31st December 2011 - Vive La Resolution! PDF Print E-mail

Have you made any New Year's resolutions yet? And, if so, will you be able to keep them? In previous years I've pledged to eat healthily, give up swearing and drinking, and a few other things I'd rather not mention – all with very little success. However, I've got great news if you would like to get more exercise, learn a new skill, meet different people and see more of our local natural beauty, all you have to do is join Gwent Ornithological Society. I know that many Argus readers have a keen interest in birds and the environment... why not pursue that interest, discover new parts of Gwent and learn how to identify the birds that you see? Membership won't break the bank at £15 per adult (£18 for a family) and I can assure you that joining will bring a lot of enjoyment to you and your family. For more details visit www.gwentbirds.org.uk or call me on the number below.

Recent Sightings

The GOS sightings page shows that there are plenty of waders and wildfowl to be seen locally at present, with Llandegfedd Reservoir, Peterstone and Newport Wetlands Reserve being particularly well worth a visit. The latter site also has an estimated 30,000 starlings roosting each evening and a barn owl is often seen from the visitor centre in late afternoon.

Elsewhere there have been two very unusual reports; City Wildlife Care took in two little gulls picked up from Cwmbran, and a turtle dove was seen amongst collared doves in Peterstone.....Surely this was an escaped captive bird??

Turtle Dove

Coming Up...

Gwent Ornithological Society have two fabulous talks lined up for January; the first is on Saturday 14th, when local birder John Coleman presents 'Birding in Costa Rica': This small Central American nation has an astonishing 600 native bird species – plus almost 300 winter migrants! Blimey, the UK has less than a third of this number.....and I'm still struggling to recognise half of them!

The second talk is on Saturday 28th January when Stephen Moss will be taking us 'Behind the Scenes at the BBC'. Stephen is a renowned birder and writer, but best known for producing TV nature programmes such as Springwatch (I hope he dishes the dirt on some celebs). Make a note in your diary - this promises to be a fascinating and very entertaining talk.  

Talks are held at Goytre Village Hall (just off the A4042 by the Goytre Arms) and start at 7.30pm. Entrance fee is £2 and includes tea and biscuits. New faces, especially Argus readers are very welcome – there is no need to book, just turn up.

For more information visit www.gwentbirds.org.uk or give me a call on the number below. Likewise, if you want me to send you a copy of GOS's programme of walks and talks, just let me know.

Farewell Fred

I was saddened to read that Fred Burton has written his last 'Angling Lines' report for the Argus. I've enjoyed reading Fred's column over the years, having once been quite a keen fisherman myself (alas, marriage put paid to that hobby)! Thanks, and best wishes for the future, Fred.

Keep in Touch

I would like to thank all readers who have taken the time to get in touch during the past year.  I always enjoy hearing from you and can be contacted at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or on 01633 866470.