Friday, 13 July 2007

Sweet success for Welsh honeys

The Wales Raptor Study Group, Forestry Commission Wales, and Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council, are celebrating breeding success for a Honey Buzzard pair at an undisclosed site in south Wales.

The ‘Honey-buzzards – Raptors of the Forest’ project has, over the last three years, shed light on many aspects of Honey Buzzard breeding behaviour and allowed many thousands of visitors to Afan Forest Park to learn about the project and the bird itself.

Recorded video footage of the family at the nest-site can be viewed at the Afan Forest Park visitor centre allowing visitors to watch the young being fed at the nest and, with any luck, mature over the coming weeks before eventually taking their first flights. Updated still images and latest news can be seen at for those who cannot get to the visitor centre.

Forestry Commission Wales Conservation Manager, Chris Tucker, explained, “This year, for the first time, we have seen the whole nest building, egg laying and now hatching processes, so we’ve learned even more about their habits. We need to be secretive about the location of the nest as Honey Buzzards are a prime target for egg collectors and could be unintentionally disturbed by over-enthusiastic birdwatchers.”

‘Honey-buzzards – Raptors of the Forest’ is open to visitors at Afan Forest Park visitor centre until the end of August and, apart from a small fee to use the car park (payable at the visitor centre), entry is free to all. The Afan Forest Park visitor centre is on the A4107 at Port Talbot, six miles from junction 40 of the M4.

Photo: Honey Buzzard in flight by Dominic Mitchell