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21st April 2012 - A Wet Welsh Welcome Awaits PDF Print E-mail

At this time of year I like to keep a keen eye on the Gwent Ornithology Society website's 'sightings' page to find out which of our summer visitors have begun to arrive - and there has been plenty of recent activity:

Over the past few days redstart, pied flycatcher, common sandpiper, house martin, cuckoo and tree pipit have all been spotted along with sedge, reed, wood, garden and grasshopper warblers. There have also been black redstart seen at Portskewett and Blaenavon and a party of seven ring ouzel were noted near Llanelly. I also had a text off my friend Dawn Purkiss to let me know she had seen an early swift  above Gilwern.

Good numbers of waders have been reported from Newport Wetlands – most of these will be passing through, however some, such as redshank, lapwing and avocet will hopefully stay and breed at the reserve.

Most of my birdwatching takes place whilst I'm out walking the dogs, which means that I don't really get the chance to stand around and have a good look. However I've managed to see red grouse, woodcock, sand martin, dipper, swallow and crossbill (as well as hearing cuckoo) around Cwmbran over the last week or so. I've also been watching a pair of long tailed tits shuttling food for their hungry chicks to and from a nest near my home.

Long-tailed Tit Long-tailed Tit

Keep up to date with the latest arrivals at www.gwentbirds.org.uk

City Wildlife Care

Your local wildlife rescue charity are run off their feet at this time of year, responding to calls about 'abandoned' young birds. If you come across a young bird that you are concerned about, please leave it alone and get some advice from City Wildlife on 07794 179 207 – or visit www.citywildlifecare.org.uk  

Breeding Bird Survey

The British Trust for Ornithology are keen to hear from people who can identify common bird species and would be prepared to visit a local site twice during the breeding season to help in this valuable survey. Don't worry if you don't think your ID skills are up to scratch (between you and me, mine aren't very good) there are resources and training available to get you up to speed. For more details visit www.bto.org.uk

Birdwatching Walks

For those of you not making the trip to watch Newport County at Wembley on Saturday 12th May, there is a smashing birdwatching walk lined up that day at St. Mary's Vale, Abergavenny. This four hour walk takes in the woods, hills and valleys of a very scenic local site – and walkers should get good views of plenty of interesting bird species.

 The walk leader is Keith Trott and the meeting point is Abergavenny Bus Station at 7.00 am. Argus readers are particularly welcome to come along. There is no need to book a place – just turn up. Remember to bring boots and waterproof clothing, refreshments and binoculars if you have them.

For more details visit www.gwentbirds.org.uk or give me a call on the number below.

Cancelation of Walk

I've just heard that the walk at Shapwick Heath, planned for Sunday 29th April, will not now take place that day - I'll let you know when a new date has been set.

Keep in Touch

Thank you to all readers that 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.