Before 2021 there had only ever been one book giving a complete account of all the bird species ever recorded in Wales. This was Birds in Wales, by Roger Lovegrove, Graham Williams and Iolo Williams, published by Poyser in 1994. This volume has been of huge value for bird conservation in Wales since then, a first port of call for birdwatchers and conservationists alike. However, the information contained in it is now nearly thirty years old, and there have been great changes in the fortunes of many species since it was published. In 2002 the Welsh Ornithological Society published Birds in Wales 1992-2000 by Jon Green to update the original Birds in Wales, but the time has now come for a new book to give an up-to-date picture of the birds of Wales.
There have been very significant changes since Birds in Wales was published in 1994. The list of birds recorded in Wales is longer now, with a good number of new species recorded as vagrants. Wales has gained several new breeding species, notably Little Egret, Eider, Avocet and Dartford Warbler. Other species, such as Great White Egret, are being seen in Wales in much greater numbers than formerly and may well breed in the next few years. On the other hand, some breeding species have been lost since 1994; the Corn Bunting was already in trouble in Wales in 1994 but has now vanished as a breeder. Perhaps more significant still is that some species which appeared to be reasonably secure in 1994, such as the Curlew, are now in real trouble.
To mark WOS’ 30th anniversary, a complete new avifauna, describing the history and current status of every bird ever recorded in Wales, common and rare, with an assessment of the conservation issues facing our breeding birds, has been produced by WOS and is published by Liverpool University Press. The publication of this new book gives an up-to-date picture of how well or how badly our birds are faring and is an invaluable resource for anybody interested in birds in Wales.