Minutes of AGM held on 21st March 2016 at 7.30pm
at The Malting Pavilion, Pinhow Street Ditchingham NR35 2RU

Apologies for absence
Apologies were received from Chris McIntyre, Andrew Green and Rob Parfitt

Minutes of the AGM 2015
The minutes were accepted as a true copy.

Matters Arising
There were no matters arising.

Chairman’s Report
Waveney Bird Club continues to be a very vibrant and successful club with stable finances thanks to our Treasurer Stephen Dean.

A wide variety of well supported events were enjoyed this year including an amazing trip to Hungary and long weekends to the Farne Islands and the New Forest, Dorset Heaths and Portland Bill. Many thanks are expressed to the leaders of these trips especially Jon Evans who has been an ever reliable driver. Due to retire this AGM, thanks are expressed to Jon and we are keen to retain his services. Andrew Goodall who held the role of Publicity and Communications officer has retired and we thank him for his work. It has been decided to split this role with Roger Walsh agreeing to focus on Publicity leaving Jon Evans to take on the role of Communications. We hope you will agree with this proposal.

Our involvement with CARP (Campaign Against Raptor Persecution) carries on and we will continue to promote the cause through SOG (Suffolk Ornithological Group). Last March, John Grant and Steve Piotrowski attended the Birders Against Wildlife Crime at Buxton, Derbyshire and this year it was attended by Jon Evans and Sue Alderman in Bristol. All monies donated by members have been passed to SOG for them to manage. Wildlife crime is rife in the uplands in connection with the management of the grouse moors and none of us want to see the extinction of Hen Harriers in this country which used to be common right up to the 1990s. There is no better time to sign Mark Avery’s e-petition (his third on the subject) calling on the Government to ban driven grouse shooting. The petition needs to reach 10,000 signatures to trigger a written response from the Government and 100,000 signatures to trigger a parliamentary debate.

WBC is still heavily involved with the Barn Owl Project, which as a whole manages 1,860 Barn Owl boxes in Suffolk, South Norfolk and North Essex. Management is provided by ten Regional Co-ordinators, eight of whom are active WBC members who collectively oversee the monitoring of over 1,000 of these boxes.

Kathy was thanked for providing her superb suppers and the Membership as a whole for continuing to support the Club ensuring its prolonged success.

Treasurer’s Report
The Club started the year with net assets of £4,034.43 and ended the year with net assets of £4,622.14 relating to general funds.

The Club controlled the Biodiversity Action Plan fund (BAP fund) which ended the year with the sum of £5,754.60.

The Club donated £150 to the development of the Kartong Bird Observatory in the Gambia and its monitoring of Palearctic migrant birds. Several WBC members have helped in this development. The money was used to purchase Barn Owl boxes which is very appropriate given the involvement of the club in the community Barn Owl Project.

The Cub has continued to support projects that encourage young people to develop an interest in birds and conservation. £98.33 was donated to a project at Worlingham Primary School. Viking Optical have again generously sponsored the Club’s successful Ringing Events at Minsmere by donating £500.

The BAP fund comprises the Bap projects themselves, the Campaign against Raptor Persecution (CARP) and the Suffolk Community Barn Owl Project (SCBOP). The funds relating to SCBOP (£2411.71) are ring-fenced to be spent on the maintenance of Barn Owl boxes.

The accounts were examined and approved by Andrew Piotrowski FCCA

Membership Secretary’s Report
Membership continues stay at about 140 and events continue to be well attended.
Members are encouraged to submit ideas for future programmes and events are
constantly changing to reflect what members would like.

Project Officer’s Report
Suffolk Community Barn Owl Project: 2016 proved to be a mediocre year with low vole numbers. A total of 1,741 boxes were monitored, of which a record 452 contained Barn Owls but only 475 chicks were ringed.
Kathy Piotrowski has passed over her role of Administrator to Oka Last. The project has received £5,000 in grants which has been spent on nest box replacement and WBC members have also contributed generously. Further grants will be applied for in the next few days.

Heveningham Hall: Members again spent a day cleaning out the 2,000 nest boxes along with 55 scouts and beavers who took part in the treasure hunt devised by Kathy. Mr and Mrs Hunt again kindly donated £1000 to the WBC BAP fund.

Minsmere: Ringing Demonstrations again proved very popular. Children showing keen interest were presented with I-Spy Bird books. Sponsorship was again provided by Viking Optical to support children’s activities.

School’s House Sparrow Project: This project was completed in conjunction with Gen Broad of the Suffolk Biodiversity Action Group. Nest boxes, bird boxes and a fact sheet written by Steve Piotrowski were presented to local schools. Carl Powell will monitor the boxes in 2016 on behalf of the club.

School’s Nest box Project: Allan Smith is championing a project at Worlingham School in which a nature area is being prepared. This year the school has raised funds for a barn owl box which has now been installed.

Peregrine Box: A female Peregrine has frequented St Mary’s Church, Bungay since2014/2015. Since then Club members have made representation to the Church Conservation Trust.The Club has agreed to pay for the box and negotiations are ongoing.

Overhead Cables and Wildfowl: There have been a number of recent incidents involving wildfowl colliding with overhead cables in the Waveney Valley. The club plans to monitor incidents and to record whether or not the cables involved have been fitted with reflectors.

Path for All Project: The RSPB will apply for grants but progress to raise money is slow so far. Any grants will have to be spent in the current financial year.

A presentation was given after the meeting by Roger Walsh on behalf of Chris McIntyre.
Again a very successful year at a number if sites.
A project to fit feral Barnacle Geese with tracking devices at Earsham and the Saints has been put to the the BTO and The River Waveney Trust. This is to be overseen by Roger Walsh.

Report from the Waveney Valley Recorder
presented by Stephen Howell on behalf of Andrew Green.
176 species were recorded during 2015 of which of note were Whooper swans, Scaup, Glaucous gull, Marsh Warbler, Purple Heron, Great Grey Shrike, Lesser Yellowlegs, Cattle Egret and Peregrine.

Election of Officers
The following Officers were re-elected en bloc:

Chair Steve Piotrowski
Vice Chair and Ringing secretary Chris McIntyre
Secretary Helen Gooderham
Membership Secretary and Events Organiser Kathy Piotrowski
Treasurer Stephen Dean
Recorder Andrew Green
Website Kevin Allenby
Projects Paddy Shaw
Ordinary Committee members until AGM 2017 Jane Bond
until AGM 2018 Rebecca Bedwell

There was no other business.

The meeting closed at 8.35pm