BTO’s Garden Ecology Team regularly receives reports of birds whose feathers have gained unusual colourations. These range from white (leucism/albinism), black and brown (melanism), red (erythrism) to yellow (flavism).
BTO wants your help to explore which of these conditions are most common, the species most frequently affected and where these birds are found.
If you have ever seen a bird with abnormal plumage in your garden, please submit the details through the Abnormal Plumage Survey.
You can also post your pictures on the GBW Flickr stream.
South Wales is one of several areas of the UK where the BTO has appointed volunteer ‘ambassadors’ to arouse public interest and participation in its Garden BirdWatch scheme.
Amanda Skull covers the area west of Cardiff, while Mick Bailey covers from Cardiff to the English border. In practice they help each other out and do not keep rigidly to this territorial division.
Their activities include radio broadcasts, press articles, talks to clubs and other social groups (bird and wildlife groups, churches, WI, PROBUS, U3A, etc), stalls in garden centres and at various events.
They are always on the lookout for such opportunities and would welcome enquiries and suggestions.
09:30 – Arrival
10:00 – Introduction
10:10 – Why gardens and local garden birdwatchers matter, Tim Harrison (BTO Garden BirdWatch)
10:40 – Recording moths in your garden, Norman Lowe (Butterfly Conservation)
11:10 – Coffee and biscuits
11:40 – The Cardiff Garden Wildlife Survey, Rob Parry (WTSWW)
12:10 – Power from the Severn: good or bad for birds? Nigel Clark/Lucy Wright (BTO)
12:40 – Buffet lunch with tea and coffee
13:30 – Positioning of garden bird feeders, Richard Cowie (Cardiff University)
14:00 – Nature’s greatest pollinators, Nigel Ajax-Lewis (WTSWW)
Tickets for this conference are £12.50 per person, including lunch and other refreshments.
Further details and a booking form can be downloaded.
The latest Garden BirdWatch Newsletter has just landed in my email box.
A short feature on the appearance of Woodpigeons in gardens struck a chord, as a lone bird has started visiting our garden just this last week. It looks a little out of place in my urban back yard, and its the first time I’ve recorded the species at home. A garden tick!
Like many other volunteers, my weekly counts of garden birds are added to the Garden BirdWatch scheme. The records provide a valuable insight into the importance of our gardens to Britain’s bird life, and as individuals we can see how our own records form part of the national picture.
It seems that June or July are the months when this species occupies a greater percentage of gardens than at any other time of year. My Woodpigeon then, wasn’t lost after all, but was following an established species trend.
More details of the Garden BirdWatch scheme are available.
Why not sign up and make your garden’s birds count?