Leica Welsh Red Kites

Welsh Red Kites logo

Welcome/Croeso to the Leica Red Kites. We are the first team of birders from Wales to participate in COTF and are proud and passionate to represent Wales and bird conservation.  Within our lifetime Wales has seen the Red Kite transformed from being confined to a handful of pairs in remote wooded valleys due to illegal persecution to a widespread and common sight throughout the UK.  Through a huge conservation effort and profile raising the situation has changed for the better.  Changing the mind-set of the public and working together is a huge step.  Notwithstanding the challenges of habitat loss, direct illegal persecution of any species, especially those that are migratory, needs to stop and through COTF we believe we can inspire people to value migratory birds wherever they live.

We see COTF as a bird conservation opportunity where countries come together, breaking down boundaries and raise awareness for international bird conservation.  This year your support goes directly to Birdlife partners on the ground working to tackle trapping and killing of migratory species in the Adriatic flyway.  Help us help migratory birds reach their destination.

Thank you/Diolch i ti!

Meet the Team:

Alan Davies

Born and bred in North Wales, I have always been passionate about birds and birdwatching. From a very early age, birds have been the focus of my life. For six years, I was the Site Manager of the RSPB reserve at Conwy on the North Wales coast which I helped develop into a popular visitor attraction as well as a haven for wildlife. In 2008 with my partner, Ruth Miller, we set a new world record for the number of bird species seen in a single year, the adventure we called “The Biggest Twitch”. I have also written the popular site guide ‘Best Birdwatching Sites in North Wales’.  Ruth and I now run our own successful company called ‘Birdwatching Trips’ where we lead tours in the UK and across the world. And there’s nothing I enjoy more than sharing exciting birds and wildlife with other people, so I have the perfect job. Bird migration has always been a passion of mine and taking part in the Champions of the Flyway enables me to give a little bit back to help our amazing migrant birds that bring so much joy and fascination to us all. I believe by working together we can make a difference.

Arfon Williams

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t a birder.  County birding is my real passion and I spend more time than I should patching my local nature reserve, Tregaron Bog where I bump into just enough good birds to keep me going.  Heaven would be a westerly headland and a constant stream of passage seabirds!  I’ve been a ringer for almost as long as a birder and have been fortunate enough to travel widely doing both, including my first proper birding holiday to Israel over 25 years ago.  I’m really looking forward to coming back and taking part in what sounds like the best day’s birding ever! I’ve worked in nature conservation all my life and am now RSPB Cymru’s land use policy lead doing my upmost to try and make a post EU Wales a better place for birds and other wildlife.

Marc Hughes

First and foremost a local patch birder I wander the limestone pavements on the Great Orme headland or the lagoons and reed-beds at RSPB Conwy in North Wales looking for scarce and rare birds. My obsession with birds started as a young boy and bird racing has been a big part of my birding calendar for over 30 years. I have been a member of teams who hold several county records as well as the Welsh National record. I have been lucky enough to serve on the Welsh Rarities Panel for over 10 years. I work in education and as a class teacher, a Head teacher and now a school education advisor, I have ensured that birds, nature and conservation have been at the heart of the education of the youngsters in my care. I enjoy birding in Europe but have never been to the middle-east so am extremely excited about visiting Israel and taking part in the ultimate of bird races. I am a proud and passionate Welshman, so being in the first team representing Wales in this fabulous event will be a dream come true.

Robin Sandham

I’ve been birding around North Wales since I was a kid and still do so today, thankfully now with the odd longer distance trip thrown in. I’m particularly fond of bird rich habitats and migration spectacles.  I’m a member of the Welsh Rarities Panel and compile a monthly roundup of rarities for the Welsh Ornithological Society website. I have also recently published a historic account of “Scarce and Rare Birds in North Wales”.  For me nothing beats discovering a rare bird especially when shared with friends but I also immerse myself in ringing with various local projects underway, mainly nest monitoring of Pied Flycatcher, Dipper, Stonechat and Black Guillemot.

I’m trained in landscape design and planning and work for a local authority in planning policy where I focus on subject areas that interest me including biodiversity, landscape and coastal protection and renewable energy.  I’m a keen cyclist and hope one day to return to CotF with a rival cycling green team.  In 2015 I cycled from North Wales to the UK Birdfair raising funds for Birdlife and in 2018 I plan to cycle from the UK Birdfair to Brescia for CABS.

Rob Jones

I am 47 old passionate birder and conservationist who lives in small town in South Wales. My interest in birds and wildlife started way back 36 years ago when a close friend of mine induced me to the Young Ornithologists Club, the junior branch of the RSPB. From there my interest birds and wildlife grew into a passion where I would end up travelling far and wide  just to see new birds. I have travelled all over the world, from the Caribbean to Asia and to several countries in Europe. Back in the year 2000 I was lucky to be given the opportunity to fulfil my conservationist needs and go and work for Birdlife Cyprus. I worked as part of the illegal bird trapping campaign and over 4 years I monitored the trappings producing yearly reports and producing valuable data. It was not the most pleasant of jobs as I saw many terrible things, however it was extremely rewarding and I know that I played a part in protecting birds migrating through Cyprus. I am extremely grateful to be given the chance to once again help to protect our feathered friend through partaking in Champions of the Flyway.