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Birds of Prey Day, John Moore Museum, 18 August 2018

A Live Animal Event for the Summer Holidays 2018

Organiser John Moore Museum
Date Saturday 18th August  2018
Time 10am to 1pm & 2pm to 5pm
Venue John Moore Museum, 41 Church Street, Tewkesbury, GL20 5SN
Details For the summer holidays the museum welcomes back J.R.C.S Falconry who will be bringing along a selection of birds of prey from their extensive collection.

Visit us to meet a Golden Eagle, a Hooded Vulture, an Eagle Owl, a Little Owl, an American Kestrel and a Barn Owl.  An opportunity to see birds of prey, from some of the largest to the smallest.

A falconer will be on hand to answer all your questions about these amazing birds as well as on the ancient art of falconry.

Four sessions to choose from:

10.00am to 11.15am
11.45am to 1pm
2pm to 3.15pm
3.45pm to 5pm

Admission

Adult: £6.00, Seniors & Students £4.50, Children £2.00

(Tickets include admission to the John Moore Museum, the Merchant’s House & the Old Baptist Chapel)

  Contact: Simon Lawton (Curator)
E-Mail: curator@johnmooremuseum.org
Website: www.johnmooremuseum.org
Telephone: 01684 297174

Broad-leaved Helleborine

I have probably 12 Broad-leaved Helleborine in our garden. One appeared between 10 and 12 years ago. Since then the numbers have increased annually without any conscious assistance on my part. This is the 2018 photograph of the original plant which has grown stronger each year.

They appear spontaneously in cracks between walls and the tarmac drive; in beds and borders, in shade or in sunny places. And I have been delighted that they have thrived here in our garden in Eastcombe (GL6 7DW)
We are both members of the GNS (my husband has been a member since 1984) and attend the Cirencester winter meetings and occasional field meetings in the summer.
I hope this report is of interest.
Kind regards
Pam Perry


Ashleworth Ham CES Visits 2, 3, 4, 2018

These three visits took place on 18th May, 28th May and 7th June. Visit 2 on the 18th was a quiet visit, with 31 birds caught which is exactly on the average for this visit. It is always a quiet visit, with the adult birds getting on with the business of breeding, territories have been sorted out, females are laying or sitting, so there is little movement. All the regular migrants were caught, and probably the most notable thing about the visit was the catching of six linnets, of which two were re-traps from previous years.

Visit three on 28th May was a day with ideal weather conditions, still and overcast, but despite this we recorded a well below average catch of 24 birds. It was notable in that no Redd Buntings or Willow Warblers were caught, and only one Whitethroat. All the Sedge Warblers caught were re-traps, so it looks as though there have been no new arrivals recently.

Visit four on the 7th June, was another good weather morning, with plenty of cloud and only a gentle breeze. The grass is now long, and it took only a few paces into the fields for us to be soaked.  The bird song by now is much reduced, but the bubbling calls of curlew, which are an ever-present feature of the early visits continued.  Male redstarts being an exception and singing well.

It is usually on visits three or four that the first juveniles are caught. With the Spring that we have had, it was no surprise not to catch any juveniles on visit three, but it was nice to find that there has been some successful breeding, as the first youngsters were caught on this visit. Four species of resident bird provided the newly fledged birds, in the form of Blue Tits, a Blackbird, Chaffinch and a Robin. Any time soon we should get some juvenile Song Thrushes, because we have had the best year ever for adult Song Thrushes with eight new birds ringed and a couple of re-traps. Unfortunately, the one Song Thrush nest found was predated before the young could be ringed and fledge. Two Carrion Crow nests along the reserve boundary have been successful with visible young in each of them.

As would be expected, all the female birds caught on the last two visits have had brood patches that indicate they are sitting on eggs.  A female Grasshopper Warbler was caught with an incubating brood patch, so they are here this year, trying to breed, despite the fact that we thought there weren’t any, as we have not heard a singing male on any visit.

Cuckoos have been very active around the site, with up to two males seen regularly, and a female heard on several occasions.

Botanically, the fields are in their prime, with lots of Yellow Iris providing splashes of colour, and the meadow sweet, the Oenanthe and the great Burnet all flowering now.


World Curlew Day at Upton and elsewhere

World Curlew Day was celebrated on 21 April. Listen to Mary Colwell being interviewed on the Radio 4 Today Programme on 21 April. Available to listen to until 20 May 2018. Interview starts at 1:17:40.

Here is an excellent video of courting Curlews made by Billy Clapham in the Shropshire hills:

To celebrate World Curlew Day on Saturday 21 April, residents of Upton on Severn and members of the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust and Gloucestershire Naturalists’ Society gathered on Upton Ham alongside the Severn, with the support of the Upton Town Council and the Upton Ham Owners Association. The Ham is the best botanical site alongside the Severn and has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest by Natural England. Among those present was Mary Colwell who had just given an interview about World Curlew Day to BBC Radio 4.

Now that the recent floods had gone down, the spring vegetation was coming along, notably the carpet of Ladies’ Smock or Cuckoo Flower; a Cuckoo duly obliged with its spring song, and two pairs of Curlews were seen, apparently preparing to nest.

Upton is one of the classic riverside hay meadows which, through maintenance of their traditional farming regime, provide nesting habitat for Curlews and other ground-nesting birds like Skylarks.


Ashleworth Ham CES Visit – April 2018

After a delay caused by the spring flood, the first visits to set up the ringing site have been made. Access was only possible wearing waders, and on Friday afternoon, waders were necessary to get into some of the net lanes. Today however, the water had subsided sufficiently, to make waders only necessary to get across to the ringing site. Once there, wellingtons were sufficient.

The customary greeting from across the ham of a curlew calling was made, and throughout the morning bubbling calls were heard, and at one point three birds came into the reserve. With much flood water still around waterfowl were present in reasonable numbers, a flock of twelve mute swans were on the flooded fields, along with Canada geese, greylag geese, mallard, shelduck and a few teal. Three grey herons and two little egrets were patrolling the edges of the flood. A pair of lapwing, that were no doubt hoping to breed were displaying over the flooded front field.

The late spring, with cold weather, then a flood, has led to the summer migrants arriving late, and although a few were caught, numbers were low, and only a few birds were singing. Willow warblers were the most noticeable, and a chiff chaff was also singing. A couple of bursts of Sedge warbler song were heard, a single whitethroat and late in the morning after it had warmed up two lesser whitethroats became very vocal. All around the reserve Skylarks were singing strongly, and a blackbird sang briefly. A few reed buntings were caught, but none were in breeding condition, and none were heard singing. One of the willow warblers caught had a ring on, that was not from Ashleworth, so where it came from will be reported later.

On the way out, at the end of the session, the remains of an otter’s dinner were found on the sluice gate bridge, along with lots of footprints and a fresh spraint alongside some old spraints. The bream and a carp had been brought to the bridge to eat, presumably caught in the flood water as it dropped. A number of large carp had been observed Friday afternoon swimming in the flood water, and presumably become easy prey as the water drops. Elsewhere across the ham a large flock of gulls could be seen, also feeding from the spoils of the flood. Back at the car in “dirty lane” two roe deer were observed for a while grazing in one of the new fields.

Birds trapped: Blackbird 1, Blue tit 3, Reed Bunting 3, Sedge warbler 2, Willow Warbler 2, Blackcap 1, Bullfinch 1, Chaffinch 1.

Birds seen: Mute Swan 12, Canada Goose 9, Greylag Goose 2, Grey heron 3, Mallard 16, Teal 4, Coot 5, Moorhen 1, Little egret 2, Skylark, Blue tit, Great tit, Blackbird, Song thrush, Robin, Dunnock, Wren, Sedge Warbler, Chiff Chaff 1, Willow Warbler 2, Whitethroat 1, Lesser Whitethroat 2, Reed Bunting, Linnet, Chaffinch, Bullfinch, Carrion Crow, Lesser Black Backed Gull, Kestrel, Buzzard, Curlew 3, Lapwing 2 , Oystercatcher 2, Woodpigeon.


Fish Migration project on the Severn Ham – public meeting 24 March 2018

Dear Resident,

We would like to inform you about a new wildlife conservation project, which seeks to remove barriers to migratory fish in the River Severn.

The Severn is the UK’s longest river and has been important throughout history as an artery of trade to the world. It is also an important river for many species of migratory fish including salmon, eels and shad – a type of herring once well known in the region as the ‘May fish’.

The Severn Ham is a unique place to study the May fish migration and we need volunteers to visit Upper Lode weir and monitor the fish as they migrate over the weir.

We also warmly invite you to a public talk about the project on Saturday 24th March, 5.30pm at Theoc House, Barton Street. If you’re interested in attending or seeing the natural spectacle of the shad migration this spring please get in touch with Tim, the Volunteering Officer at Severn Rivers Trust.

Email: tim.thorpe@severnriverstrust.com
www.severnriverstrust.com
Mob: 07707 585799
Office: 01886 888394

 


Birds of Prey Day – John Moore Museum – Sat 10 Feb

A Live Animal Event for February half-term week 2018

 

Organiser John Moore Museum
Date Saturday 10th February 2018
Time 10am to 1pm & 2pm to 5pm
Venue John Moore Museum, 41 Church Street, Tewkesbury, GL20 5SN
Details For the start of Half Term week in Gloucestershire, the museum welcomes back J.R.C.S Falconry who will be bringing along a selection of birds of prey from their extensive collection.

Visit us to meet a Golden Eagle, a Hooded Vulture, an Eagle Owl, a Little Owl, an American Kestrel and a Barn Owl.  An opportunity to see birds of prey, from some of the largest to the smallest.

A falconer will be on hand to answer all your questions about these amazing birds as well as on the ancient art of falconry.

Four sessions to choose from

10.00am to 11.15am
11.45am to 1pm
2pm to 3.15pm
3.45pm to 5pm

Admission
Adult: £4.00, Seniors & Students £3.50, Children £2.00
(Tickets include admission to the John Moore Museum & the Old Baptist Chapel)

Notes for editors Contact: Simon Lawton (Curator)
E-Mail: curator@johnmooremuseum.org
Website: www.johnmooremuseum.org
Telephone: 01684 297174