BTO Cymru

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

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Are you a young Birders in Wales

Are you a young birder aged between 18 and 25 in Wales?

BTO Cymru is offering a number of eligible young persons from or based in Wales a free place on one of our courses.

The BTO nationally delivers a programme of training events that cover a range of identification and survey techniques, including courses aimed at BBS and WeBS.

If you are interested please apply to Kelvin Jones at BTO Cymru (, detailing which course you would be interested in, and attaching a covering letter of why you should be considered for a place.

Final date for applications is 1st March 2018

Ydych chi'n adarwr ifanc rhwng 18 a 25 oed ac yn byw yn neu yn dod o Gymru?

Mae BTO Cymru yn cynnig lle am ddim ar rai o'n cyrsiau i bersonau ifanc cymwys sy’n byw neu sy’n dod o Gymru
Mae'r BTO yn genedlaethol yn darparu rhaglen o ddigwyddiadau hyfforddi sy'n cynnwys hyfforddiant ar sut i adnabod adar a thechnegau cynnal arolygon (gan gynnwys cyrsiau wedi'u hanelu’n benodol at waith BBS a WeBS)

Os oes gennych ddiddordeb mewn cael eich hystyried ar gyfer hyn, anfonwch gais i Kelvin Jones yn BTO Cymru (, gan roi manylion am y cwrs y mae gennych ddiddordeb ynddo, ac atodi llythyr o eglurhad am pam y dylech gael eich ystyried am le.

Y dyddiad olaf ar gyfer ceisiadau yw 1 Mawrth 201

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

New student ambassadors on the team

We have had for the past few years had a volunteer BTO Student Ambassador at 4 of the major Welsh universities. All have been keen birders and have helped fulfilled my vision of giving students a taste of BTO Survey work, by organising talks, demonstrations, visiting student fairs etc. When I get contacted by now employed graduates who now wish to engage professionally with the BTO, I think success.

Whilst Emma Cole continues to do a sterling job at Swansea, This year we have two new ambassadors.

At Cardiff Talek Renals.

"I’ve had an keen interest in most aspects of ecology from an early age; but in relation to birds I would say that I gained most of my ornithological experience when I was on placement last year. I was working for an ecological consultancy called AECOM where I was fortunate enough to participate in CBC’s, transect surveys and a few weeks studying whooper swans in Northern Ireland

At Aberystwyth Angus Barnett

"For me the addiction to birdwatching didn’t truly spark till I started a countryside management course at the age of 16. I was captivated by the birdlife in the broads and along the Norfolk coastline where I grew up. Since graduating from my diploma I have gone on to become a bird ringing trainee, an undergraduate in countryside conservation and president of the nature society here in Aberystwyth. Although still toying with the idea, I would like to set up my own wildlife touring business when I finish university so I can share the natural world I love with others."

I look forwards to working with them both to promote the BTO and encourage students to participate in some of our surveys.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Dates for your diary - Dyddiadau i'ch dyddiadur

Once again this spring we are planning on holding some member and volunteer days at various venues around Wales. These will be relaxed events where we will update participants on BTO’s activities across Wales, provide some free training, a friendly quiz, and (weather permitting) a bit of birding. They are open to all existing members and volunteers and anybody new who wants to get involved with the BTO for the first time.

.Saturday 25th March, Gwernymynydd Village Hall, Mold. CH7 4AF
Sunday 26th March, Parc Slip Nature Reserve, Bridgend, Glamorgan, CF32 0EH
Saturday 8th April, Pembrokeshire, Crundale Village Hall, near Haverford West SA62 4DF
Saturday 22nd April, Montgomery, Meeting room, Welshpool methodist Church, High St, Welshpool SY21 7JP
Saturday 29th April, RSPB Malltraeth, Anglesey

Further details and bookings please contact your Regional Representative or the BTO Cymru office.

Other events where you can meet the team

10th May - Introduction to Bird recording. Snowdonia National Park centre, Bala. Further details from the BTO Cymru office or Bill Taylor at SNP Bala, on 01678 520626
Sunday 14th May, Nest Recording taster. Rudry, nr Caerphilly.  Daniel Jenkins-Jones
20–21st May - Royal Welsh Spring Festival. Come and meet team members in the Floral Hall.
8–10th September - All About BTO Surveys (residential) Training Course at Dale Fort, Pembrokeshire: Learn about BTO surveys, their value to science and how fun and easy they are to do.

Unwaith eto’r gwanwyn hwn rydym yn bwriadu cynnal rhai dyddiau i aelodau a gwirfoddolwyr
mewn lleoliadau amrywiol ledled Cymru. Digwyddiadau anffurfiol fydd y rhain lle byddwn yn rhoi’r wybodaeth ddiweddaraf am weithgareddau’r BTO ledled Cymru i’r sawl sy’n cymryd rhan, darparu rhywfaint o hyfforddiantam ddim, cwis cyfeillgar, ac (os bydd y tywydd yn caniatáu) ychydig o wylio adar. Mae’r rhain yn agored i unrhyw un sy’n aelod neu’n gwirfoddoli’n barod ac unrhyw un newydd sy’n dymuno cymryd rhan gyda’r BTO am y tro cyntaf.

25 Mawrth – Neuadd y Pentref, Gwernymynydd, Wyddgrug CH7 4AF
Sul 26 Mawrth, Gwarchodfa Natur Parc Slip, Pen-ybontar Ogwr, Sir Forgannwg CF32 0EH
Sadwrn 8 Ebrill, Sir Benfro, Neuadd Bentref Cryndal,ger Hwlffordd SA62 4DF
Sadwrn 22 Ebrill, Sir Drefaldwyn, Ystafell Gyfarfod, Eglwys Fethodistaidd y Trallwng, Stryd Fawr, Y Trallwng SY21 7JP
Sadwrn 29 Ebrill, RSPB Malltraeth/Cors Ddyga, Ynys Môn

Manylion pellach ac archebu lle, cysylltwch â’r Cynrychiolydd Rhanbarthol neu swyddfa BTO Cymru.

Gwernymynydd,  AnneBrenchley - Parc Slip - Wayne MorrisCrundale - Bob Haycock, Y Trallwng - JaneKelsallMalltraeth - Ian Hawkins,  

Digwyddiadau eraill lle gallwch gyfarfod â’r tîm

10 Mai – Cyflwyniad i gofnodi adar. Canolfan y Parc Cenedlaethol, Y Bala. Manylion pellach o swyddfa BTO Cymru neu Bill Taylor yn PCE Y Bala, ar 01678 520626.
14 Mai, Diwrnod Blasu’r Cynllun Cofnodi Nythod, Rudry ger Caerffili. Daniel Jenkins-Jones 
20–21st Mai – Gwyl Wanwyn Sioe Frenhinol Cymru. Dewch i gyfarfod aelodau’r tîm yn y Neuadd Flodau.
8–10 Medi – Y cwbl am Arolygon y BTO (preswyl) Cwrs Hyfforddi yn Dale Fort, Sir Benfro: Dysgu am arolygon y BTO, eu gwerth i wyddoniaeth a chymaint

o hwyl ydyn nhw, a pha mor hawdd i’w cynnal.

Monday, 11 July 2016

30 Not Out

Not cricket, but Ospreys.

May 2004 was memorable, for that was when Ospreys were found to be nesting in the Glaslyn valley, in Snowdonia. As I was the local police wildlife crime officer, and the coordinator of the local raptor workers, there followed for me an initial period of elation, followed by exhaustion, and ultimately depression, when the nest collapsed following an unseasonably heavy hour of rain. At this point, we found that there had been two chicks in the nest, but 10 day old birds could not survive an 80 foot fall through a pine tree.

The male “Ochre 11/98” was a part of the Rutland reintroduction programme; the female was un-ringed, but quite distinctively marked, and has since been christened “Mrs G” .

In 2005, both birds came back and three eggs were laid. Two of these hatched and were subsequently ringed before fledging. So began a dynasty. 

The un-ringed female has returned every year since. To date, 28 chicks have fledged from this nest, the latest being ringed on July 3rd. When they fledge they will bring the total up to 30.

Currently two of her siblings – “YA” and “37” - are nesting in the Kielder Forest, with “Black 80” nesting at Threave in south west Scotland.. At the time of writing, these offspring have produced 41 fledged young, with 11 of this year’s chicks waiting to fledge.

“Black 80” is currently rearing four chicks - a very unusual occurrence.

None of this information would have been available were it not for the efforts of the ringers, and all the dedicated Osprey followers and supporters who have spent so much time watching, and reading the colour rings on these wonderful birds.

Modern technology has told us so much about bird migration, but, for population dynamics like this, colour ringing is still producing the goods, allowing a legion of people to be involved and to contribute to this project. As I say to all our volunteers, you may not think your little bit of data is important, but when we pool it all together we can make meaningful science out of it.

Thanks to Heather Corfield for diligently recording all the ring sightings across Wales and those of the siblings of the original Welsh birds.

For more information about the Glaslyn Ospreys, see

BTO Cymru

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Something to Look Out For!


One of our birds has been seen at Jacobs Island in Cork Harbour, on the 17th of July.
 Potentially the first Welsh breeding
Curlew seen in Ireland. Now where are the rest?

BTO Cymru in partnership with RSPB Cymru fitted temporary GPS-VHF tags to a small number of breeding Curlew on the north Wales moors. The data provided by the tags has opened a window into how these birds use the whole landscape during the breeding season, and after this success we hope to follow-up with some more research in the future. The tags have now stopped working and have probably already fallen off: and the birds are now leaving the Moors and should be moving down to our coasts to form post-breeding flocks.

You can help us link together summer breeding populations with post-breeding movements and even wintering areas. Each bird was also fitted with a unique colour ring combination, identifying them as individuals. Please look through Curlew flocks wherever you see them, and let us know if you spot a colour-ringed bird (even if you don’t get the whole combination: others can help!).

Sightings and especially ring combinations can be reported to RSPB or directly to BTO Cymru office.

BTO Cymru: Tel 01248 383285 or email

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Lady in Red

A regular feature of this blog has been the ongoing work on Hawfinch in Wales. The Bird Atlas showed over the past 40 years an apparent shift westwards in the range of Hawfinches in the UK. Parts of Gwynedd and the Wye valley have become increasingly important for this scarce woodland bird.

Trevor and Chris Bashford in Dolgellau have the enviable luck of having a garden which is particularly favoured by the local Hawfinches. Last year they had 184 individual colour ringed birds in their garden and over 1300 sightings in total.

Their reading of the colour rings has proved invaluable with birds from the south east of Wales turning up in their garden. Yesterday Trevor had a bird with a red engraved ring. Being quite used to the usual local yellow rings and the white ones from down south, he got rather excited, and as always managed a couple of pictures.

A bit of quick internet detective work put us in touch with Dr Stuart Sharpe at the University of Lancaster. To quote Stuart:

“ Wow - this is amazing! Yes, it is one of my mine and the first sighting away from our study area in South Cumbria

BC was ringed at Sizergh Castle in Cumbria (our main site) as a juvenile female on 17th July 2015. We have not caught many juveniles at all in the three years our project has been running, and we actually radio-tagged this bird to try and get some information about natal dispersal. I will check tomorrow whether we got any data from this individual (some of our tagged birds disappeared without a trace).

Thank you again for a really amazing sighting, and for taking the time to get photos that really clinch the ID.”

So watch this space for any further updates, and thanks to Trevor and Chris for having to suffer all these Hawfinches in their garden, and more importantly for all the effort that put in reading rings.

For more on the project see