For those who are unable to join us on Fridays, on the Sundays of 1st December and 2nd February we will be holding Weekend Workparties. Families included. Tasks will include hedge planting and making brash piles. Please bring a snack, gloves, suitable clothing and footwear.
Meet in Crabtree Lane car park at 10am. For further information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
A small group, six adults and two children, made the usual tour of the parish looking for as many bird species as could be identified; both by sight and call. It has been very noticeable that there have been very few Swallows this year. They migrate to Britain over the Sahara from South Africa and travel in daylight up to 200 miles a day. Being such a small bird they are sensitive to changes and can be affected badly by storms, very dry or very wet conditions and food availability. Their reduced numbers have been been noted throughout Europe. On the other hand, there were a good number of Wrens calling all around the parish. It’s likely that the relatively mild winter has aided their survival rate.
A total of 42 species were identified (in the order they were seen or heard)….
Greater Spotted Woodpecker
The next (Winter) bird survey will take place in early 2020, the date of which will be arranged this Autumn. Keep an eye on Forthcoming Events above and in the next Newsletter.
On the 18th February we held our annual winter bird survey and recorded 53 species of birds. No Curlew or Lapwings were seen this year but new for the winter bird survey were Little Owl, Mute Swan and Blackcap. The Blackcap is usually regarded as a summer visitor but, with recent warmer winters, our local birds are able to remain in the area along with others that have migrated southwards from the north.
The RSPB’s State of Nature Report, 2016, states 56% of UK species are in decline. We have found that the built-up areas of our villages their gardens, hedgerows, trees and flowers provide valuable habitats for these declining species. In fact, our ten years of annual bird recording have shown that we have a good variety of bird species in the village. This is in contrast to the surrounding area’s intensively farmed land. Whilst some landowners are sympathetic, modern farming practices provide little in the way of suitable habitat, food or shelter.
2017/18 Winter Bird Survey
Our Summer Bird Survey is on 17th June. Please join us. Check out the Upcoming Events box above.
Over 50 people spent a glorious sunny afternoon on Saturday constructing a bug hotel under the guidance of East Keswick Wildlife Trust.
The event was hosted by East Keswick Methodist Church on Main Street, East Keswick, with the luxury accommodation for insects being built in the garden behind the church. Melanie Smith from East Keswick Wildlife Trust explained the importance of creating suitable habitat so that the vast variety of insects we are lucky enough to have can thrive. The children then used various natural materials to make a five storey, five star hotel for insects.
Melanie said “It was wonderful to see how enthusiastic the children were and we hope they will go home and make similar habitats in their own gardens.”
After the hotel had been built, the families enjoyed refreshments before tackling a nature hunt. The bug hotel is the first event of many in a programme to create a wildlife haven at the rear of the church involving the local community. The next joint event is a wildflower identification walk on 10 June and then, in the Autumn, seeds will be gathered and sown in pots so that young plants are ready to plant out next Spring to create a wildflower garden. Members of the public are most welcome to visit the garden at any time.
As part of the 10 year recording project, we surveyed ponds in village gardens in March. All but two ponds contained frogspawn, overall, 70 clumps of frogspawn were found. Also found were an assortment of snails, nymphs and water boatmen, leeches, common newts and frogs.
There is a second survey on 28th June. Check out the details in the events section above.
On 15th March, families and friends assembled pre-prepared kits for 20 tree sparrows nest boxes.
Starting young– Lucy and Poppy made and took home two boxes for their gardens
With a hole size of 28mm, the boxes are designed for use by Tree Sparrows.
The Tree Sparrow is one of our many farmland birds that have declined in numbers by up to 95% since 1970 because of changes in farming practices. Others include Lapwing, Grey Partridge and Skylark. Modern farming methods have caused degradation of habitat and loss of foods for wintering adults and developing chicks.