11th February 2012 - Submit Your Sightings Print

Let me start by reminding anyone who has made records of their bird sightings for 2011, to submit them to Chris Jones, the County Recorder as soon as possible for inclusion in the Annual Report. Records can be made by post to Chris at 22, Walnut Drive, Caerleon NP18 3SB, or via email.... his email address can be found at www.gwentbirds.org.uk

Another Nest Box Note

I make no apology for yet again urging readers to erect nest boxes in their gardens. Spring is fast approaching and birds are currently looking out for potential nest sites - many of these birds nest in holes and they  are becoming harder to find. One bird that is experiencing  big problems in finding suitable holes is the swift; These wonderful birds nest in and under roofs and the increased use of uPVC building materials has made it difficult for them to find a home.

Swift Swift

National Nest Box Week (NNBW) starts on February 14th and now is an ideal time to lend a helping hand to your local feathered friends.

There is a dedicated page to NNBW at www.bto.org.uk , including details of how you can make boxes for swifts and a host of other birds that visit your garden.

If you don't fancy making your own nest boxes why not check out those made by Richard Evans of Project Nestbox. Richard has a stock of high quality boxes at very reasonable prices and is happy to have a chat with you about your requirements and offer advice on a suitable box and how to site it.

Richard can be contacted on 07970 139550 and you can view his boxes and find out a bit more about his work at www.projectnestbox.co.uk

Cuckoo Update

Readers might recall that a small number of adult cuckoos were fitted with tracking devices in Norfolk last Summer to monitor their movements  when they leave the UK. The birds all spent the winter in West Africa as expected, but now they have started to move North. Although they won't arrive here until April it is interesting to know that their migration is a gradual process that has already begun.

Birdwatching Events

Don't forget tonight's birdwatching talk at Goytre Village Hall, when Roger Moss of the Hawk and Owl Trust will be on hand to present 'Regreening Shapwick Moor'. This area of former arable farmland on the Somerset Levels has been restored to wet grassland and fen....with very beneficial consequences to birds such as lapwing and hobby.

 The talk starts at 7.30pm and entry costs £2, which includes tea and biscuits.

The next talk is in a fortnight, 25th February, when Pete Carty will present 'Wildlife in Bulgaria – Natural History at a Crossroads'. Bulgarian birdlife is renowned for it's richness, with over 400 species – of which 20 are globally threatened. Peter's knowledge in this area is second to none and his talk will give a fantastic insight into this country and the looming threats to it's wildlife.

A guided birdwatching trip has been arranged in Mid Wales on Sunday 19th February. If you are interested, meet Rob Parsons at the first layby  beside the Royal Welsh Showground on the A470 at 8.00am. Rob will lead you to Cors y Llyn Nature Reserve and then to Gigrin Farm to watch the famous red kite feeding display. Please note that there is a charge to enter Gigrin Farm and that you should pack food and drink, waterproof clothes, boots and binoculars if you have them.    

Argus readers are particularly welcome to come along to all the events featured in this column. For more details visit www.gwentbirds.org.uk or give me a call on the number below.

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.