A well-timed initiative from BirdTrack this week provided its thousands of users in Britain and Ireland with a personalised infographic summarising the contribution that we each made to the scheme in 2021. BirdTrack.net is the online bird-recording app from the British Trust for Ornithology, Welsh Ornithological Society and the RSPB among others. Birdwatchers shared their statistics on social media, and it struck me how most focus recording in their local area, increasingly conscious of the need to minimise fossil fuel use, as well as restricted travel during a second year of the pandemic.
A little more digging into BirdTrack’s databank revealed that more than 435,000 bird records were submitted in Wales in 2021, bringing the total to over 4.9 million since 2000. After falling back during 2020, the number of contributions in North Wales increased by 14% in 2021. The greatest growth was on Anglesey, reflecting the number of people from across Britain who visit the island to see its wildlife. You can sign up to BirdTrack.net at any time, and it’s completely free. Your sightings help local and national conservation organisations to track the fortunes of birds across the country. For more details, visit the BTO website, and I would recommend these short videos to help you get started.
Among the sightings recorded on BirdTrack this week were over 100 Red-throated Divers off the Little Orme, and one that pitched up at Gresford Flash near Wrexham. Three Bewick’s Swans at Shotwick are the first in Wales since a couple at the same site last January, as climate change means that fewer winter this far west. On Anglesey, Black Redstarts remain at Amlwch and Benllech, and a Cattle Egret is north of Valley. A Snow Bunting was at Fairbourne, Great White Egret near Llanrwst and Firecrests at RSPB Conwy and Llanfairfechan sewage works over the weekend, while on Monday a Marsh Harrier flew over Rhos Point and five European White-fronted Geese remained on fields east of the Clwyd estuary.
A weekly update of bird sightings and news from North Wales, published in The Daily Post every Thursday.