Some of the club’s programme has been adversely affected by the weather this year. First the trip to Breydon Water and the Waveney Forest was called off because of snow, and then our projected Woodcock Walk at Sculthorpe Moor was cancelled because the reserve was flooded. Even had the reserve been open I am sure the Woodcocks would have moved on! Not to be deterred members have been very active anyway.
Steve Chapman reported on a good day birding in the valley. He started out checking the pools on the pig farm along Weston Road at Ringland (just up from the church). These are flood waters and from a gap in the hedge he was able to pick out a Little Ringed Plover on the edge of a small pool. Next stop was a (undisclosed) site in the north of the WVBS recording area where he sat and watched 3 Goshawks for about 15 minutes. They disappeared from view for a while but then a male and female reappeared. With the female high above the male started its display of ‘wing- clapping’ which is brilliant to watch. It was very relaxing there with Skylarks singing all around, Buzzards displaying and a Reed Bunting calling in the hedge behind. After a message about a drake Garganey found at Bintree Mill he quickly drove there and had excellent scope views of this truly stunning bird. Next stop was Sculthorpe Moor (Hawk and Owl Trust) where he had excellent views of Mealy Redpoll, Lesser Redpoll, Siskin, Brambling, Red Kite, Chiffchaff calling and Marsh Tit singing. A detour to Bylaugh church and sewage works, produced singing Chiffchaff, singing Goldcrest and Grey Wagtail. Back along to Elsing Mill where a Barn Owl was hunting over the water meadows, and 2 Sparrowhawks dashed in to trees by the river.
Not to be outdone, a group of 8 of us has just returned from a trip to Spain and Morocco, with Inglorious Bustards. Reports will be available on our website in due course.
At out indoor meeting James Pearce-Higgins blinded everyone with science in a detailed and comprehensive report on the effects of climate change on birds. Again the report of that meeting can be found on www.wvbs.co.uk. The work of naturalists and scientists such as James, and organisations such as the BTO, are vital if we are to preserve healthy bird populations. This was an interesting, well-informed, but ultimately very depressing presentation.
Future events: Indoor meetings are held on Thursday evenings at Great Witchingham Village Hall, Lenwade, at 7.30pm. All are welcome. (There is a £2.00 charge for non-members.) 21stJune – Matt Gooch, warden of Carlton Marshes. On 19thJuly is our summer social.
Field trips: Saturday 2ndJune – Lakenheath Fen and Weeting Heath (afternoon and evening) Sat 30thJune – Carlton Marshes. Date and venue of a dragonfly and Butterfly walk in late July are to be confirmed.
For more details and information see the website or contact Sue Gale – firstname.lastname@example.org