Atlas Late Breeding Evidence

Yellowhammer | Овсянка by Anatoly Kraynikov, on Flickr
Yellowhammer | Овсянка by Anatoly Kraynikov, on Flickr

With Atlas fieldwork for the timed counts (TTVs) now complete, efforts can now focus on looking for confirmed breeding evidence over the remainder of the season.

Late nesting species like Yellowhammer, Spotted Flycatcher, Bullfinch and House Martin are still breeding so look out for adults carrying food for young, occupied nests or recently fledged young.

Other species such as House Sparrow may be having their second or third broods.

You can help the Atlas process by:

  • submitting your paper forms to BTO via Wayne Morris by 31 August
  • submitting all your data online by 31 December
  • responding to any queries raised through validation by 31 January

Thanks to everyone for supporting the Atlas in East Glamorgan!

Irish Curlews Crash

Between 1995-2008, Curlew has suffered a decline of 46% as a breeding bird in Wales (1).  News has now emerged from Ireland of a dramatic decrease in their population of breeding Curlews over the last twenty years.

Curlew by Freddie H., on Flickr
Curlew by Freddie H., on Flickr

During the last Breeding Atlas, in 1988-91, the Irish population of Curlews was estimated at around 5,000 pairs. This spring, BirdWatch Ireland (2) carried out the first survey specifically to find breeding Curlew in Ireland. Over 60 sites in Donegal and Mayo that were occupied by breeding Curlews during the 1988-91 Atlas were revisited and, shockingly, the results indicated that only six still held breeding pairs. Just four pairs were recorded in Donegal and four in Mayo, indicating that there are likely to be fewer than 200 breeding pairs left in the whole country – a 96 percent decline in 20 years.

In East Glamorgan, we have 35 records of the species in the breeding season, with confirmed and probable breeding evidence reported from a few sites in the northern reaches of the region.  Let’s hope that the evocative cry of the Curlew remains in our county.

  1. State of Birds in Wales 7, RSPB
  2. Catastrophic Curlew declines uncovered,HTY0,3QPFPL,1G83Q,1

Ringing Report 2010 Published

BTO Annual Ringing Report for 2010 has been published today. In Glamorgan, 6028 birds were ringed with 163 birds recovered*. In line, with the UK norm, Blue Tit is the species most ringed with 740.

Recovery data always makes interesting reading, and here’s a few select records:

Bird Ringing - Blue Tit by dawarwickphotography, on Flickr
Bird Ringing - Blue Tit by dawarwickphotography, on Flickr
  • A Knot ringed at Rumney Great Wharf in January, 1997 was caught at Vlieland, the Netherlands in August, 2010
  • Lesser Black-backed Gulls ringed in Cardiff have been observed in Guernsey, France, Portugal and Morocco
  • A Willow Warbler ringed at Kenfig NNR in August 2008 was caught at Tipperary, Ireland in May and June, 2011
  • A Starling ringed at Pentyrch in November 2007 crashed into a window in Juodeikiai, Lithunia in January, 2011
  • Reed Buntings ringed in Cardiff Bay Wetlands Reserve have been caught at both Ty’n-y-Caeau and Lan farms in the Vale of Glamorgan and at Oxwich Marsh.

The full report for the UK is available from BTO.

*Note, these are ‘working’ totals and are likely to change as more data is received, and/or corrections are made.

Avian Poxvirus

Avian Pox 3 by Feathers (Joe), on Flickr
Avian Pox 3 by Feathers (Joe), on Flickr

Avian poxvirus has been reported widely in the news recently as the disease quickly spreads across the UK.

It has been around for a few years, but we are now witnessing particularly severe symptoms in Great Tits and other parids.

BTO provides information about diseases in garden birds and what measures you can take to help.

If you are unfortunate to encounter diseased birds in your garden, please contribute to our understanding of these diseases by reporting your details online or direct to:

Garden Ecology Team
tel: 01842 750050

  1. Bird pox ‘sweeping through UK’. Today, BBC Radio 4, 3 August 2011
  2. Avian pox spreading across the UK – Have you seen affected birds? Wildlife News Extra, August 2011
  3. UK garden birds hit by avian pox virus. The Guardian, 3 August 2011.

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