National Conference 2018 - booking now open for all

The 2018 Conference, on Welsh Woodlands and their birds will be held at Neuadd Reichel, Bangor on Saturday 3 November. Places are likely to be sold out several weeks in advance (they’re already going quickly!) and general booking is now open: non-members £35 + VAT and WOS members £30. As usual, we have reserved six free places for 16-25 year olds and if you are eligible and would like to apply for one of these, please email directly. The full programme and booking details are on our Conference page here.

Why do Guillemots lay pear-shaped eggs?

Professor Tim Birkhead and his research team on Skomer reckon they’ve finally come up with a convincing answer to the curious shape of Guillemot eggs – and why they’re different from Razorbill eggs. Have a look at their fascinating video, which was filmed on Skomer and has links at the end to their scientific papers here.

National Willow Tit survey in 2019-20

The Rare Breeding Birds Panel (RBBP), RSPB and WOS are working to deliver a national Willow Tit survey in 2019 and 2020. At this stage, if you are keen to be involved in this national survey can you please either let your county bird recorder know, or contact the national survey organiser Simon Wotton ( We’ll also be providing a WOS contact soon as well. The RSPB have produced a leaflet giving some details of how the survey will operate – please have a look at it here.

BTO Tawny Owl survey (TOPS) is now live!

To find out more, and to get involved, follow the link to the BTO survey page here.

Scarce sightings during August 2018

Two long stayers continued to delight visiting birders: there was late news again of the SNOWY OWL which was seen by walkers on Carnedd Llewelyn (Caernarfonshire) on 26th July, leaving a couple of feathers and a pellet from its spot as it flew off, and the queen KING EIDER was still on the Dovey near RSPB Ynys Hir over 3rd -13th. 5 GREAT SHEARWATERS were off Strumble (Pembrokeshire), 3 off Bardsey and 1 off Porth Ysgaden (Caernarfonshire) on 16th. Strumble also notched up 3 Balearic Shearwater, 3 Sooty Shearwater, Pomarine Skua, Roseate Tern and a European Storm Petrel. Other Great Shearwaters were off Skokholm on 18th and again off Bardsey on 19th. Sabine’s Gulls were off Abersoch 27th and Strumble on 25th and 27th. Wood Sandpipers were at RSPB Conwy over 8th -22nd, Marloes Mere (Pembrokeshire) on 12th, NWR on 7th, and Llanilid Opencast Workings (Glamorgan) on 4th. A Grey Phalarope was off Mwnt (Ceredigion) on 25th. Over summering Glaucous Gulls aren’t common in Wales and the bird remained at Llanddulas (Denbighshire), with another at Afon-wen (Caernarfonshire) from 4th-8th. A Great Skua was chasing gulls and terns off Point of Ayr on 15th and Wales’ annual Mediterranean Gull flock at Llanrhystud topped 500 birds mid-month with several colour rings among them. A Sabine’s Gull was a good inland record at Rhaslas Pond (Glamorgan) on 20th. A GLOSSY IBIS was at Dowrog Common (Pembrokeshire) on 19th. Great White Egrets were at RSPB Conwy on 19th, at Llyn Traffwll (Anglesey) on 21st and Llyn Alaw on 25th. Two Spoonbills were at the NWC (Carmarthen) on 21st. Black Terns were off Rhos Point on 21st, Point Lynas on 25th, Ynyslas (Ceredigion) and Pembrey (Carmarthen) on 27th and a Wryneck was at Trawsnant (Glamorgan) on 28-29th.

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Events for birdwatchers in Wales

Glamorgan Bird Club : Field Meeting – Llandegfedd Reservoir.
Sep 19 @ 8:00 am – 4:00 pm

Wednesday 19th September – Llandegfedd Reservoir. We’re hoping Osprey will be present. There’s the likelihood of terns and waders too.

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 : Indoor Meeting – Birding Tours in Africa, an illustrated talk by Marcus John.
Sep 22 @ 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm

From South Africa to Ethiopia, via The Gambia and Tanzania.

All indoor meetings are held on Saturdays at Goytre Village Hall, Penperlleni (SO 323 046) and start at 7:30pm. An entrance fee of £2.00 includes tea and biscuits. Open to non-members.

Wrexham Birdwatchers Group : Field Meeting – Wirral.
Sep 23 @ 9:30 am – 4:00 pm

Sunday 23rd September: Wirral – 9.30 am. Leader: Kevin Smith (01978354551).

Belle Vue Garage, Wrexham LL13 7NU.

Full day meeting, Picnic required.

Glamorgan Bird Club : Indoor Meeting – Peregrines & Goshawks a talk by Stephen Watson.
Oct 2 @ 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm

Tuesday 2nd October – Peregrines & Goshawks – Stephen Watson (I) A new face for GBC. Stephen will tell us all about these magnificent birds of prey.

Indoor Meetings – These are generally held on the first Tuesday of the month during the winter months. Start 7.45pm in the Kenfig National Nature Reserve’s Visitor Centre, Kenfig. Contact Paul Denning (01443 202607) for details.