Promoting observation, free range exploration, sense of place and citizen science, through the field notes of a naturalist.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Most influential books, journals and assorted bits of kit: Part One.

Pontypool/Monmouthshire/Gwent Bird Report a must for those serious about birding and bird conservation in this corner of the principality. Thanks to the vision of Bert Hamar and others way back in the 1960's Gwent has a fine legarcy of reports that track the development, social history of modern bird watching and docment the fortunes of our feathered friends in this neck of the woods.

Having been a member of the Gwent Ornithological Society for around 35 years I can still vividly recall attending my first indoor meeting in the then Pontypool Leisure Centre as a new and proud card carrying junior member. With shoulder length wavy hair, denim jacket and flared Wrangler jeans I and my mates were greeted at the door by Bert concerned that our motive was disruption rather than that of genuine interest.

Since those early reports of the Pontypool Ornithological Society with its swallow logo banged out on a traditional typewriter no doubt with its inky fingered carbon paper lining to todays impressive all singing all dancing colour copy, its publication is as much awaited as the first cuckoo. For me its influenced my activity as a birder/naturalist over the years, given reason to the purpose of recording and motivated the writing up of nest box studies and wildfowl counts. Long may the report continue acting as a conduit for everything that is good about birdwatching in Gwent and more importantly influencing youngsters to take up and contribute to a most absorbing and worthwhile past time - far better than Xbox Live! Oh! and if anyone can help me track down volumes one and two of the Monmouthshire Bird Report to complete my collection you would make a middle aged man very happy.

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