Cambrian Ornithological Society

COS is the county bird club for northwest Wales and produces the annual Cambrian Bird Report for the counties of Caernarfon, Anglesey and Meirionnydd. COS is affiliated to the Welsh Ornithological Society, which hosts these pages.

All indoor meetings are held at Pensychnant Conservation Centre (01492 592595) at the top of Sychnant Pass, above Conwy, LL32 8BJ and start at 7.30pm. 

Starting times for field trips vary – see programme below for times. For field visits bring lunch and suitable outdoor clothing – for any queries contact Geoff Gibbs (01248 681936) or Gareth Jones (01248 601319).

Occasionally meetings (both indoor and outdoor) have had to be cancelled due to inclement weather. In case of doubt, please contact the trip leader or Pensychnant to confirm whether the meeting is going ahead as planned.

Please phone the trip leader if interested in car sharing for field excursions.

The most recent Bulletin (no. 189) can be downloaded here.

Subscriptions 2020: Adult (single) £12; Couple £14; Student / Junior £6.


Friday 3rd January:  The Taj, tigers and birds of Northern India by Tony Waller (COS).

Tony will showcase some of the wildlife and culture of Bhutan and Northern India, ending with a treatise on the decline of vultures on the Indian sub-continent.

Friday 7th February:  Blue Faeries by Richard Birch.

Blue Faeries is a film about conservation in Australia, covering three generations of experience and coming right up to date with Richard’s trip to Australia to revisit some of the conservation projects in 2019. Richard won’t divulge the basis of the title ‘Blue Faeries’ so you will have to come along and find out!

Friday 6th March: How the wild things get there: tackling the mystery of bird migration by Richard Holland (Bangor University).

Richard Holland researches the cognitive processes and sensory mechanisms by which animals navigate and migrate. He will compare and contrast across species, taxa, age class, spatial scale and sensory mechanisms to reveal how natural selection has acted to shape navigation behaviour in different animal groups.

Sunday 22nd March: Field Trip to Pwllheli Harbour. Leader: Geoff Gibbs

Herons and waders are on our lists today on a falling tide. Meet at the War Memorial, Pwllheli Harbour SH375348 at 10.00am.

Friday 3rd April: Water for Life by Keith Offord.

From the wildfowl and waders of our coasts, lakes and streams, birds exhibit a variety of fascinating adaptations for an aquatic existence. Equally, adaptation is needed to meet the challenges faced by those species living in arid environments.

Wednesday 8th April: Field trip to Anafon Valley / Abergwyngeregyn Woods. Leader: Jo Porteous.

This is always a popular meeting to try and find Ring Ouzels before they move to their higher breeding grounds. Meet at Village Car Park by Aber Falls pub SH657728, LL33 0LF at 9.00 am.

Friday 1st MayThe Nightingales of Fingringhoe Wick by Matt Cole.

Matt Cole now works for North Wales Wildlife Trust. Until 2017 he managed the Essex Wildlife Trust Fingringhoe Wick coastal reserve which hosts 40 pairs of Nightingales.

Saturday 2nd May: Field trip to Cors Ddyga / Maltraeth Marsh. Leader: Ian Hawkins (RSPB).

This reserve has continued to improve and at this time of year migrants will be passing and hopefully staying for us. Bittern and Marsh Harrier should also be possible. Meet in the RSPB car park off the A5 below Pentre Berw SH463726, LL60 6LD at 8.00 am.

Saturday 23rd May: Coach trip to Ynys Hir and the Dyfi Ospreys. Leader: Geoff Gibbs.

 It’s always nice to see Redstart and Pied Flycatchers at Ynys Hir – even Lesser Spotted Woodpecker if you’re lucky; as well as the Ospreys at Cors Dyfi. Pick up: Llandudno Tesco bus stop 7.30am, Llanfairfechan bus stop by the bridge 7.45am, Bangor Beach Road car park by Texaco garage 8.00am. Times will be confirmed in the Bulletin. £15 deposit – cash or cheque payable to Cambrian Ornithological Society to book.

Wednesday 17th June: Field Trip to Woolston Eyes Nature Reserve. Leader: Gareth Jones.

This is the place for breeding Black-necked Grebe which will be in their fantastic summer plumage. Willow Tit may also be a possibility. Meet at the barrier on Thelwall Lane, Warrington WA4 1PD, SJ649878 at 9.00am. Permit (£2) payable on the day. Numbers will be restricted, so book early – phone Gareth Jones on 01248 601319 or email

Friday 4th SeptemberRSPB South Stack / Ynys Lawd by Laura Kudelska (RSPB)

An update on the birds of South Stack, including a personal view on the lives and individual characters of the local Choughs.

Saturday 19th September: Field Trip to Cemlyn and the surrounding area, including Dulas. Leader:Tony White.

This is a good time for migrants and hopefully some rarities will be around. Meet at the car park on the west side of the lagoon SH329936 at 9.00am.

Friday 2nd October: Birding in Japan by Niall Hatch (Birdwatch Ireland).

Comprising almost 7000 islands spanning more than 3000 km, Japan has a vast array of different habitats. It is a birder’s dram: Niall has made several visits to Japan and will share his experiences and some of his favourite birds, and explain how to get the most out of a birding visit to this fascinating, safe and friendly country.

Sunday 11th October: Field trip to Great Orme. Leader: John Small.

This area is always good for surprises at this time of year and could include Yellow-browed Warblers, Snow and Lapland Buntings and Ring Ouzels. Meet at St Tudno’s Church car park SH769838 at 9.00am.

Friday 6th November: North Carolina: Birding the Outer Banks and beyond by Rhys Jones.

The Outer Banks are barrier islands, barricading the coast from the Atlantic Ocean. Hundreds of miles of deserted beaches, maritime forest and marshlands are home to many different native waders and thousands of migrating birds.

Friday 4th December at 2.00 pm (note afternoon start): AGM, followed by Four Old Gits Birding Thailand by Rhion Pritchard and Gareth Jones (COS).

The title says it all!


In 2017 COS published Birds of Caernarfonshire, the first county avifauna since 1997, written by Rhion Pritchard. Click here to order yours (discount for COS and WOS members).

COS has also published Adar Meirionnydd/Birds of Meirionnydd, written by Rhion Pritchard. Click here for details.

Members receive the Cambrian Bird Report and four Bulletins (click here for the latest issue) each year. And there’s a year-round programme of indoor meetings and field trips. The annual subscription, due in January, is £12 (£14 for couples, £6 for student/junior members).


Hon. President: Maryann Williams, Plas Elwy, Llanfair T.H., Abergele LL22 8YT
Tel: 01745 720307. Email

Hon. Treasurer: Gareth Jones, Felin Hen Uchaf, Tregarth, LL57 4BB.
Tel: 01248 681268. Email

Hon. Secretary: Julian Thompson, Pensychnant, Sychnant Pass, Conwy LL32 8BJ.
Tel: 01492 592595. Email

Membership Secretary: Dr Jeff Williams Plas Elwy, Llanfair T.H., Abergele, LL22 8YT.

Tel: 01745 720307 Email

Bird Report Editor: John Small, 4 Roosevelt Terrace, Llandudno Junction
Tel: 01492 592510. Email

Bulletin Editor: Geoff Gibbs, Fron Wen, Valley Road, Llanfairfechan LL33 0ET
Tel: 01248 681936. Email

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