The aim of our club
is to promote bird watching for beginners We hold regular meetings
on every second Monday of each month at Sapcote All Saints Hall .(7.30pm).
Our evenings are a mixture of Talks, Films, Identification and social
events. We also organise trips to Local sites, bird reserves ,
birding weekends, Majorca, North America and Scotland, so if you didn't
know when you started you will when you finish! We are a friendly lot with
a sense of humour and all enjoy the diversity of Birds . Everybody
is made most welcome no matter what your abilities are
Annual membership of the club is £15 single or & £25 per
We began at Cropston Reservoir
with 13 members and Graham Deeping leading. It started as a grey, windy day.
Unfortunately there was very little to see there apart from some grey wagtails,
a hybrid mallard, great crested grebe and a fleeting view of a sparrowhawk.
Next we moved onto Swithland Woods, where we found two more members. We could
hear plenty of birds including goldcrests and chiff chaff, but they were proving
elusive, due to poor light and their tendency to be high in the trees or masked
by shrubs, apart from the numerous blue tits and chaffinches. However, the sun
eventually appeared and so did the birds. We were then treated to good views of
bullfinches, nuthatches, chiff chaff, long-tailed tits and, for the lucky ones,
a pair of tree creepers. This was also an interesting location as few of
us knew that we would be walking through dark green painted caravans and wooden
chalets on bijou plots from 'Fantasy Land'. And then when the Green Goddess
appeared - and I do mean war time fire engine - we wondered what could we find
next. It was a white plastic swan in an ornate fountain with 8 stone horses!
Swithland Reservoir was a return to birding with 11 different species of
waterfowl and excellent views of a female sparrowhawk. Finally a goldcrest,
goldfinches and a lone female redpoll in the shrubbery of the Water Board's
should thank Graham for organising and leading what proved to be a gem of a
morning. Our next walk is at Middleton Lakes on 23/4/17.
Birds seen 38: Mute
swan, Canada goose, Mallard, Gadwall,Shoveler, Tufted duck, Goldeneye, Pheasant,
Little grebe, Great crested grebe, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Moorhen, Coot, Wood
pigeon; Great spotted woodpecker, Magpie, Jay, Jackdaw, Crow, Goldcrest, Blue
tit, Great tit, Coal tit, Long-tailed tit, Chiff chaff, Nuthatch,
Treecreeper, Wren, Blackbird, Robin, Grey wagtail, Pied wagtail, Chaffinch,
Bullfinch, Greenfinch, Common redpoll and Goldfinch
One of our stalwart members passed away
today Monday 17th. 2015
In 2000 Julie Brown asked
me if I could take to New England a friend of hers who had been diagnosed
with incurable cancer.
I said to Julie, give me a
good reason why not and if you can, i won't take her.
So began a fifteen
year friendship with a super lady and dedicated birder.
Over the years Rosie
suffered the invasion of six rounds of chemo, feeling constantly nauseous
and losing her hair .
That's all except one time
when she decided to pre-empt the hair loss and shave it all off.
Unfortunately when her
consultant saw her he asked , "why have you shaved your hair off
Rosie" this chemo doesn't make it fall out !!!
Rosie said , I felt
such a fool Ken but who cares anyway. That was her, never moaning and always the
birder with a smile.
She came with me to
America, Scotland, Scilly Isles, Islay and her favourite, Majorca.
We will all miss you.
God bless you ROSIE
a sombre day eleven club members attended John’s funeral and listened with
pleasure to an account and celebration of his life. His boyhood was filled with
train spotting and nature watching. An apprenticeship in Draughtsmanship was his
Further Education, but on completion it did not obtain him a job immediately in
that field so John’s “gap-year” was spent on the Calf of Man counting and
he progressed through his career, he was developing his skills for constructing
train engines, aeroplanes and boats and learning to fly gliders. Bird watching
was continued and he joined BBC when he moved to Sapcote.
will recall his wide knowledge and skill in the hides and in the open air. John
was elected chairman in 2005/6 and in this role, he ensured that members were
well informed via newsletters and programmes of forthcoming meetings. John
seldom missed our monthly walks and he made himself responsible for the list of
birds spotted. John was keen to welcome new inexperienced members, checking that
they could see the birds by making his focused telescope available.
members who knew John well, admired his wide ranging knowledge and interests and
will have happy memories of time spent with him.
large number of club members gathered outside Nuneaton Crematorium on Friday the
11th February to support Maureen and the family on the sad occasion
of Peter’s Funeral. His Scottish ancestry was in no doubt as a piper,
playing a lament, led the hearse to the Chapel of Rest. The son of a
mining engineer, Peter was born in Easthouses, Edinburgh and was an only child.
He did well at school and became an electrical engineer, eventually joining the
RAF as ground crew. He met Maureen at the Pally Dance Hall, Leicester and
they married in 1963. They had three boys, Stuart, Ian and Robert who
subsequently provided them with 9 grandchildren. Peter spent the latter
part of his working life as a radio service engineer for the Home Office, but he
was a man of many interests. In addition to his lifelong love of the
natural world, Peter was a keen radio ham, with friends and contacts all over
the world. He also played bass trombone in the Burbage Silver Band.
Peter was a founding
member of Burbage Bird Club and a loyal servant, having served as both chairman
and newsletter editor. No surprise then that he and Maureen were recently
made honorary life members. He will be sadly missed by his many friends in
as dawn breaks, another unusually warm, sunny day with temps of 20-22degs on
offer. We head off to the
coast where the forecast wasn’t as good, with possible foggy patches. I
started to get concerned as we travelled the Perterbo’ bypass, the fog so
thick I couldn’t see Fred & Ken in the front of the bus. Fortunately this
cleared to a mist as we reached Wolferton, no sign of the golden Pheasant. We
could see our breather in the morning chill as we walked into the Dersingham
Bog, Our spirits lifted in the gloom & cold by the sound of Woodlark
singing, a lovely sight and a good start to our day list.
to Heacham and a walk along the coastal path, back of the Beach hoping for early
summer visitors, Ring ouzel, Wheatear etc. Did get loads of Meadow pipit,
wagtails, one very elusive Wheatear, Gray Partridge, Oystercatcher, Heron, and a
few Duck species.
gave us Common & Rough Legged Buzzard, and some controversy over how many
Barn Owls were seen (I’ll say no more for fear of recriminations). A number of
ducks and waders on the flooded field down the drive, with only small numbers
Brent Geese of the winter flocks still to go. Mistle Thrush, Coal Tit, Goldcrest,
Treecreeper in the pines, Sanderling and Ringed Plover were seen but the small
flocks of very mobile Skylark, Meadow pipit and possible Shore lark to difficult
to follow on a cold windy beach.
was VERY cold with a lazy wind that didn’t bother to go round you, so most of
the work was from the hides, Red Crested Pochard, interesting to see Common
& Spotted Redshank, side by side, with Red Breasted Merganser, Avocet, Med
Gull and White Wagtail making up the highlights of a busy reserve, a solitary
Gray Plover confusing us mere mortals for a few minutes. On to Choseley
barns for Yellow Hammer & Corn Bunting, on our way back to Heacham Red
Legged & Grey Partridge, occasionally stopping with the Fields full of
Fieldfare & Redwing.
our journey back we stopped off at the RSPB’s Nene Washes near Eldernell, a
first visit for some of us, and what a treat, Marsh Harrier, Barn Owl, Red Kite,
Buzzard , Common Crane and Short Eared Owl. Definitely a return trip to this hot
spot any time of the year, next time a warm summers evening maybe ……
+ in the day with a number of first’s for some of our companions
Bird Walk April 22nd
weather was sunny and breezy.Ten members met at the visitor centre car park and
everyone agreed to go to Draycote Water.Nev met us there.
way down the Fosse 2 Grey Partridge flew up,and a skylark took off from the top
of a hedge.House Martins were flying around near the railway bridge.
turned into Draycote there were signs directing us to the new car park on the
right.Toilets were open on the ground floor in the centre and in may the
upstairs cafe will hopefully be open again after agreements with severn trent
have been finalised.There was a kestrel in the car park.
had a family of Mallard with 11 chicks bobbing on the water and another large
one dozing in the grass by the jetty.
further along Joan spotted a pair of Great Crested Grebes doing the mating
dance.Along the wall there was a lot of wagtails,Pied,White,and Yellow.one had a
blue head and after a long debate decided it might be French.Bonjour Mon
Ami.also along the rocks were Wheatear,and coots in the water.In the fields on
the right was a Whimbrel and a couple of Canada Geese.A group of ladies ran by
wearing pink tutus.We carried on and added to the list;
the next bay there was Linnit,Reed Bunting,Meadow Pippit,Teal,Swallow,Sand
Martin,Black Headed Gull,GB Backed Gull,3 swans flew over and Neil spotted 2
Sparrowhawks in the air.A little walk through the wood saw and heard was Willow
Warbler,ChiffChaff,Chaffinch,Garden Warbler,Black Cap,Blue Tit,and a long tailed
tit seen by Joan and myself.We then decided to head back to the car park.
short break when the others went home Fred and
went a walk towards Rainbow corner and picked up a Little Gull.When i caught up
with them i saw it too and also an Orange Tipped Butterfly.
way home Fred and i saw a Mistlethrush sitting on a telegraph pole by the farm
at the crossroads before you reach the A5
Lakes- ongoing development of the new
to the Second World War the land where the reserve is now situated was all
required sand and gravel and the land became a quarry until 2007 when the RSPB
acquired the site for development into a bird reserve.
to this time there were no records of the wildlife on the site and so a survey
was set up to monitor birds, animals, insects and flowers to provide a datum for
measuring the changes as the reserve develops.
Heronry has been present near to the new car park for a number of years, Egrets
now roost with the Herons and it is hoped they will breed in the future.
Owl boxes have been erected and 14 young have been raised since 2007.
Otters are known to visit the site and artificial holts have been created to
encourage them to breed.
the site was covered in willows and attempts to clear these by the volunteers
was a mammoth task, so with a grant of £30,000 the diggers were called in to
rip them out.
Once this had been completed, it was necessary to move some 100,000 cubic metres
of soil in order to profile the pools and hence encourage waders.
viewing screens have been erected on the site to facility better bird watching
opportunities and Longhorn cattle have been introduced to graze the meadows.
is now a car park on the site and there are signed paths around the lakes, but
to date there are no toilets or visitor centre. Funding is in place for these,
but costs are high due to the distance from piped water and sewers. Currently
the near bye old hall has toilets which can be used, plus a grand little café
for refreshments after birding.
will be an important part of the work at Middleton, particularly at secondary
level and a “Discovery Area” for children has been established.
has been won in grants for this year, which should enable the above work to
KEN FINDS ONLY THE 3RD YELLOW
WAGTAIL ON THE ISLE OF MULL
Here is the report that Ken sent to
the Scottish birds rarities committee for verification
PLEASE COMPLETE AS MUCH AS IS RELEVANT FOR YOUR SIGHTING
AND SEND TO THE RELEVANT LOCAL RECORDER
Indicated spring/ summer adult
Isle ofMull Rugby club
Dates of your observations:
10:10 / 10:13 am 29th May 2201
Total duration of your
Other sightings/dates known to you:
I was told later that a possible was reported 4 weeks earlier.??
present for comparison (alongside and nearby):
2 x Pied Wagtails
experience of the species:
Studied Motacilla & sub species over the last 30+years finding feldegg,
iberia and flava inthe UK
of similar species:
Extensive throughout the UK & Europe
the bird photographed? Yes/No
a photograph being submitted with this description? Yes/NoNO
the bird preserved? Yes/NoNO
the bird trapped? Yes/NoNO
direction and force:
Sky /Light cloud
of sun to observer:
Sun over right shoulder
describe the circumstances of the observation. Then give a detailed
description of the bird(s), preferably based on notes taken at the time of the
observation, before reference to books. Attach original field notes, or
photocopies, whenever possible.
days birding break on Mull
was decided on leaving the Isle of Mull hotel; we would make our way to Salen
& Aros before cutting through the glen road to Dervaig for a day’s
birding along the coast to Loch Na Keel.
rounding the corner near Garmony, three wagtail species flew from the beach
side in front of the car landing on the edge of the Mull rugby pitch.
initial flash sighting surprised me with almost entire yellow showing on at
least one bird.
pulled into the club gateway and used the binoculars to confirm a Yellow
Wagtail with two Pied’s on the shorter grass surrounding the pitch. As usual
all three didn’t seem fazed by our emergency stop !
bird was an obvious Yellow Wagtail showing all yellow underparts from the
throat to belly and undertail. Olive crown nape and mantle down to contrasting
dark primary’s and tail that showed white outers.
diffused cream wing bars were obvious as were the black legs.
first area of any Yellow Wagtail to gain a full ID is always the head.
bird showed an olive green crown not fully extending through the forehead
leaving a yellow patch at the forehead.
noted a good yellow supercilium although in my opinion not as vivid an early
lore’s and ear coverts were mainly olive /brown showing very little
diffusion to yellow.
good views over a 2 minute period the bird flew back towards the coast turning
towards Fishnish with one Pied Wagtail .
other Pied Wagtail remained on the pitch and was joined by a family of 4
then spent another hour searching around the area to obtain some pictures but
to no avail.
thoughts at the time were, spring/summer male, not giving me any indications
of possible lutea
finally, is this record 100% certain? Yes/No YES
No 22 December 2011
28th September the swallows at Soper’s Bridge
Farm, Stoney Stanton were still feeding their third brood in the same nest,
diving into the outhouse every 5 minutes or so and shoving flies/insects into
3 open mouths. On the 17th October the last swallows had left the farm,
whether the parents and the fledglings will have the strength to reach Africa
you are supporter of HS2 or not, the Wildlife Trust have published a brochure
outlining the cost to wildlife of this project. The tally at present of the
phase 1 route, includes direct and indirect loss and damage to: 4 Wildlife
Trust sites, 2 Local Nature Reserves, 9 sites of Special Scientific Interest,
48 Ancient Woodlands, 77 Local Wildlife Sites and 30 River Corridors But you
will get from Birmingham to London by train around half an hour sooner than at
members should have received their Winter 2011 magazine by now and it contains
two articles of particular interest to me. The first relates to David Lindo,
who’s book I have just read and mentioned in this Newsletter.
The second concerns the RSPB new film "Born to Fly", which
depicts the migratory lives of Cranes through mainland Eu-rope. The migration
of Whooping Cranes in the United States is more of a do or die situation,
these birds are one of the world’s most endangered species, their numbers
fell to 15 in 1940 and they were still on the endangered list in 1967. In the
nineteen nineties biologists considered it necessary to establish a secondary
migratory flock to supplement natural migratory route from the Great Lakes in
Canada to Texas. So "Operation Migration" started in 2000, eggs were
taken from captive cranes and hatched in incubators. They were then reared by
trainers dressed in white sheets to mask their human form and weird puppets
that resembled the necks and heads of adult whooping cranes. Before hatching,
the chicks were played recordings of microlight aircraft engines. When they
see their cloaked trainers on a microlight and hear the engine their instinct
is to follow it. The 10 chicks raised in Wisconsin this year are currently
following a microlight on the first stages of their1000+ mile migration to
Florida, which will take several weeks and involve 23 stopovers. After
wintering in Florida, they will fly back to Wisconsin unaided, led by their
own navigational instincts. In 10 years there has been a 100% success rate and
you can follow them on www.operationmigration.org.
like to take this opportunity to thank Maureen Johnstone for taking on the
role of Newsletter organiser, planner and editor. I’d also like to welcome
new members Chris and Lynn Newey to the club and hope they enjoy their bird
watching with us Thanks to all the members who supported the club by attending
meetings and walks, without that support the club could not survive.
don’t forget the AGM is on 9th January and anyone who would like assist in
running the club should send in their request to the secretary Ellen Sandeman
at least 14 days before the meeting.
AGM is a legal requirement and unless any contentious issues are received, it
should be completed fairly swiftly so that the planned a bird quiz can take
arriving at Atlanta to a very warm welcome from Paul (who we haven’t seen
for five long years) we took a car journey down to panama city to Paul’s
house, where we were to stay , this was about 100yds from a gorgeous beach.
The next morning (late) we patrolled the beach looking for birds!! Then I
noticed some wading birds!! Wow never seen those before!!
way back to my story, there were sanderlings and laughing gulls around and
royal terns, as were morning doves and
common ground doves. Back at Paul’s place we noticed a ruby
throated humming bird at the feeder, this bird was on passage through.
The next day we awoke to a tropical storm very windy and wet, but this proved
to be advantageous because after the rains stopped we decided to go to a bay
just down the road, this had a lagoon running off it , there we found 3 magnificent
frigate birds flying around , a first for me, then a skua or as the
yanks say , jaeger joined in, then to our surprise several sooty
terns were also in the bay, all of these were brought in by the bad
weather. The following few days brought lovely hot sunshine more ‘
birding’ on the beach! There was state park not far away which produced
quite a variety of herons , 8 types in all, loggerhead
shrikes appeared on the wires, along with
Baltimore oriole in the bushes, but in the lake was our first alligator
about 8ft long right next to the bank ! Quite a surprise to see it so close.
the next few days we experienced jet skiing and boating , very enjoyable-
recommend it, also we were able to swim with the dolphins in the bay which as
you would imagine was enjoyed by all. It was during one of these activities
that HAWKEYE PAUL noticed a bald eagle flying
around the bay, it then swooped down and caught a fish ,flew into a tree and
duly ate it, what a moment to see your first bald eagle. A few days later we
began a long journey back up to Atlanta ,and further up into the Smokey
Mountains home to the famous Cherokees. We took an 11 mile tour around one of
the many noted tourist routes, the scenery was really nice, whilst on this
tour which was a loop ,we encountered wild black bears not just glad to see
one , there were 7 in one tree, 2 females with 5 cubs. Amazing, we were only
50 ft away. We also managed to see one of the birds which we failed to see on
one of our previous trips with Ken ,and that is the piliated woodpecker , does
it bring back memories Ken? There were many other species of birds we saw
including warblers and vireos , flycatchers and wrens, hawks and buzzards, all
in all about a hundred species without too much effort and time, it was not
all birding , there were many other things we did.
final day before flying home was a fantastic trip to the largest aquarium in
the world at Atlanta this was truly amazing, with sperm whales and giant manta
rays plus sharks and all types of sea life , if you saw it believe me you
wouldn’t go swimming in the sea again!! We had a great time lovely to see
Paul again , he says hello to all those who know him.
have just come back from 10 days in the Costa Blanca. I asked about local
birds, but there is no interest at all. Nearest nature reserve is miles away.
I only saw a few birds, yellow wag-tails, long-tailed
tits, magpies and blackcaps. these were in the hills away from the
coast. Any comments? Veronica Smyth
someone will be able to help Veronica with this query
Lindo born 1963 in London to immigrants from Jamaica grew up in the arse-end
of NW London. He took an interest in wildlife from an early age, initiated by
pictures of African animals and birds in a book. As a child he began exploring
local suburban areas, parks, etc. looking for birds and "won" a bird
book from the local library to help him with identification. Initially having
to be content with his bird watching in London, he realised that if you really
looked and explored the urban terrain numerous species of birds could be
interest in natural history and bird watching in particular has stayed with
him. Later, his career gave him access to cities and towns all over the world,
where in his spare time he explored and found birds in the urban environments.
He has become a TV celebrity, appearing in "Spring & Autumn
Watch" and "The One Show", re-iterating his enthusiasm for
conservation and bird watching when ever possible.
dried up Sunday 18th"
an interesting early problem with GMT, BST and Hong Kong time our regular club
walk around Stanford Reservoir finally got underway.
to the site is now permit only and comes on request with membership of the
Wildlife Trust. Da-vid Carman obtained the permit only to find out that
Neville and Vernon Weston already had one pad-locked in Nev’s wallet.
first surprise was the water level; did I just say water; what water! It was
almost totally dry in fact you could walk from one side to the other without
getting your socks wet.
you would think with little water in the "res" birding over lets go
home . Absolutely not! When the water goes it leaves lots of sticky mud and a
small collection of wildfowl packed pools. Mallard,
Shoveler, Pochard, Tufted, Common Teal, Wigeon, Shelduck ,Gadwall, Canada,
Greylag and much to our surprise five eclipse plumaged
Garganey were all in their own bit of remaining water.
mud told its own story with a complete Squadron of Grey
Heron amassed in formation waiting to attack the remaining Rainbow
Trout as the water vanished. Respectable numbers of Ringed
Plovers (13), Greenshank (8), Dunlin in a bit of summer, winter,
juvenile and anything they felt like plum-age (9) and only one distant Redshank.
Stanford has never been renowned for its wader records but with all that mud
exposed this autumn anything could happen.
walk along the surrounding path was also interesting with Chiffchaff,
Reed Warbler, Blackcap. Marsh, Long tailed, Blue and Great Tits,
numerous Reed Bunting, Chaffinch and the stunning
you go on these Sunday walks it’s guaranteed that something happens that
records it in your memory for all time and this one was no exception.
was Fred (Hawkeye) Burton who spotted Common Buzzard
being harassed by a Peregrine being harassed by a
Hobby right above our heads. That one’s
definitely going to be difficult to forget. And as a special treat I’m going
to let Fred buy me a whisky on the Scilly’s.
to - Fred B, David & Joan C, Nev & Vernon W, The Viking, Mick H, Sue B
& Ann G
to – Coot, All the Crows, All the Gulls, Moorhen,
Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Red Legged Partridge, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Barn
Swallow, House Martin, Blackbird and Green Woodpecker for not giving
them a mention.
from Bob Pacey
and partner Marian went for our second visit of the year to Looe in Cornwall,
and spotted 6 Oyster catchers, over 30
turnstones on Hannafore , I didn't expect to see them in September as
well. The usual grey and pied wagtails forage
amongst the seaweed and stuff when the tide was out. Plenty of cormorants,
herons, egrets and too many gulls to identify.
that a trip to Arnold in Nottingham, (daughter in law visit) and in the local
park we fed a black swan who took bread from the palm of our hands, not very
exciting I know, but it was really special
reservoir was constructed and formed by flooding a small valley between the
villages of South Kilworth and Stanford in the years between 1928 and 1930 by
the Rugby Corporation Water Department; as a supply of drinking water for the
town of Rugby, some 16 kilometres downstream.
the reservoir still performs this function (– hopefully not when we were
there, as it was extremely low allowing people to walk across in some places)
it is now used as a top-up for the much larger Draycote Water, some 24
kilometres to the south-west which was constructed in 1967.
reservoir is now managed by Severn Trent Water Authority and has a well mowed
perimeter path, 2 hides and feeding stations on the eastern shore at least, as
this was the only part that we walked in the time available. A total perimeter
walk while bird watching would require a full day.
mentioned above, a permit is required to assess the site and Warwickshire
Wildlife Trust members can apply for an annual permit by contacting the
Bedfordshire / Cambridge / Northamptonshire and Peterborough Wildlife Tru
Burbage Bird Club
Newsletter No. 22 - June 2011
the weather wasn’t brilliant for the Common Open Day, it was a success for
the club. Thanks to the donations of prizes from you the club members, very
little had to be purchased for the Tombola. Hence we made £172 for the
club funds. Again, thanks for your generosity. Thanks as well to
all the members who came and took their turn at manning the stall; I have 17
logged in as volunteers. Also thanks to Ellen and my “better half”
for preparing the prizes and setting up the stall.
and Ken were wearing their smart Burbage Birder sweatshirts at the Open Day.
These were purchased some years ago. Some members have admired them and
it has been suggested that we should purchase some more. But before
making enquiries, could members please let me know if they are interested.
I will provide a sample for people to see at the next meeting in June.
like to welcome Veronica to the “crazy gang”, sorry the club! She
enrolled at the last meeting.
would be useful if members could give me an indication as to whether they will
be going to Middleton Lakes on Sunday 19th June. This venue
is an extensive new RSPB site near Tamworth, which has only recently opened to
the public. They have normally only allowed organised groups to view the
work that has been carried out over the last 3 years, but they have
agreed to let the club visit and bird watch rather than have an escorted tour.
I’ve been 3 times over the development period on the organised tours and
it’s well worth a visit.
has been some interest in mid-week morning walks at local bird sites, so if
you are one of the “retired” breed of bird watcher or can organise an
occasional “sicky”, let me know. If there is enough interest I will
suggest possible venues and dates.
it for this month! Looking forward to the Hebrides trip. See you
all when we are back on the 13th June.
LINCOLNSHIRE COAST, 30/01/11 - A Belated trip report!
by Neville Weston
was eagerly looking forward to this trip, my first birding experiences on the
Lincolnshire coast, with three new locations to explore. Fred Burton,
Neil Pinckard and I snuggled into the back seats of the bus, and all settled
down for our run to “The Wash”, accompanied by some light hearted banter
with Tony Eaton. As dawn broke and daylight improved, we scanned the
passing countryside for early risers, our efforts frustrated by the
condensation on the windows of our bus. To our delight the first notable
sighting was a close view of a Barn Owl
coursing the ditches and hedgerows near Spalding, a great start to our
Thrush, House Sparrow& Woodpigeon
were added to the list at our comfort stop.
RSPB Frampton Marsh
met up with Graham Deeping and Dave Mason (who had travelled independently),
and after the customary greetings, we found White-fronted
Geese amongst the Canada and Graylag Geese
and good numbers of Lapwing, Curlew,
Black-headed Gull, Fieldfare
& Redwing, Magpie & Pheasant in
the adjacent fields.
moved on to take up residence on the sea wall overlooking the salt marshes
together with Malc Alney (who already had an impressive sightings list).
Frampton offered a good range of birds, although sea watching threw up very
distant views of the shoreline and its bird-life over the salt marshes,
including: - Redshank, Red-breasted
Merganser, Oystercatcher, Little Egret, Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Starling,
Peregrine, Merlin & Hen Harrier.
a hot drink in the visitors centre (friendly and well informed) we set off for
a walk around the fresh/brackish marshes and hides where we noted Reed
Ringed Plover, Ruff, Black-tailed Godwit, Shelduck and Shoveller,
we dipped out on Snow & Lapland Buntings,
which were known to be around the reserve.
arrived at Freistone and consumed our packed lunch’s alfresco style,
watching birds on the car park lagoon such as Tufted
Duck, Teal, Mallard, Pochard, Pintail,Great
Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Moorhen, Goldeneye, Dunlin and Common Gull.
Also seen in the nearby trees & hedges wereGreenfinch, Robin, Wren, Blackbird,Great Tit, Blue Tit, Siskin & Goldfinch plus
a large flock of Tree Sparrows
which kept us entertained thro’ lunch. I must mention Heather
at this point, who was as always, well organised with refreshments, and who
treated us to a slice of cake to celebrate her Birthday on that day.
Nice touch Heather!
walk to the beach was punctuated with a platform view over the partially
flooded pastureland revealing large flocks ofCurlew,
Lapwing and Golden Plover plus good numbersofCommon
Snipe, and in this location an unexpected sighting of Turnstones
in the drainage ditches. The distant shore and sea watch gave us Eider,Common Scoter, Goosander, Black-necked Grebe and Knot
to add to our day list.
lengthy walk through the old salt marshes to overlook salt marsh and shore
line produced large flocks of distant waders and gulls, frustratingly out of
range for us mere mortals. However, a couple of treats worthy of mention
were, great views of a female Merlin
perched, and fantastic views of Barn Owl
coursing the marshes. Delightful!
sign of our target bird Short-eared Owl
until in fading light Ken had very brief views of a bird dropping into
a gully. Unfortunately the rest of us dipped.
To round up, we were extremely fortunate with the
weather, reasonable visibility with hazy winter sunshine and very light
breezes, after the previous weeks high winds and storms. A fantastic
days birding with enjoyable company (thanks to all my companions) ended
in one of the celebrated chippies in Skegness.
apologies to Neville for not being able to include this article in the April
Newsletter – Ed.
by Vicky Gilbert
alert cleaner at Birmingham Airport sparked an investigation that led to a
major smuggler being brought to justice. On 3 May 2010, Jeffrey Lendrum
from Zimbabwe, travelling on an Irish passport, was detained by West Midlands
Police Counter Terrorism Unit officers. He was waiting in the Emirates
departure lounge at Birmingham International Airport, ready to board a flight
to Dubai. Officers were alerted when cleaners became suspicious after
Lendrum had asked to use the lounge’s shower facilities. They found
that the facilities were bone dry and unused, and that three egg boxes had
been discarded along with one red egg.
officers discovered that Lendrum had 14 eggs inside socks strapped to his
abdomen. Lendrum said they were duck eggs and were strapped to him to
counter a back problem. Lendrum was arrested on suspicion of possessing
wild bird eggs. Once the eggs were confirmed as peregrine eggs, they
were handed to a local falconer. The discarded egg from the shower was
identified as a painted hen’s egg. These are sometimes used to replace
real eggs when wild nests are raided, so parent birds will continue to
following day Lendrum was interviewed at length. He admitted visiting
the UK some three weeks earlier and that he had identified a number of
peregrine nests in the Rhondda Valley, South Wales. He returned a few
days prior to his departure date to take 14 eggs from four nests. He
claimed he initially intended to take them back to Zimbabwe to hatch the birds
out. He denied that he had incubated eggs for any period of time and
believed they were not viable so he was going to blow them for a collection.
He denied strapping them to his body to incubate them, maintaining the story
about the cure for his back ailment.
car had been left in the long-stay car park, and climbing gear and an
incubator powered from the cigarette lighter were found inside it.
Lendrum was charged and remanded in custody. In a lockup facility rented
by Lendrum, another incubator was found. Paperwork was also found
relating to a conviction in 2002, when Lendrum was fined by Canadian
authorities for taking Gyr and Peregrine Falcons. On that occasion, he
had hired a helicopter to allow him to access nesting sites. There was
also another conviction from 1984 for dealing in raptor eggs in Zimbabwe.
The information showed Lendrum was a highly organised and resourceful
criminal, poised to make significant profits from his exploits. From the
evidence and intelligence gleaned, the eggs were due to be delivered to a
contact in Dubai.
falconer successfully hatched 11 chicks from the eggs. The RSPB found
some suitable wild nests and seven chicks were successfully fostered into
three Scottish nests. The remaining four chicks were later hacked back
to the wild by falconers.
19 August 2010 at Warwick Crown Court Lendrum was sentenced to 30 months in
prison for attempting to smuggle 14 peregrine eggs out of the UK to Dubai,
contrary to the Custom and Excise Management Act 1979. He was sentenced
to a further four months, to be served concurrently, for taking the eggs from
four nest sites in South Wales, contrary to the Wildlife and Countryside Act
– ‘Legal Eagle’, RSPB Investigations, Newsletter, November 2010.
members attended the Sunday bird walk at Swithland Reservoir on the 17th April
and they were rewarded with some interesting sightings. The highlight
has to be the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, always a difficult bird to find, as I
can personally testify. Why is it that they seem to turn up at all the
meetings I am unable to attend? Answers on a post card please!
Other birds on offer included a good selection of summer visitors, namely
Chiff Chaff, Blackcap, Sand Martin and Swallow. Among the usual
selection of ducks were a late Goosander (female) and a (non-breeding?) male
Goldeneye. Raptors included 4 Buzzards, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel.
Also noted were Goldcrest, Tree Creepers, Nuthatch and Greater Spotted
party then moved on to Cliffe Hill Quarry, where 2 Northern Wheatears, 2
Ravens and Red-legged Partridge were added to the day’s list, giving a total
of 40 species.
Sunday the 15th May, a small group of members met at the Common
before travelling to Beacon Hill with the object of finding some Tree Pipits.
Remarkably, thanks to the local knowledge of Dave Mason and Neil Pinckard, our
object was achieved within 20 minutes, when several singing males were located
and we enjoyed the spectacle of frequent song flights from and to the
scattered trees. In the same area we had good views of a singing male
Cuckoo and Green Woodpeckers. As might be expected at that time of year,
the air was full of bird song and we noted the following species in good
voice: - Wren, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Coal
Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chaffinch and Yellow Hammer. Also seen were
Swallows and House Martins and a Nuthatch was heard. Raptors were in
short supply, but we did locate a Buzzard (impersonating a Kestrel by
hovering) and later a genuine Kestrel showed itself. Although only 25
species were noted, we enjoyed a very scenic walk in good company, before the
rain became too persistent to continue.
The next newsletter will be published in August
2011. Have you any snippets of information you would like to share with
us. Please send me anything you think other members would like to read,
i.e. birding trip reports, bird identification hints, favourite bird haunts,
short, anything polite and not too controversial about birds and Burbage Bird
PROGRAMME OF MEETINGS
Name for a Bird” – talk by Paul Fuller – meet 7.30 p.m.
meeting at Dave Mason’s house – meet 7.30 p.m.
at Middleton Lakes (RSPB) – meet 8.30 a.m.
bird walk – details to follow
Social Evening – details to follow
by Ken Reeves – details to follow – meet 7.30 p.m.
Search of Wild Britain” - talk by Carl Baggott – meet 7.30 p.m.
at Waders” - talk by Charles Brown – meet 7.30 p.m.
Party – details to follow
Burbage Bird Club
Newsletter No. 21 - April
note the talk by Ken Reeves scheduled for the 13th June 2011 has
been postponed due to circumstances beyond our control. However, Vicky
Gilbert has been able to secure another speaker for this meeting and we will
now be entertained by Paul Fuller, whose talk is entitled “Strange Name for
500th SPECIES IN BRITAIN,
by David Carman
many of you will be aware, Ken Reeves eventually achieved his objective of
seeing 500 bird species in Britain. A copy of the Leicester Mercury
article recording this milestone was e-mailed to all members for whom we have
e-mail addresses. In this article it mentioned that the 500 sightings
were accumulated over 32 years using the British Ornithologists’ Union list.
you go to www.bou.org.uk,
you can find details of the work carried out by the British Ornithologists’
Union and an explanation of how the list is formulated.
over 100 years the British Ornithologists’ Union (BOU) has maintained the
official list of birds that have been recorded in Britain and Ireland. This
'official' British List has recognition across the following organisations,
which have indicated their support for the work undertaken by the BOU and
it’s Records Committee namely, the British Trust for Ornithology,
Countryside Council for Wales, English Nature, Joint Nature Conservation
Committee, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Scottish Natural
Heritage, Scottish Ornithologists' Club, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust and the
various Wildlife Trusts.
try to summarise, there are various categories within the current Official
List (which now excludes Ireland) the most relevant of which is category
‘A’, as it is the list of species recorded (in an apparent natural state)
at least once since the 1st January 1950. There are numerous reports
from the British Ornithologists’ Union Records Committee available on the
website, the earliest accessible being the 23rd July 1996, and this
quoted 519 category ‘A’ species. The latest is the 35th
published in April 2007, when the category ‘A’ list had reached 553
species, with the addition of the Chestnut-eared Bunting seen on Fair Isle,
Shetland in October 2004.
Ken’s twitching is no mean feat. Seeing 500 out of a possible 553
species has taken him far and wide across Britain. Whether he can live
up to his statement that he has now “retired” and will no longer pursue
rarities into the distance, we shall see. The real test will come if a
Willet is reported in Britain. This is the species he really wanted as
sure all the members of the BBC and other friends who attended his 500th
celebrations at the Red Lion in Sapcote on the 23rd February would
like to thank him for his hospitality and generosity in providing all the food
and drink consumed that evening.
on birding Ken!
large number of club members gathered outside Nuneaton Crematorium on Friday
the 11th February to support Maureen and the family on the sad
occasion of Peter’s Funeral. His Scottish ancestry was in no doubt as
a piper, playing a lament, led the hearse to the Chapel of Rest. The son
of a mining engineer, Peter was born in Easthouses, Edinburgh and was an only
child. He did well at school and became an electrical engineer,
eventually joining the RAF as ground crew. He met Maureen at the Pally
Dance Hall, Leicester and they married in 1963. They had three boys,
Stuart, Ian and Robert who subsequently provided them with 9 grandchildren.
Peter spent the latter part of his working life as a radio service engineer
for the Home Office, but he was a man of many interests. In addition to
his lifelong love of the natural world, Peter was a keen radio ham, with
friends and contacts all over the world. He also played bass trombone in
the Burbage Silver Band.
Peter was a founding member of Burbage Bird Club and
a loyal servant, having served as both chairman and newsletter editor.
No surprise then that he and Maureen were recently made honorary life members.
He will be sadly missed by his many friends in the BBC.
we have come to expect, the talk by Neil Glenn on the 14th February
did not disappoint. He regaled us with his experiences whilst leading
bird tours in Morocco and seems to have visited most areas of the country in
the process. I imagine many in the audience were as surprised as I was,
to discover how much variety of habitat can be found there and consequently,
how many different species of bird can be seen. This is not the barren
desert one might have expected. Neil had assembled a large number of
excellent bird images, and frequent reference to maps enabled us to know which
part of the country they could be found in. The talk was delivered in
Neil’s usual relaxed and entertaining style. A great evening!
Sunday morning walk at Brandon Marsh NR, on 20th February was well
attended and produced some interesting sightings. An unexpected bonus
was the chance to see a group of bird ringers in action, and they very kindly
allowed us to look over their shoulders as they processed their catches.
They were using mist nets to catch birds in a small area near the visitor
centre where food is normally provided. We watched as a Nuthatch was
examined, measured, and then had it’s uniquely numbered BTO ring applied.
A total of 41 species entered the notebook and highlights included a pair of
Shelduck, an Oystercatcher, 2+Snipe, a Lesser Black-backed Gull and a
Cetti’s Warbler heard.
was unable to attend the talk on Watermead Country Park by Dale Osbourne on
the 14th March, but I understand it was well received by a
good-sized audience of 23 members and a visitor, namely Jack List, volunteer
warden at Fosse Meadows CP.
I was determined to join the Sunday walk at Ladywalk NR on the 20th
March, having missed the Club’s first visit to this venue last year.
First impressions as you approach the reserve through a large industrial
estate are not good. However, once inside the reserve, I was pleasantly
surprised by what an attractive area it is. Large areas of mature
woodland, a nice river and plenty of open pools all seemed to promise good
birding. The West Midland Bird Club administers the area and it was
suggested that a collection of £2 p.p. be taken to help provide bird food.
So 19 members and one visitor were able to donate £40 to Steve Cawthray (Head
Warden) for the WMBC.
was it worth it, I hear you ask. Well how about 51 species, including
Little Egret, a pair of Pintail, 20+ Goosander, 2 Oystercatchers, a Dunlin, a
Green Sandpiper, 2 late Fieldfares, Chiff-Chaffs singing, a Kingfisher, and
INTO SCOTLAND, by
Linda & Fred Burton
up by Ken and taken to Hinckley station. The train was 15 minutes late but I
had booked passenger assistance at Birmingham so managed to catch the
Edinburgh train ok. We arrived at 12.30 and had an hour for lunch before the
train to Aviemore, where Heatherlea guide Dave picked us up at 4.30.
was spent locally. First stop was Glenfishie, then Loch Insh, and
Craigellache, stopping for lunch at Tomvaich. Then on to Dava Moor,
Lochindorb, Carr Road, and Torr Hill. Species seen were Slavonion Grebe,
Red breasted Merganser, all three diver species, Red and Black Grouse,
Capercaillie, Dipper, Common Crossbill and Siskin.
Early start to Mull leaving at 7am. Went to Loch Laggan, taking the
Corran ferry to Loch Aline, where Fred spotted an otter in the bay playing in
the water. Then on to the ferry to Fishnish bay and round to Salenbay
for the Pied Billed Grebe. Lovely bird! At Loch Na Keal we saw
White tailed sea Eagle, Golden Eagle, Wheatear and Raven. Stopped at
Island View before turning round to catch the ferry back to our overnight stay
at the Ben Loch Hotel at Strontian. After the evening meal we went to
see PINE MARTINS. Sneaking jam sandwiches, which had been left for them.
Tuesday we left Strontian to go round Loch Sunart, then to Kingairloch where
we saw an Iceland Gull. After a walk round the little church we went on
to Loch Linnhe. Then on to Salachan where we had Grey Seals.
Crossed on the ferry and on to Loch Lagan Dam, finishing up at Creag Meagaidh
and lastly Inch Kirk.
Wednesday we went to the Cairngorms for Ptarmigan but the mist came down and
we had no hope. So went to Alt Moore to look for Crested Tits.
Fred got lucky and followed one to a nest with moss for nesting and we all got
exited watching it fly in and out of the hole in the tree. We then went
on to Loch Insh and Glentrommie for Great Grey Shrike finishing the day at
Poor House Wood seeing Common and Parrot Crossbills. After the evening
meal we went to the house of one of the guides to see the BADGERS. We
had 2 in the garden and 2 on the road. What a treat!
Thursday we headed to Moray Firth, stopping at Roseisle, Burghead Harbour and
Bay where we saw at least 10 Bottle-nosed Dolphins. Then on to Hopeman
and Lossiemouth, seeing Velvet and Common Scoter, rafts of Eider and Long
Tailed Ducks, Fulmar, Kittiwakes, Gannets, Linnits, Purple Sandpiper and a
was Black Isle day. On our way through Fortrose, we had a flock of 16
Waxwings in the high street. Then to Udale Bay and Jemmimaville where
there is the smallest post office in the country. At Cromarty Bay we saw
a raft of Scaup. Then back to Dingwall, where we saw Knot and B.T.Godwit.
We finished the day at Loch Garten. The Osprey had got there 10 minutes
before we did. Also had Red Squirrel and Great Spot Woodpecker.
dinner we had the log and general round up of the holiday and agreed that -
GOOD TIME WAS HAD BY ALL!
BURBAGE COMMON OPEN DAY 8TH
event is not far distant now, and we still need more Tombola prizes for the
BBC Stand. If you have anything suitable, please make sure you let David
or Joan Carman know as soon as possible. Ideally, all prizes need to be
ticketed in advance, so don’t delay, act today!
The next newsletter will be published in June 2011.
Have you any snippets of information you would like to share with us.
Please send me anything you think other members would like to read, i.e.
birding trip reports, bird identification hints, favourite bird haunts, etc.
short, anything polite and not too controversial about birds and Burbage Bird