4th June 2011 - Think Before You 'Rescue' Print

At this time of year many young fledgeling birds are leaving the nest, and I would like to make an appeal to readers who come across young birds to leave them alone.

My mates Mike and Cath at City Wildlife Care are currently run off their feet picking up young 'abandoned' birds that people have 'rescued' - and they have asked me to explain that the majority of these birds were not abandoned and didn't need to be rescued; Put simply, nests are snug little places that offer a safe place for young birds to develop. However after a while the youngsters outgrow their nest and often leave it before they are fully fledged. They then spend a few days sheltering in undergrowth, building up their strength and learning how to fend for themselves, whilst their parents visit them occasionally.

If you encounter a young bird please bear in mind that it's almost certainly best to leave it for it's parents to look after. Young birds and their parents call to each other and if you remove them you are taking away their lifeline. Young birds should only be moved if they are in imminent danger and should then be replaced in a nearby sheltered spot. If pets pose a risk, take them indoors and not let them out for a few days.

City Wildlife Care is an a wildlife rescue charity and are happy to pass on advice and assistance to the public. If you have any concerns about birds or any other wild animal call their 24 hour rescue line  07794 179207 or visit www.citywildlifecare.org.uk

A young blackbird A young blackbird A young robin

Unusual Sightings

There have been a number of unusual local sightings recently; A hoopoe was spotted in a garden near Sluvad treatment works at Llandegfedd Reservoir and a quail was heard at Blaenserchan. Quail are a tiny migratory game bird and only a handful of them breed in Britain, whereas hoopoe are an exotic looking bird that travel up from Africa to nest in Mainland Europe. This bird seems to have overshot it's destination.

To keep abreast of all the latest local bird activity visit the sightings page at www.gwentbirds.org.uk   

Birdwatching Walks

Gwent Ornithological Society's programme of guided birdwatching walks continues next Saturday 4th June, when my long time friend Andrew Baker will be leading a walk at the Skirrid Mountain. This is a really scenic location and Andrew tells me that the walk is scheduled to last about 4 hours and is 'medium to hard' - however walkers will be rewarded with some excellent birdwatching.

If you would like to come along, meet Andrew at Abergavenny Bus Station at 8.00am or make your own way to the Skirrid Mountain car park at SO 328 164.

On Friday 10th June there is a night walk at Wentwood in search of nightjar and woodcock. Meet local expert John Bennett at the Cadira Beeches car park (SO 422 949) at 8.00pm for a 2-3 hour walk around some of these elusive birds favoured haunts. Please bring a torch for the  walk back to your car.

On Saturday 18th June the focus switches to Torfaen when silver haired smoothies Mick Bailey and Keith Roylance lead a walk in Upper Cwmbran.

The walk starts from the Blaen Bran Community Woodland car park, off Upper Cwmbran Road at 8.00am, and takes in a 3 mile circuit of wooded hillside. This is a smashing place to see warblers, with willow, garden and wood warbler likely to turn up along with blackcap, chiffchaff and whitethroat.

 There is no need to book places on these walks, 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.

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.