Free Wildlife Recording Conference

The Greater Manchester Local Record Centre is holding its first Wildlife Recording Conference on Saturday 29th March at Manchester Museum.  This event is supported by the National Lottery, through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The day will be a celebration of wildlife recording and a thank you to all the dedicated volunteers who spend time recording and submitting records. The day will be a chance to discover new opportunities for recording, meet like-minded recorders and find out what happens to data once it has been submitted.

If you would like to come along to this free event please fill in the on-line application form by Friday 28th February. Because places are limited we will let you know if your application is successful after this date. Full details of the programme and the booking form can be found here:

It would also be helpful if you could complete the feedback questions with the application form as we will use the information collected to feed into the day’s event and help plan our next year of activities.

We look forward to seeing you on the 29th March.

Suzanne Waymont MCIEEM, Senior Ecologist
Greater Manchester Ecology Unit
Council Offices, Wellington Road, Ashton-under-Lyne
Tameside OL6 6DL

Tel: 0161 342 2771

LOSYBC visits 8th Wigan Boys' Brigade in Hindley

Young Birders in the Making
The LOS Young Birders' Club Team of Tony, George, Brian and Martyn paid a very successful visit to the 8th Wigan Boys Brigade Company at St. Peter's Pavilion in Hindley last week.  It was initially thought that this presentation would be something of challenge due to the large 8 to 16 age range of the boys there, but it went very well.

You can read a full report of the evening's events on our LOS Young Birders' Website here:  LOSYBC visits 8th Wigan Boys' Brigade

Our next presentation is on Monday 24 February at 13th/18th Leigh Beavers who meet at the Scout hut next to St. Thomas' Church in Bedford, Leigh.

Conway & Tal-y-Bont Fieldtrip – 16th February 2014

Snowdonia (c) Joan Disley
In the middle of all the chaos with our recent terrible weather, somehow we managed to get a decent day for our trip. As we traveled nearer and the distant Welsh mountains came into view, we could see they were covered in snow on their tops.

A few stints at sea watching at Pensarn and Llanfairfechan gave us a few different gulls and some of the Black-headed Gulls were now getting their dark heads returning, Fulmar and Cormorant were seen flying past, as was some Common Scoter but way out at sea, Great Crested Grebe and the odd diver were seen again out at sea and a few members even saw a Surf Scoter. Joan managed to spot a few Grey Plover flying past and we could also hear a Dunnock from a nearby railway embankment.

The Spinnies, Tal-y-bont (c) Joan Disley
On to Tal-y-Bont but unfortunately by now the tide was fully in so most of what could have been there to see had been disturbed by the incoming tide. Out on the water we could see some Goldeneye, Shelduck and a Merganser was seen. We had a close look at some Curlew flying past us and Oystercatchers and Redshank were seen. Although it was a distance from us we could make out a single Heron perched on a dead tree by the edge of the water. While we were walking to “The Spinnies” reserve some Greylag Geese were seen in one of the fields and a few Starlings were feeding in another field. From the hides overlooking the pools we saw a few Teal, two Little Grebe and just one Little Egret, a Goldcrest was seen and coming to some feeders were 4 species of Tits, House Sparrow and a Great Spotted Woodpecker amongst others. A Buzzard and Sparrowhawk flew past again although this time it took one of the Blue Tits with it.

Near this reserve were clumps of Snowdrops in flower but I wonder if these are from garden escapees; despite all the bad weather spring is trying to get started as the leaves of Cuckoo Pint are showing through.

Conwy Castle from the RSPB Reserve (c) Joan Disley
Our last stop was at the RSPB reserve at Conway were we saw more Goldeneye plus Pochard, Teal, Shoveler, Shelduck, Merganser and both male and female Scaup. In waders we saw Lapwing, Curlew, Snipe and Oystercatcher. A Kestrel was seen hovering not far from the path and we saw more House Sparrows, Greenfinch and a beautiful Song Thrush singing from the top of a bush.

At this reserve the Gorse bushes were covered in their bright yellow flowers and the male catkins on the Hazel were a few inches long although I have been seeing these on our local Hazel for the past few weeks.

It was then time to start off back for home, so it is thanks to Al for organising the trip and to Joan and Jim for giving Jen and myself a lift.
Jeff Hurst

Iolo Williams and the 2013 'State of Nature Report'

Have a look at this impassioned speech by Iolo Williams relating to the UK's 2013 State of Nature Report (and don't worry, it's not all in Welsh):

Click the button in the centre of the video to play it
and then double-click on the video to make it go fullscreen.

Read or download the full report here (PDF format): State of Nature Full Report

or a summary of the report here (PDF format): State of Nature Report Summary