Roath Park’s Waterbirds Need You

Some birders’ names are synonymous with particular well-known local birding sites.  If you look back through old copies of the Eastern Glamorgan Bird Report you’ll notice that the wildfowl and waterbirds of Roath Park Lake in Cardiff have been counted regularly for many years. Most of those records since 2001 will have come from two people – Graham Duff and Margaret Morgan.

Graham and Margaret counted the birds on Roath Park Lake for the BTO’s Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) for over 10 years. Graham sadly passed away in 2011 but, after a short break, Margaret continued to visit the Lake once a month to continue conducting these valuable counts.

However, a couple of days ago Margaret contacted me to say that it’s time to hand over the baton to somebody else. It goes without saying that we’re all very grateful to Margaret and Graham for their efforts over the years. Our knowledge of the bird populations of Roath Park Lake would be much the poorer without their important contribution.

Roath Park Lake (Photo: Cardiff University International Office)
Roath Park Lake (Photo: Cardiff University International Office)

Margaret’s ‘retirement’ means of course that a vacancy has arisen as a WeBS counter at Roath Park Lake. Would you like to take it on? If you’ve never done a bird survey before, WeBS is a great place to start.  It’s the survey that monitors non-breeding waterbirds in the UK and all you need is the ability to identify common waterbirds and to count the birds at Roath Park Lake once a month between September and March (and, although optional, any additional months between April and August too if you can make them). The added bonus at Roath Park is that you can reward yourself after you’ve finished your count by buying an ice cream at the kiosk!

You can find out more about the WeBS survey locally and some more detail about how to do the survey.

If you’ve been looking to add value to your birding this could be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for.  If you’re interested in taking on Roath Park Lake for WeBS, or if you know of another wetland site which you may be interested in monitoring, please get in touch for a no obligation chat.

Daniel Jenkins-Jones
WeBS Local Organiser for East Glamorgan
t: 029 20 621394

The Life of Birds: a Struggle for Survival

The programme and booking forms are now available for the BTO Annual Conference at Swanwick, Derbyshire.
As ever, there’s plenty to hold a keen birder’s interest, with talks ranging from Honey-buzzards, demographic changes seen during the Bird Atlas 2007-11, the success of Buzzards to visual perception in birds and conserving the Pink Pigeon.

Delegates will also hear about how weather effects birds, including Long-tailed Tits, Sand Martins in Africa, Reed Warblers in Norfolk and birds in Iceland.  We’ll also be given updates on many of the surveys that BTO lead, including BirdTrack, BBS and WeBS.  The conference concludes with seabird tracking, the timing of moult, social media and how BTO can help conservation .

All this and more, along with an opportunity to mix with like-minded folk over dinner and a pint at the bar, browse the bookshops or inspect the latest optics from Swarovksi.

It’s well worth a trip.

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