GRC Blog

Welcome to the GRC Recorders pages. This blog provides details on all the relevant news of Glamorgan’s scarcer birds, plus all BBRC & WRP decisions that affect us locally. It will also be used to document the status and occurrence of these scarcer species and we welcome contributions from anyone with photographs, artwork or documentation of rarities past, present and future. The GRC also welcomes all seawatching news from around Glamorgan and news of passage migrants in spring & autumn, uncommon birds in our area and unusual behaviour.

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The Glamorgan Rarities Committee, in conjunction with the Glamorgan Bird Club & Gower Wildlife , have agreed to co-operate with the Welsh Ornithological Society in the sharing of bird records & photographs in the interest of keeping accurate records and to promote birdwatching in North, Mid & South Wales.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Year Listing NPT

Black-tailed Godwit at Brunel Dock (c) R. Jones
Back in 2010 I decided to try and see as many species of bird inside the boundaries of Neath Port Talbot - year listing NPT. I quite enjoyed the challenge but found it quite tough by the end, especially trying to find birds I thought I'd be guaranteed to find. Going into 2010 Mike Cram held the database record for the area, which stood at 134 (I think?). I'd managed to break Mike's record by the end of May 2010 and went on to set a target of 165 for the area.

This year Rob Jones, Gwyn Randall and I are having a friendly race to try and break the 2010 total and by the end of May, Rob's NPT year list stands at 161 and I'm a bit further back on 156. The 2010 total will easily be broken by all 3 of us and hopefully the new record will be set above 180, which will almost certainly be set by Rob. This will bring NPT's year list more in line with neighbouring counties, and not dwarfed by them as is the present situation.

Brigend; 186; (MHn)
Swansea; 188; (BS)

The value of year listing towards the efforts of bird conservation is debatable and I'm sure that many will consider it a waste of effort, money and time? However, it can help provide a snapshot record of bird statuses in an area, particularly when the species that are sometimes considered uncommon, prove difficult to find at all! Clearly one might find the converse to be true in some cases? It also keeps motivation high to go out and record birds, and records taken from the year will undoubtedly be useful further down the line.

The photo above of the Black-tailed Godwit is a good record shot; for the record itself as much as the photo. This bird was found by Bob Anderson on 26/5/13 and there are probably less than 5 records of this species each year in NPT; 2 records in 2010, 1 record in 2011 and 2 records in 2012. Following the guidelines used by WRP for highlighting species of birds that would need to be backed up with a good description or photo to allow for the record to be approved; if NPT had a rarities committee (perish the thought!) then Black-tailed Godwit would be a D-list species. I don't think Bob or Rob would have had too much trouble getting this one approved though....

Note: database records are just that and it is quite possible for others to have recorded higher totals than the ones referred to here.

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