Home Articles Mark's Argus Column 23rd April 2011 - Mum's The Word
23rd April 2011 - Mum's The Word PDF Print E-mail

I hope that readers are enjoying the current good weather as much as I am, and taking advantage of the opportunity to get out and do some bank holiday birdwatching. Most of our summer visitors have put in an appearance, the only species that I haven't heard of yet are spotted flycatcher, swift and nightjar – but I'm sure it won't be long before they too arrive.

The sightings page at www.gwentbirds.org.uk is a great way to find out what has been seen locally and I urge you all to check it out. You can also use it to post your sightings, however please make sure that you don't give details of the location of any breeding birds. There are a number of reasons for this; Unfortunately there are still egg collectors out there who scan bird sightings pages for the mention of scarse species, and also bear in mind that any information that leads to people visiting a nest site can cause disturbance and lead to the nest being abandoned.

If you want to see a very elusive nesting bird why not pop along to Cwmcarn Scenic Drive. A camera has been set up on a goshawk nest somewhere in the neighbouring woodland and a live film is being screened at the visitor centre. Gwent has quite a healthy population of goshawk, but they are easily overlooked because of there secretive nature.

Goshawk Nest Goshawk

Leave Young Birds Alone

Now that the bird breeding season is in full swing, my mates Cath and Mike from City Wildlife Care are being run off their feet answering calls from people who have found 'abandoned' young birds. Please be aware that many young birds leave the nest before they are properly able to fly and spend a few days learning how to fend for themselves. This typically involves moving around under cover whilst there parents visit them occasionally with food. These birds should be left alone unless they are in imminent danger – Your intervention, however well meaning, will almost always lead to the bird dying – It's best chance of a survival is being cared for by it's parents.  If you need any advice or assistance about the care of any wild animal give City Wildlife Care a call on 07794 179207.

Birdwatching Events

On Saturday 7th May GOS have arranged a trip to Llangattock Quarries; Meet Paul Kelly at 8am at the Bridgend PH car park, Brynmawr (just off the roundabout) for this 4 – 5 hour walk that takes in local mountain and moorland - There is no need to book, just turn up.

New faces (especially Argus readers) are always welcome at GOS events.

Walkers should remember to bring suitable clothing (boots essential), food and drink – and binoculars if you have them.  

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.
 On Saturday 30th April there is a guided walk taking place at Newport Wetlands Reserve. Hosted by the Countryside Council for Wales, this leisurely one and a half hour stroll starts at the RSPB visitor centre at 10am and involves looking around the reedbeds for breeding birds such as coot and the beautiful great crested grebe.  This is a free event, but  walkers are asked to call 01633 636363 to book a place.

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.