Wild Skills: Building a Bird Watching Screen

Wild Skills: Building a Bird Watching Screen

Wild Skills is our practical volunteering group for 13-18 year olds – we meet once a month and carry out work around the nature reserve. For the past 2 months we have doing something a little different; building a bird watching screen on the Hambleton Peninsula. The team have worked really hard during all weathers to get the screen finished, and have used a variety of different skills to complete the task. During our January meeting, the main priority was to coppice the trees around the area our screen would be situated, to give a clear view of the reservoir, and to make sure there was a clear walkway from the footpath to the waters edge. The team also spent time digging the holes for the posts that would support the screen – making sure the holes were all of equal depth was a tricky job, but after lots of measuring they managed it in the end. Then Dale Martin and Luke Russell, from Anglian Water, added postcrete (a type of concrete) to the holes. The dedicated Wild Skills members then had to support the posts as the postcrete set – I think they’d agree standing still supporting a post whilst sleet was starting to come in from over the reservoir wasn’t the best job, but the finished posts were perfectly in line by the time they had finished – well done team! The next job was to fix the timber to the posts, and agree where the gaps would go so that the screen was usable for people of all heights. Everyone got to have a go drilling the timber into...
A summary of Bird Ringing at Fieldfare Hide 2017 – By Chris Hughes

A summary of Bird Ringing at Fieldfare Hide 2017 – By Chris Hughes

INTRODUCTION  Due to a variety of factors, only four ringing sessions were undertaken at the site in 2017 although all proved to be productive in terms of numbers of birds processed. They also included a few surprises. At each session only a limited number of nets were set so the numbers of birds breeding here or moving through can only be guessed at. More often than not, I am not aware of large numbers of birds around yet they are there, as evidenced by the numbers caught. The numbers of passerines alone using the reserve must run into tens of thousands and as ringers, we only sample but a small proportion. The data we collect and submit to the BTO is vital and informs conservation strategies both locally and nationally. VISIT REPORTS The following notes are from the reports I submit to the reserve following each session together with brief comments. Ringing sessions held were: 28 May 2017 – 63 new birds, 36 retraps – Total birds – 99 A breezy morning with a clear sky and sunny from around 0600 hours. 18 different species caught this morning with double figures for Dunnock, Blackbird, Sedge and Garden Warbler and Chiffchaff. Highest individual species’ total was Garden Warbler with 7 new birds ringed and 7 retraps. Juvenile Dunnock, Robin, Song Thrush, Chiffchaff, Long tailed Tit and a very recently fledged Reed Bunting were all ringed. Most surprising species caught were a Jay caught in a net on the north side of the hide (another one in the net at the same time ‘walked’ along the net and made a swift...
A Year of Mothing at Rutland Water by volunteer recorder, Paul Palmer

A Year of Mothing at Rutland Water by volunteer recorder, Paul Palmer

People often ask me what time of year do moths fly and are surprised to hear the answer: ‘Every month of the year.’ It is true that not so many fly in the colder months, and that they avoid windy and very wet weather, but many species, such as the Dark Chestnut and Dotted Border, hibernate as adults and readily appear in brief mild nights throughout the Winter. Others, like the appropriately named Early Moth, emerge from their pupa when the weather is mild in the first 10 weeks or so of the year. It therefore follows that to get a really good idea of the moth species present recording should take place throughout the year whenever the weather seems suitable. In 2017 my moth recording at Rutland Water started on the evening of 19th February when I started to find places to run traps near Sharple’s Meadow and Lagoon II. I was joined by someone new to moth recording, who best remain nameless, who watched with great interest as each trap was carefully located on level ground, and secateurs used to clear trailing brambles, dead twigs and small nettle shoots. After a while, a voice said: ‘Ah, I see what you are doing: making a clear zone to improve the effectiveness of your traps. Very clever.’ One must always be encouraging, so I replied: ‘Yes, I am sure you are correct, but I find removing the brambles stops them snagging my clothes, cutting the twigs prevents them poking me in the eye, and trimming the nettles reduces stings later in the year.’ Moving quickly on to the following...

Join Our E-mail List

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!