Society News from June 2017

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


Mid-Devon Field Meeting - Chudleigh Knighton Heath

Posted June 24th, 2017 at 6:11 pm by Inga Page

Mid Devon Field Meeting Chudleigh Knighton Heath – Tuesday 13 June 2017

 Green hairstreak butterfly     Green hairstreak butterfly

Emperor butterfly  Emperor dragonfuly

12 members attended Chudleigh Knighton Field Meeting this week for a very enjoyable day’s birding in summer sunshine. Apart from all the birds we had the additional interest of observing various dragonflies together with the Heath's rarest resident,- the narrow-headed ant.

Amongst all the birds seen were a good number of yellowhammers, a pair of kestrel and a pair of buzzards.  It was great to have such an extensive knowledge within the group able to identify the dragonflies and damselflies over the pond, eg: emperor, 4spotted chasers, black tailed skimmer, golden ringed, broad-bodied chaser and large red damselfly.  They all looked so beautiful in the sunshine.  Butterflies included green hairstreak, small heath, speckled wood and brimstone.

Annabelle Strickland, Mid-Devon Coordinator

Plymouth Branch Indoor Meeting – Monday 12th June

Posted June 19th, 2017 at 9:17 pm

Ford Park Cemetery - A Developing Wildlife Story

Speaker: John Boon



John Boon is an enthusiastic speaker, keen to share the knowledge and experiences he has gained from being a Trustee at Ford Park Cemetery. The Trust, which has run the 34-acre site since 2000, has limited resources but aims to involve the community, maintain a variety of habitats as well as operate a working successful cemetery.

He gave a fascinating insight into the history of the site, which at one time, was well beyond the city boundaries. In 1901 there were 3000 people interred there in a year. He talked of the gravestones of local dignitaries of Plymouth’s past buried there, as well as notable naturalists, like H.G.Hurrell.

He explained that managing the site for the community involved sharing its history and wildlife with everyone. Sometimes, with only two workers, it was a balancing act so that graves could be accessible and maintained. It meant leaving a variety of habitats with wildlife corridors between, which would encourage an excellent range of insect, moth, butterfly, bird life and flowers.  He illustrated the talk with wildlife and historical photographs.

The meeting was well attended and John Boon provided an interesting insight to the wildlife that could be found at Ford Park- a haven of peace within the city.

Jill Stevens

Fursdon Bird Day

Posted June 10th, 2017 at 2:26 pm

Following last year's Bird Day, the Fursdon Estate in mid-Devon hosted another successful event on 28 May. Members of Devon Birds were present, along with RSPB and Devon Wildlife Trust, to talk to visitors about the birds on the estate and to take them on guided walks around the grounds.


John Strickland, Jerry Tallowin and Annabelle Strickland from Devon Birds


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