The latest Wild Horizons activity was a double whammy; a bird ringing demonstration at 06:00am on Saturday morning followed by an amazing breakfast, then an insightful and thought provoking workshop with Tim Mackrill about re-introductions.
The bird ringing demo yielded some sedge warblers, a feisty wren, a black bird, black cap and other warblers, which were all processed and explained by Lloyd for us to understand how data from each bird is measured then recorded. Although we had an early start, it was certainly worth it to see some birds up close and learn about their migration patterns based on data collected from ringing.
After a few hours at the ringing hut, we all retreated back to the VTC for a proper breakfast; bacon and sausages, rolls, beans, egg, tea…. What a way to spend a morning! After this we were certainly all awake and ready to learn about wildlife re-introductions.
I found the presentation delivered by Tim very interesting and inspiring to see how proactive conservationists can be and what the results can be; the Rutland Osprey Project is just one example of how re-introductions can be such a success, as well as sea eagle re-introduction projects spear-headed by the legendary Roy Dennis, who Tim will be going to work with in the near future.
The Wild Horizons members were split into two groups and tasked with planning our own re-introduction project having learned from past projects and techniques given on the PowerPoint. We were allowed to choose which species we wanted to re-introduce and where; our group went for pine martens in the New Forest, and the other group went for lynx. We had to feed back to the group our ideas that we put together using the action plan template that Tim had provided us with. I for one learned a lot about the process behind re-introductions, and it was a really nice opportunity to work with the group and just chat about wildlife!
Thank you very much to Tim, Lloyd, Michelle and Becky for spending the morning with us (and making us breakfast!), and good luck to Tim with working with Roy Dennis and the Highland Foundation for Wildlife.
Amy Hall, Wild Horizons Member