Society News from October 2015

Taw & Torridge Branch Indoor Meetings - updated

Posted September 2nd at 5:16 pm in Events by Mike Daniels

The Taw & Torridge Branch are restarting Indoor Meetings at the Castle Centre, Barnstaple. Start times are :7.30pm. Details for the remainder of 2022 and beginning of 2023 are:

8th November - John Walters, the Secret Life of the Long-tailed Tit

13th December - Philip Marlow, African Game Parks are not just the Big 5

10th January 2023 - Emma Scotney, An Introduction to Bats

14th February - James Fentom, Plovers of St Helena: A study

14th March - Stephen Powels, Tawny Owls

11th April - Ian Gaspar, Bird behaviour: an illustrated talk


Plymouth Branch talk by Mike Langman Mon 9 November

Posted October 24th, 2015 at 2:10 pm

Please join the Plymouth branch for our last meeting this year on Monday 9th November 2015 at Spurgeon Hall,  Mutley Baptist Church, Mutley Plain  Plymouth PL4 6LB at 7.30pm.

 After a short AGM, Mike Langman will give a talk on 'Forty of Berry Head's Four Hundred Million Years - A Brief Birding Encounter'.

Mike is an exceptional naturalist and illustrator, who was our first speaker at our initial meeting in March 2013.

For any enquiries email Liz Harris  or phone 01752 789594

East Devon field trip to Stover now on 2nd Nov

Posted October 22nd, 2015 at 6:07 pm

Please note that the East Devon field trip to Stover originally arranged for Friday 6th Nov has been rearranged to take place now on Monday 2nd November to allow members to attend the Conference on 6th November.

Jonathan Ruscoe

Taw/Torridge field trip to Topsham 20 October

Posted October 22nd, 2015 at 6:02 pm

Eleven of us met at Darts Farm on a calm, warm sunny morning.  Making our way down to the fishing lake and hide, the first birds seen were apair of Reed Buntings perched in the sweet corn crop.  In a large eucalyptus many Greenfinch and Goldfinch seemed to be feeding around the seed cups, and on the lake Moorhens and Mallards splashed about.  Suddenly a large flock of Canada Geese with Black-tailed Godwit, Teal and other small birds took to the air much to our disappointment, disturbed by a thoughtless person walking her dog in the designated bird sanctuary area.  On the walk back some of the group had Kingfisher, Chiffchaff and Stonechat.

Our walk along the river Clyst and the new cycle trail, although very pleasant, produced few birds, but at the Goosemoor viewing screens we had several Greenshank, Black-headed Gull, Teal and Grey Heron.

A number of birds seemed to be on passage overhead including many Starlings with a Sparrowhawk hunting amongst them.

Lunch was enjoyed at Bowling Green Marsh hide whilst watching a good numbers of birds, including Lapwing, Black-tailed Godwit, a group of 30 Avocet, 200 Redshank, Pintail, Shoveler, Wigeon a lone Knot and several hundred Canada Geese.

The bushes along the path to the viewing platform were full of Starlings seen arriving earlier, resting presumably after a long journey, also feeding amongst the shrubs were Greenfinch, Goldcrest, Bullfinch and Chiffchaff.

At Goat Walk we sat in the warm sunshine watching another group of Avocets, Curlew and Great Black-backed Gull, several Grey Heron and another Kingfisher.

Looking at the view across the river to Powderham, soaking up the atmosphere and appreciating what was probably the last day of our Indian summer, seemed a fitting end to a most enjoyable day.

50 species seen.         Jackie Bosley

Field Visit at Prawle - 8th October

Posted October 14th, 2015 at 12:09 pm

A well attended meeting, including  somebody’s first field event!  At first, it was a beautiful sunny morning and there was a constant stream of Swallows flying overhead, a couple of House Martins were with them.  The hedges near the car park held a Chiffchaff, a Goldcrest and two Blackcaps.  Plenty more of these were seen as we headed east and Cynthia spotted the only Yellowhammer of the day.  The sun vanished but Liz found the first Cirl Bunting that was keeping almost hidden.   As we moved on large flocks of finches were moving through to test our ID skills- most were Goldfinch or Linnet.  Plenty of Stonechats showed along the path.  Fifteen   Oystercatchers were feeding at the point accompanied by one Curlew and a Little Egret.  Pipits were also feeding near the point. 

Thought of food encouraged us to retrace our steps and now plenty of Cirls were seen.   As we settled down at the lookout point to eat, those who had telescopes at the ready were rewarded by the sighting of two Dolphins as well as some Common Scoter and a group of auks.    The Gannets were much easier to see!

Inspite of being October, several butterflies were seen including a Comma, which gave us good views.  An enjoyable day was had by all.     Lesley Goonersekera

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