Curlews in danger - summer records urgently required

It is estimated that since the 1990’s, Wales has lost up to 80% of its breeding Curlew population. It is widely considered that there may now be less than 400 breeding pairs in Wales. Curlews are rapidly edging towards extinction as a breeding species in our country and we urgently require information to locate breeding pairs and target conservation measures to protect them. The North Wales Curlew Action Group need you to report sightings of this highly endangered bird during the breeding season (April-July) in North Wales to assess their numbers and improve their conservation. For further details, please go to the COFNOD page here.

Justice for Ravens!

In April 2018, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) issued a licence permitting gamekeepers to kill young ravens across a large area called Strathbraan, in Highland Perthshire. Much of Strathbraan is managed for grouse shooting and the area has been identified as a wildlife crime hotspot. The Scottish Raptor Study Group is mounting a legal challenge against SNH’s decision to authorise the killing of ravens ‘just to see what happens’ – but they need your help. The situation is very similar to WOS’s campaign for proper scientific research before licences are granted to cull fish-eating birds (e.g. Cormorant and Goosander) and if you want to contribute to the Scottish campaign please share on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #Justice4Ravens to help spread the word. The link to the Scottish campaign can be found here.

Scarce sightings during April and May 2018

After a strange start to the spring, with cold weather, rain and heavy snow during March, spring migration picked up from the third week in April onwards and Bardsey in particular ended May in spectacular style with potentially the first White-spotted Bluethroat for Wales ringed on 26th and a plethora of rarer warblers, with two Eastern Subalpines, a Blyth’s Reed and a Greenish during the last week of the month. It was tempting to show another Snowy Owl picture here, with an apparently new bird on Skomer on 30th May! We are delighted to report that we will be returning to updating this feature on a monthly basis, rather than quarterly and full details for April and May can be found here.

Summer invasion of Rosy Starlings - it's happening!

During the first half of May there were reports of thousands of Rosy Starlings moving north-west through Greece from their middle eastern home territory and by 22nd May 555 were recorded in a single day in Hungary, with large flocks in Italy and southern France by the beginning of June. Now it looks as if the UK, including Wales, is experiencing the western edge of an invasion – the first two Welsh records of the year came from Treaddur Bay (Anglesey) on 27th May and there have already been a number of June records in both north and south Wales. During the week from 13th June no fewer than 16 new Rosy Starlings sprang up during the week, encompassing all points of Britain and Ireland. They are spread as far as Helston, Cornwall, and Cape Clear, Cork, in the south-west to Gulberwick, Mainland Shetland, in the north-east, and from Valtos, Lewis, in the north-west to Hailsham, East Sussex, in the south-east. Significantly further inland than the other new arrivals was one at Spean Bridge, Highland, on 16-17th. In total 24 sites played host to 25 individuals, and at this of year many are handsome adults, if they haven’t started moulting, so check your local Common Starling flocks over the next few weeks for exotic visitors and report any sightings (with photos if possible) to the Welsh Records Panel.

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Events for birdwatchers in Wales

Carmarthenshire Bird Club : Field Meeting – Dinefwr Country Park & Llangadog.
Jun 23 @ 9:30 am – 4:00 pm

Dinefwr Country Park & Llangadog 09:45 Dinefwr Country Park car park Meet 9.45 in the car park to explore the woods and pools. There is an entry fee if you are not a member of the National Trust or the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales. In the afternoon we will move on to Pont Carreg Sawdde for hopefully dipper, stonechat and spring migrants.

Events organiser Wendell Thomas – 07912 577626

Wrexham Birdwatchers Group : Field Meeting – Aber Falls.
Jun 24 @ 9:30 am – 4:00 pm

Sunday 24th June: Aber Falls – 9.30 am. Leader Barry Rogers (01978758338).

Meet at Belle Vue Garage, Wrexham LL13 7NU.

Full day meeting, picnic required.

Glamorgan Bird Club : Field Meeting – Rhossili & The Worm.
Jul 1 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

Sunday 1st July – Rhossili & the Worm (F) 2-4 A visit to this spectacular headland. In the afternoon, there will be the option to visit the Outer Worm. We hope to see Chough, Razorbill, Puffin and Guillemot. Low tide 15:03.

Field Meetings – Contact John Wilson ( at least seven days before the due date. Bring packed lunch and suitable clothing/footwear. Participants may be expected to car share. The meeting place in Cardiff for many trips is St Margaret’s Road in Whitchurch, Cardiff – see the map opposite. We meet at the A4054 end.

Gwent Ornithological Society :Outdoor Meeting – Goytre House Wood.
Jul 1 @ 8:30 am – 4:00 pm

Goytre House Wood, Sunday 01 July at 08.30 hrs.
Leader: Alan Williams.
Meet Alan in the Goytre car park by the Goytre Arms (SO322046) at 08:30. A 3-4 hour walk. Woodland birds including flycatchers and canal birds. Phone: 01873 880165.

For further information please contact Dave Brassey on 01633 664212. Note that in some rural areas the nearest post code (and therefore your sat nav) may not take you to the exact parking place. Use a map and the grid reference to find this.