so Alan Rosney has kindly agreed to lead this one. I am posting now before the Christmas break as I will be preparing for a long haul trip afterwards. Due to the high tide time, the meet time will be 9 a.m. in the Cwm Ivy car park.Here’s a link to a map of its location:https://streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=244155&Y=193559&A=Y&Z=120
In view of recent weather, wellies or sturdy waterproof boots are the order of the day [it’s a wettish walk in any case]. If you’ve not been before be aware that it’s a longish walk out to the point [roughly 3 km each way]. Also be aware that on the walk back the last bit is a steep uphill stretch back to the car park. The main part out to Whiteford Point and back is level but uneven in places. Please contact Alan Rosney in case of any queries [alanrosney@gmail.com] and also to let him know if you are coming. Thanks, John Wilson.