Home Articles Mark's Argus Column 3rd November 2012 - Tragedy Hits Winter Visitors
3rd November 2012 - Tragedy Hits Winter Visitors PDF Print E-mail

RedwingHuge numbers of  songbirds heading for the UK have fallen foul to last week's bad weather. The birds, which were planning to spend the winter in Britain, left Scandinavia in bright sunshine only to encounter a lethal combination of fog, wind and rain over the North Sea. Whilst many disorientated and exhausted birds eventually made it to Britain's east coast, many more failed to complete the journey. There have been numerous reports from fishing boats of birds alighting on them along with harrowing tales of large numbers of exhausted birds such as redwing (pictured) landing in the sea and drowning.

Remember to keep your bird feeders well stocked – The weather is getting colder and the autumn's poor crop of berries means that there will be plenty of hungry birds this winter. Also - Don't forget to ensure that your feeders and bird tables are clean. Unhygienic conditions can cause infections that kill birds. Soaking feeders in a mild bleach solution (and then rinsing them) will do the job nicely.   

Birdwatching Events

GOS continue their excellent programme of illustrated talks tonight, Saturday 3rd November, with  a guide to birding ID from Jim Almond. Everyone, from seasoned birdwatcher or novice, struggles to identify birds occasionally and Jim's talk will offer some tips to help you out when you can't tell your chiffchaff from your chough.

The next talk takes place on Saturday 17th November, when Alan Martin will present 'Exploring the Regua Rainforest Reserve'. This renowned Brazilian reserve features birds such as crowned eagle, black billed scythebill and maroon bellied parakeet – an exotic array to cheer you up on a cold winter night.  

Talks take place at Goytre Village Hall (just off the A4042 Newport to Abergavenny road) and start at 7.30pm. Argus readers are very welcome and entry, including tea and biscuits, costs £2.

GOS's final guided birdwatching walk of 2012 is an out of county trip to Chew Valley and Blagdon Lakes on Saturday 10th November. The leader is my mate Steve Butler and the meeting place is Magor M4 Services at 8.00am. Steve has chosen these sites as they are among the best winter birdwatching locations around and has asked me to say that Argus readers are very welcome to come along. Please wear suitable clothing and footwear, bring refreshments and binoculars if you have them. For more details call Steve Butler on 07970 558583.

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