BTO Cymru

Croeso i blog BTO Cymru. Welcome to BTO Cymru's blog

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

What's occurin

A quick update of what’s happening with BTO Cymru over the next few months.

Saturday 2nd April a talk to the Gwent Ornithological Society.  Work of the BTO in Wales, and update on the Cuckoo project. Goytre Village Hall, Penperlleni. Starts at 7:30 and is open to non-members.
Further details’

Sunday 3rd April  Rhosesmor  NE Wales. Come and meet the team.  Keen to get involved in BTO surveys, want to know more about getting involved in BTO survey work,, want to meet other members and volunteers.  1:30pm at Rhosesmor village hall, for refreshments with start at 2pm.  Just off the A55 at CH7 6WF . Open to all, for further details contact your regional reps either Anne Brenchley of Mel ab Owain, or the BTO Cymru office 01248 383285.

Saturday 9th April.  Gilfach Nature reserve, Rhayader.  Joint meeting with the Radnorshire Wildlife Trust at their stunning Gilfach nature reserve.  Come and meet the local BTO Cymru team. want to know more about getting involved in BTO survey work, want to meet other members and volunteers.  8am for a Birdsong identification walk, followed by general meeting at the visitor centre at 10:30. Come for either session or both.  Further details from your regional rep Carlton Parry, the Radnorshire Wildlife Trust , or the BTO Cymru office 01248 383285

Saturday 23rd April. Aber valley Gwynedd.  8am meet at the main car park just off the A55 for a Birdsong identification walk up the beautiful Aber valley as far as the Falls. Prior registration recommended so we can contact you if weather bad. Followed by: 10:30 meet at the Hen Felin cafe upstairs room for a meet the team session, want to know more about getting involved in BTO survey work, want to meet other members and volunteers. Come for either session or both, open to all members, non members and any interested person.  Further details either Geoff Gibbs regional representative 01248 681936 or BTO Cymru office 01248 383285. Note: No parking outside Hen Felin cafe.

It is advisable to book your attendance at which ever event you want to come. This will allow us to make sure we have enough refreshments, and equally if there is inclement weather to be able to advise you before you set out for the birdsong sessions.
For booking, contact  either your regional rep or BTO Cymru at 01248 383285  or

Royal Welsh Spring Show 21 -22 May.  Then team will be in the Floral hall this year. Came and have a chat, we really enjoy meeting members and volunteers and hearing how you have got on with your surveys. Not a member or volunteers but fancy having a go, come and talk to the team.


Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Where do you come from my lovely

On Saturday 23rd January the Ted Breeze Jones Society were on a field trip to Penmon in SE Anglesey. Keen-eyed observers saw a colour-ringed Curlew in a flock and the bird was duly photographed.  Below is a composite of the same bird but showing the colour rings on both legs, left leg black over yellow and right leg green over white. So began the detective work…

 It would seem that the bird was originally ringed by the SCAN group on Traeth Lavan near Bangor on the 28th February 2009. He was subsequently caught on his breeding grounds near Nordhorn, Germany on the 16th May 2010, where the colour rings were fitted. He has been back breeding in this area in the intervening years.
So where has this bird been wintering between 2010 and now, somewhere on Anglesey or even further afield?
Not quite as high tech as some of the fantastic new technology, but proven and still vital, and relevant, colour ringing which, despite being old fashioned, is still producing quality data. So keep looking at those legs and reporting the colour rings. You never know just what an important part of the jig-saw you might be completing.

Ddydd Sadwrn, Ionawr 23ain yr oedd aelodau Cymdeithas Ted Breeze Jones ar daith yn ardal Penmon, Sir Fôn. Yn un o’r caeau gwlyb, yr oedd nifer o gylfinir ac wrth edrych dros y lluniau a dynnwyd, fe sylwyd bod un ohonynt â modrwyau lliw ar ei goesau. Y mae llun cyfansawdd o’r aderyn er mwyn dangos y lliwiau ar ei ddwy goes -  du uwchben melyn ar y goes chwith a gwyrdd uwchben gwyn ar ei goes dde. Beth oedd ei hanes? Yr oedd angen gwaith ditectif...

Ymddengys i’r aderyn hwn gael ei fodrwyo gyntaf gan grŵp SCAN ar Draeth Lafan, ger Bangor ar 28ain Chwefror 2009. Cafodd ei ddal drachefn yn ei ardal magu ger Nordhorn, Yr Almaen ar 16eg Mai 2010, a’r adeg honno, fe osodwyd y modrwyau lliw ar ei goesau. Bu’n dychwelyd yn rheolaidd i’r ardal magu yn y blynyddoedd ers hynny.
Tybed ble y bu’r aderyn hwn yn gaeafu ers 2010, ar Ynys Môn ynteu yn rhywle arall?

Nid yw’r defnydd o fodrwyau lliw yn rhywbeth newydd nac yn defnyddio technoleg fodern ond mae yn ddibynadwy ac yn parhau i ddarparu data sy’n hynod werthfawr. Felly daliwch ati i syllu ar y coesau a rhowch wybod am unrhyw fodrwyau lliw a welwch. Wyddoch chi ddim, efallai mai dyna fydd yr union ddarn o’r jig-sô sydd ei angen.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

If you go down to the Severn today.....

New project to unravel the movements of individual waterbirds on the Severn Estuary

We’re asking birdwatchers to look out for colour-ringed and dye-marked waders and ducks on and around the Severn Estuary.

The British Trust for Ornithology and Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust have recently started a project to understand more about the home ranges of three species of waders (Curlew, Redshank and Dunlin) and a range of duck species  on the Severn Estuary between Newport and Cardiff. As part of this work the Redshank and Curlew have been colour ringed and Dunlin and some ducks marked with yellow dye. In addition we have put state-of-the-art tracking devices on some of the Curlew, Redshank and Shelduck, which is giving us fascinating information about how birds use the estuary through the winter during both the day and the night. Work is ongoing, with the aim to mark more birds of these species and additional duck species during January and February.

The work is funded by Tidal Lagoon Power, to provide high quality scientific information for the environmental impact assessment for a proposed tidal power lagoon (Tidal Lagoon Cardiff), and to inform their conservation and biodiversity programme - the Ecosystem Enhancement Programme (EEP).

If you see any colour ringed or dyed birds when you are birdwatching either on the Severn or elsewhere, we would be very grateful for any sightings of these birds.

We are particularly interested in any records of birds with yellow dye. Birds of different age have been marked on different parts of the body so please record the location of the dye and, if possible, the total number of birds in the flock, the date, time and location (ideally including a six-figure grid reference) alongside sightings of colour-marked birds.

Any records of colour ringed birds on the Severn would also be extremely valuable and we will give all observers information on the history of any colour ringed birds.

We are very keen to follow up any records quickly and would be grateful if you could phone the BTO on 01842 750050, or email Emily Scragg ( with any records of colour-marked waders as soon as possible. Please email duck records to Ed Burrell (

Please pass on this information to any of your birdwatching contacts who may be interested in recording these birds.

Further detail of the marking schemes is provided below:

Redshank have yellow over white colour rings  on the left tarsus (below the "knee"), and a colour over a metal ring on the left tibia (above the "knee"), plus two colour rings on the right tibia.

Curlew have orange over white colour rings on the left tarsus, a single colour ring on the left tibia, the metal ring on the right tarsus and two colour rings on the right tibia.

Dunlin adults have yellow dye on the breast, while first-winter Dunlin have yellow dye on the undertail/flanks/rump.

Shelduck have yellow dye on the normally white plumage on the neck/upper breast.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Best View from a BBS in Wales 2015

The final 5 picked by professional photographer Nigel Hughes of Porthmadog were displayed at the annual WOS/BTO/RSPB conference on Saturday.

The final decision was down to the conference audience who nominated their favourite. The five are posted in the order of most votes. No 2 and 3 received the same amount of votes. Congratulations to the winning entry, and a thanks to all the BBS volunteers who took part. A grand total of 62 photos were received and they can be viewed on Flickr at  It has proved very popular and we'll run it again next year, so make sure you have your phone or camera with you, as you never know when that magic moment might appear.

 "The standard was very high and difficult to choose the final 5. It's really encouraging to see people taking part in competitions of this nature"  Nigel Hughes, Porthmadog.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Best view from a BBS in Wales 2015

With slightly over a month to go until the joint Welsh Ornithological Society / BTO / RSPB conference at Carno, a final flurry of BBS photos have arrived. They are all viewable on Flickr at

Nigel Hughes a professional photographer based at Porthmadog will decide on the 5 he likes and will print them professionally for display at the conference.

If you come to the conference you will have an opportunity to vote for your favourite, and the winner will have their photo professionally printed to a large size by Nigel.

If you still have not submitted your photos you have until the 20th October to do so. Please send the original hi res version please.


Thursday, 25 June 2015

146760 a new boy in the band

We would like to welcome 146760 to the Welsh Cuckoo team.

 The new boy to the Cuckoo team was caught and tagged at Tregaron on Friday 12th June, by BTO’s  Chris Hewson and Mid Wales ringer Tony Cross. When he was caught he was aged as an 2nd summer male and was a very healthy weight of 125 gms

146760 has already begun his migration is currently crossing France and was on the last data update mid-way across France heading towards Montpellier. 

Will he be the first of the welsh tagged birds to take the more direct westerly route, or will be go east via Italy

David the surviving welsh Cuckoo from the class of 2012 is still in the hills south of Tregaron, and still in the area he was originally caught and tagged.

146760 is a bit of a mouthful and he has been given a nick name by BTO staff until he can be officially named. A quick read of Tony's blog will tell his temporary name. 

For more details on 146760 and the other Cuckoos go to hereon the BTO website