14th January 2012 - Starting 2012 with a Bang...Bang...Bang! PDF Print E-mail


Birdwatcher Richard Evans from New Inn has started the new year banging away, hammer in hand, as he busily builds nest boxes for this coming spring.

Last year Richard sited 106 boxes near his home, which were taken over by birds such as blue and great tit, house sparrow and nuthatch (pictured). Not content with this he has 'upped his game' for 2012 and constructed a further 340 boxes (yes, that's right...340)!!

Richard is hoping to attract more unusual birds this year and has modified and sited some boxes with birds such as barn and tawny owl, house martin and spotted flycatcher in mind. He has also enlisted the help of several friends to help monitor, clean and repair the boxes. I think this is fantastic effort and look forward to hearing more about his project.

Putting up a nest box is one of the best ways you can help birds and this is an ideal time to do it. It won't be long before the breeding season is upon us and I've already seen blue tits checking out likely nest sites.

Lots of birds will readily use a nest box and some of these species could really do with a helping hand; Numbers of house sparrows and starlings are falling fast, partly because holes in new buildings are harder to find, so a nest box can be a godsend for them.

If you would like to put up nest boxes, there are plenty of websites which give advice and information on building and siting them, or give me a call and we can have a chat about it.



Big Garden Birdwatch

This annual survey takes place on the 28th - 29th January and is dead easy to take part in; All you do is look out of the window for an hour on one of the days and count the birds that visit your garden. It's free and it's fun and the results provide important information about the fortunes of our reathered friends. For more details visit www.rspb.org.uk

Coming Up...

Don't forget that Gwent Ornithological Society have arranged a fabulous talk tonight, Saturday 14th, when local birder John Coleman will be presenting 'Birding in Costa Rica': This small Central American nation is home to 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!

Following this in a fortnight's time, Saturday 28th January, Stephen Moss is the guest speaker and will be taking us 'Behind the Scenes at the BBC': Stephen is a renowned birder and writer, but is probably best known for producing TV nature programmes such as Springwatch (maybe he will 'dish 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

2012 Birdwatching Programme

I have a good supply of GOS's programme of walks and talks for 2012.  If you want me to send you a copy just let me know.

Thanks to all readers who have taken the time to get in touch. 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.