The Birding Reports are getting back on song!
Given the lack of sunshine, our visit in May 2023 was a wonderful surprise with lots of bird song at Swaddywell, an old limestone quarry. See the link above for a report and the photo.
We try to visit sites where we’ll have good seasonal sightings of flora and fauna; the pleasure of strolling through a leafy glade surrounded by bird song (if your hearing is good enough!) can be one of the great joys of spring. In April the mist never really cleared, but we still spotted a few birds and learnt about orchids and butterflies during our visit to Barnack. We go to RSPB and other reserves in this area, as well as local woodland and quarries where the limestone gives rise to some unique flora and fauna, as at Swaddywell. We have the benefit of two experts, each with his own special interest, which enhances our visits, and many of us have learnt a lot from this group over the past few years. Being U3A members, the problem is remembering the bird songs from year to year!
Our best visit so far this year yielded 34 different species at Barnwell in March, on a walk through woodland, passing by the edge of marshy land and a pond or two. Only one bird hide, but we saw ducks, heron, swan and geese, blackcap and heard other song birds as we walked, besides the top sightings of nuthatch and marsh tit at the hide. If you’ve never seen these various birds before, or know little about the flora and fauna, that doesn’t matter; we’re a friendly bunch and everyone is pointing out what they see as we go along. Many pairs of eyes makes the morning very rich and enjoyable, whatever aspect of nature you’re interested in.
We meet on the fourth Monday of the month. We usually end the morning at a local pub for lunch together – and some group member even miss out the walk beforehand! If anyone would like to come on the next trip, please get in touch with David whose phone number is in the Newsletter.