Society News from November 2013

Joint Field trip to Fremington with East Devon

Posted November 28th, 2013 at 6:24 pm by George & Julia Harris

Fremington Quay/Isley Marsh/Home Farm
Highlights of species seen today by Taw/Torridge/East Devon group field trip
1000+ flock Golden Plover
5 Grey Plover
30+ Brent Geese
2 Greenshank
7 Sanderling
3 Pintail
8 Snipe
Water Rail
Bar and Black-tailed Godwits
5 Spoonbills roosting at Isley Marsh
3 Whooper Swans on Home Farm pond, which then flew onto River Taw.

A good enjoyable day's birding


CLEARANCE SALE ON CLOTHING IN THE SHOP

Posted November 24th, 2013 at 12:29 pm by George & Julia Harris

REAL BARGAINS!    Clothing items in the Shop with DBWPS logo are now being sold off at half cost price as more and more we are being known as "Devon Birds".  Either email or phone before purchasing through the shop to check that the size and colour you require is still available.


Come and help at South Milton Ley on 8th Dec

Posted November 23rd, 2013 at 9:20 pm by George & Julia Harris

We are seeking volunteers to help with our reed cutting operation on Sunday 8 December from c9.30am.  It is an all day event (so bring a flask and lunch).  However if you can only spare the morning or afternoon you will also be most welcome.

The work comprises collecting and burning dead reeds, which will be cut down by our specialist machine.  This action helps maintain the reed bed in tip top condition.  So if you are reasonably fit, own a pair of wellies and think you might like to lend a hand then please come along.  The work is not particularly arduous; and of course many hands make light work.

The area we are cutting this year is at the top-most part of the Ley i.e. that section nearest South Milton Village.  From the village heading westward (towards the sea), about a mile along look for a narrow lane on your left which leads down to South West Water’s Treatment Works.  Car parking is alongside this lane.  Take the footpath (through a small metal gate) which runs parallel to the works.

For further information contact:   George Harris on 01822 853785

Hope to see you there!


Working Party at Tawny Wood on 9 Nov

Posted November 18th, 2013 at 10:10 pm by George & Julia Harris

The East Devon Branch successfully held a working day at our Tawny Wood Reserve near Dalwood, Axminster on Saturday 9 November.  Although heavy rain was forecast for the morning this did not materialise and the mild conditions gave the group an opportunity to cut back a substantial area of undergrowth, some of which was burnt or made into log piles to increase habitats for birds and other wildlife.  The working group was formed from members of Devon Birds and the Axe Vale and District Conservation Society. 
Working Group at Tawny Wood
The woodland reserve was created by the late Laurie and Pamela Williamson of Dalwood in 1983 and later given to Devon Birds.  An engraved stone at the reserve records their wishes for the reserve to be a sanctuary for birds and other wildlife and the woodland contains a number of specimen trees and shrubs
 
which were planted by the couple. 
 
The reserve is not open to the public and access is limited to Devon Birds' members.  A number of nest boxes are maintained by members at the site and this year wewere delighted to find a Wood Warbler present in the woodland, a bird which is an uncommon annual summer migrant, normally found in more upland areas.
Jonathan Ruscoe
 
Tawny Wood 1

Report on recent Plymouth Indoor Meeting

Posted November 12th, 2013 at 10:05 pm by George & Julia Harris

Enthusiasm, keenness, dedication plus considerable knowledge of bird identity are descriptions of our two speakers, both of whom are experienced Devon bird ringers.  Jon Avon and Nik Ward gave a most interesting and enjoyable talk on an introduction to bird ringing to an eager group of birders at Mutley Baptist Church, Plymouth on 4th November.

Jon, manager of Stover Country Park, near Newton Abbott explained how data collected from 100 years of ringing has allowed the BTO to piece together the migratory routes of various species. He described how studies on ringing e.g. Constant Effort Site Surveys show whether birds are site faithful and their survival rates, dependent how severe the challenges they face. He has been involved with several ringing studies and published one on siskins at Stover. This summer he was ringing lapwing chicks on Dartmoor and currently garden bird ringing is a major interest and study area for him.

 Nik spends many hours at Slapton Bird Observatory, Slapton Ley ringing and training groups. He relayed ‘The Day in The Life of a Ringer’ along with his busy programme during the year, including ringing manx shearwaters on the cliffs of Lundy.  He demonstrated the use of a mist net in the hall to capture a mock great northern diver, also the handling of a bird after capture and the equipment used to ‘process’ the bird. Taking measurements, weight, assessment of fat on the bird and age all are required prior to ringing. Use of metal rings means the need to recapture birds or report the tag number after death but these days coloured rings on birds legs in various compilations can give information without recapture.  Both need reporting to www.ring.ac.

For Your Diary.

Come and join us for our next exciting meeting, where Roger Finnamore and Greg Curno will talk about peregrines in ‘A Life on the Ledge – A Pilgrim’s Tail’ on 17th February 2014 at 7.30pm in Mutley Baptist Church, Mutley Plain, Plymouth PL4 6LB. Both Roger and Greg are part of the South West Peregrine Group.  All are welcome.


South Milton Ley Reed Cut Day 8th Dec

Posted November 6th, 2013 at 4:02 pm by George & Julia Harris

We are seeking volunteers to help with our reed cutting operation on Sunday 8 December from c9.30am.  It is an all day event (so bring a flask and lunch).  However if you can only spare the morning or afternoon you will also be most welcome.

The work comprises collecting and burning dead reeds, which will be cut down by our specialist machine.  This action helps maintain the reed bed in tip top condition.  So if you are reasonably fit, own a pair of wellies and think you might like to lend a hand then please come along.  The work is not particularly arduous; and of course many hands make light work.

The area we are cutting this year is at the top-most part of the Ley i.e. that section nearest South Milton Village.  From the village heading westward (towards the sea), about a mile along look for a narrow lane on your left which leads down to South West Water’s Treatment Works.  Car parking is alongside this lane.  Take the footpath (through a small metal gate) which runs parallel to the works.

For further information contact:   George Harris on 01822 853785

Hope to see you there!

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