Report of Plymouth Branch Indoor Meeting 23 March

 Will Ospreys nest on the River Tamar or Lynher ?

This was one of the questions discussed at the talk given by Bruce Taggart on 23rd March. He showed platforms that had been erected on the more secluded areas of the banks of both rivers to entice migratory birds to stay and breed.

The first part of his talk ‘Birds of the River Tamar’ illustrated his keen observations of the birdlife and supporting wildlife on the Tamar and Lynher over the last nine years. The beauty of the River Tamar as a SSSI and Marine Conservation areawas emphasised by the excellent pictures of birds such as Avocet, Spoonbill, Shelduck and waders.  These all enjoy the shelter of the estuary for rich feeding during our colder months and then disperse in the spring.

The second part of the talk described the study on ‘Great Black Backed Gulls on Looe Island’ over the last five years.  Sixty to eighty pairs of our biggest and much maligned gulls nest on this island.  The  chicks are ringed at three weeks with a notable blue ring on the right leg starting with L : and a number. Results from reports on the dispersal of the gulls show that they travel widely, across to the Continent, Channel Islands as well as to the north and east.  Identification of any blue rings can be reported to which will add to the bigger picture.                    Liz Harris