BTO Cymru

Croeso i blog BTO Cymru. Welcome to BTO Cymru's blog

Friday, 15 November 2013

Where do you go to my lovely?

On Tuesday BTO ringers from the SCAN ringing group and RSPB staff at Ynys Hir caught and ringed 25 Barnacle geese from the increasing winter flock there.

Barnacle geese breed in Greenland and Svalbard with small populations in Finland and Denmark, a large proportion of these winter in Britain and Ireland. In addition, there are substantial feral populations in England.

The Dyfi birds arrive annually in early to mid-September and leave by early January we do not know where they come from or go to. Since the flock has increased in number and now numbers 300-400 birds it was felt  important to know if it was a new, wild wintering population or just feral birds.

 Of the 25 birds, 23 were adults and two were juveniles. Each was ringed and measured and had a special plastic colour ring added so that it could be easily identified in the field

 It is hoped that birdwatchers in the UK and across Europe will look out for these birds so that we can find out more about this beautiful bird.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Long Service Awards

The unsung hero’s of the BTO are the dedicated network of regional reps, who are the main link between the scientific staff at Thetford and the volunteers on the ground. They do a tremendous job every year, motivating the volunteers to get involved with all the on-going surveys. Without this dedication, local knowledge, and sheer determination the volunteer network would not be the efficient machine it is today.
At the recent Welsh Ornithological Society conference two of Wales’s regional reps were presented with their long service awards.  Both Moira Convery, Ceredigion and Jerry Lewis,  Gwent have been in post now for 15 years, and a well-deserved thank you for their efforts.

Nigel Clarke BTO Thetford, Moira Convery, Kelvin Jones, Jerry Lewis

Thursday, 26 September 2013

The Breeding Birds of North Wales Adar Nythu Gogledd Cymru

Tuesday the 1st October will see the launch of the first tetrad level atlas of the Breeding Birds of North Wales. it's a great book with big pages, photos of birds and N Wales habitats, lots of maps and of course full colour. It weighs 5lb! At £20 (+ delivery) a great bargain, price goes up to £45 on October 2nd.
To order now, see or phone Janet McDermott 0151 794 2233 for credit card sales.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

BTO/NWWT/Plantlife Garden Wildlife Conference

A one-day conference on garden wildlife
Sat 9th Nov 2013 09:30 - 16:30
Brambell Building, University of Bangor
Deiniol Road
Bangor LL57 2UW
United Kingdom
Tickets for this event cost £12 per person, including lunch and refreshments, and are available from the BTO Garden Ecology Team on a first-come, first-served basis

0930 Doors open
1000 Welcome and introduction.
1010 Mike Toms (BTO) – Gardens: good for wildlife?
1040 Iwan Edwards (NWWT) – Living Churchyards - Burial Sites brimming with life!
1110 Tea/coffee
1140 Clare Simm (BTO) – Reptiles and amphibians in gardens.
1210 Anna Williams (NWWT) – The Wildlife Gardening Partnership.
1240 Lunch with tea /coffee
1345 Dr Trevor Dines (Plantlife) – Grow wild to know wild.
1415 Dr Richard Birch (Capita Symonds) – Going the extra mile.
1500 Tea/coffee
1530 Geoff Gibbs/ Kelvin Jones (BTO) – Beyond the garden gate.
1600 Questions and close.

PARKING: We will arrange for a number of spaces next to the venue for those with access difficulties. There are a number of public car parks within 250 yards of the venue.
Booking contact details: 
 Garden Ecology Team 01842-750050

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Welsh Raptor Monitoring Project

On Saturday 31st August  43 persons from across the raptor spectrum in Wales gathered at Newtown,  Powys to discuss the formation of a Welsh Raptor Monitoring Scheme. Assembled were members from the Welsh raptor groups,  Barn owl groups, Peregrine groups, Osprey groups, and the Welsh Kite Trust, together with various non-governmental organisations, the BTO and RSPB and the Wildlife Trusts.

BTO Scotland’s Dr. Chris Wernham gave a very informative presentation on how the scheme works in Scotland, and how we could build on the consensus of those present, and progress with our own scheme. The establishment of such a scheme will allow the individual projects, and the various groups to maintain their identities under a common banner, whilst allowing the collation of data gathered to be used for conservation purposes, and the speedy production of an annual report.

The proposed 2014 National peregrine Survey was discussed and it became obvious that since the last survey in 2003 that there have been some significant and very interesting changes in the distribution of Welsh Peregrines.

Following a rather unpopular name change which we will not mention, the Wales Raptor Study Group has reverted to it’s original title. With all the new developments the existing Chair decided that it was time for a new broom and Ian Spence the former coordinator of the North East Wales Raptor Study Group has agreed to take on the role.

The next meeting will be held at the beginning of 2014, and again is open to all raptor workers in Wales.     Dr Dave Leach of the BTO's nest recording unit has agreed to come and speak.  If you would like to become involved and are not on the current mailing list please contact Kelvin Jones at BTO Cymru who is the acting secretary. 

Friday, 5 July 2013

Old technology still comes up trumps

While the new technology is exiting and grabs the public imagination, let us not forget that colour ringing still plays a very important part in many cutting edge ringing studies.  Jerry Lewis and his team in south east Wales, and Tony Cross and team in the north west have been studying what were thought to be two separate populations of Hawfinch. Imagine the excitement when garden Birdwatch regular Trevor Bashford who regularly photographs colour ringed Hawfinches in his garden took this shot of a white ringed male bird. His usual’s are yellow, so after a couple of frantic phone calls by the team it transpired it is one of Jerry’s from the south east. This is the first know movement between the two populations.

  photo Trevor Bashford

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Oystercatcher goes to Orkney for the summer

The Lavan Sands estuary system is a designated Special Protection Area for its large wintering population of Eurasian Oystercatcher haematopus ostralegus. They have been counted and studied by SCAN ringing group, and local volunteers for more than 30 years, and a new colour-ringing study started in November 2012 to study the wintering birds use of various parts of the estuary

On the 3rd June one of Lavan sands wintering Oystercatchers, which was caught and ringed at Beaumaris, was seen on territory in Birsay, Orkney. Over the years over 50 Oystercatchers ringed during the winter on traeth Lavan have been seen or recovered in Orkney.

For further details or to help with the project email:

Monday, 22 April 2013

Arolwg Crecod Cymru Wales Chat Survey

Mae'r Gwanwyn wedi cyrraedd o’r diwedd a dros yr wythnos diwethaf fel mae'r tywydd wedi gwella ar wyntoedd yn dod o’r de, mae hyn wedi rhoi cyfle i’r adar ymfudol cyrraedd.  Dros y penwythnos diwethaf mae niferoedd o’r adar ymfudol wedi cofnodi wedi codi, a hefyd sawl aderyn prin wedi cyrraedd. Telor brongoch a Chigydd pengoch yn Aberdaron, Bod pallid ar Skomer, a cheiliog Euryn bendigedig yn Cemlyn.

Dilyn y tywydd difrifol llynedd, mae arolwg Crecod Cymru yn cael ei ail redeg eleni, er myn adeiladu ar ganlyniadau llynedd. Mae'r arolwg yn ail gychwyn hefo nifer o sgwariau newydd i ddewis

Os yw tywydd y gwanwyn yn rhoi gyrfa i chi fynd allan i chwilio am adar, cefnogwch yr arolwg a dewiswch sgwâr Crec, a ewch i chwilio am yr aderyn prin, a Crecod hefyd.

Am fwy o fanylion sut i ymeryd rhan, ac i weld pa sgwaria sydd ar gael ewch i wefan y BTO.

                                                                                                  Jill Pakenham

Spring has finally arrived and over the past week the improving weather and southerly winds have allowed our migrant birds to return. This last weekend has seen good numbers of returning migrants plus a few unexpected rarities. Subalpine Warbler and Woodchat Shrike at Aberdaron, Pallid Harrier, Skomer, and a superb male Golden Oriole at Cemlyn in Anglesey.

Following the appalling wet weather last year the Wales Chat survey is being run again this year, with the aim of building upon last year’s results.. The survey has been re-launched with a new selection of random squares.

If the spring weather is urging you to get out, sign up for a Chat square and see if you can find an elusive rarity as well as a spring Chat.

For more details on how to take part and to check for available squares, visit the BTO Website

Friday, 15 March 2013

Wales Chat Survey 2013

The Wales Chat Survey for 2013 is now live on the BTO web site. As you are probably aware the appalling weather last year meant that insufficient squares were covered to produce scientifically robust results. To this end we are repeating the survey this year with a selection of new squares and the squares which did not get covered last year.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Llysgenhadon gwylio adar yr ardd Garden birdwatch ambassadors

Amanda Skull is one of three Garden Birdwatch ambassadors in Wales. Amanda does a monthly newsletter which can be accessed here. She is pictured here with Mick Bailey who is based at Cwmbran. The third ambassador is David Lee based at Llanfairfechan.

A short introduction from Amanda

"I am one of two volunteer Garden BirdWatch Ambassadors for the BTO's Garden BirdWatch survey in South Wales. My role is to promote Garden BirdWatch through talks, stands at events, articles in local publications and media appearances. When I'm not fulfilling this role I work full-time as a Payments Officer for Social Services with the City & County of Swansea where I'm responsible for ensuring that foster carers are paid for the vital service they provide for children and young people within Swansea. Being an Ambassador provides a welcome relief to a day spent behind an office desk (although I still manage to clock up many hours at my computer at home!). I particularly enjoy watching garden birds as it's so easy to view them up close without having to leave the warmth of the house; by recording them for the survey I'm making sure that my bird watching counts!"

For contact details of any of the ambassadors please contact the BTO Cymru office