Sunday, 25 June 2017

LAG VISIT TO LWT MESSINGHAM SAND QUARRIES 24 JUNE 2017


Only six of us turned up at the site south of Scunthorpe today where we were welcomed by Eddie Gaunt and two other insect and plant specialists. We spent almost three hours moving slowly through scrub, woodland paths, heathland and marsh margins.
A close up of a green plant

Description generated with very high confidenceRinglet, Comma and Red Admiral butterflies were easy to spot, so were the familiar small Common blue damselflies. However, nearly very plant had an interesting insect lurking on it or under it which enabled the specialists to point out Micro-moths, Soldier flies, Scorpion flies and White-tailed bumblebees. We must train our eyes to notice these species when we visit other reserves even if it just to notice the Pollen beetles on the yellow Cat’s ear flowers.
The Spear thistles were in full flower and the willow herbs were coming into bloom. Marsh orchids joined Greater bird’s foot trefoil to add colour to the grassy areas. The dense thickets of Phragmites rush and Hemp agrimony screened the water’s edge which in place was infested with the succulent leaves of Bogbean. I had not seen the yellow carnivorous Bladderwort before and here was a pond covered with it. Chris Packham would have had an underwater camera showing how the plant traps and ingests passing water fleas!
We saw birds – rafts of Tufted ducks and Coots, some elegant Great crested grebes a pair of Common terns with 3 fluffy chicks and a lone Pochard and we were treated to a fly past of 3 Egyptian geese. Young Cormorants were hanging out their wings to dry whilst Sedge warblers warbled in the reeds.
Towards the end of our stroll through the reserve Specialist John was asked about the presence of fungi. This was his cue to disappear into patch of woodland and to emerge clutching a football sized Puff ball fungus.
It was a fascinating visit – so different from our Wolds and coastal areas. I think we should find a date next summer when more people are able to be enthralled by the insects and flowers of these worked out quarries. RW

I have attached some more of Jane’s excellent pictures as well as adding a photograph kindly send to me by Geoff Mullett entitled, ‘the Brood of 2017’



Sunday, 18 June 2017

CHAIRMAN’S JOTTINGS JUNE 2017



Some time ago Aidan Neary, the LWT Wildflower Meadow Project Officer, ask me whether LAG members would be able to assist with the National Plant Monitoring Scheme on farmland near Stenigot. After a recce in depth last August the committee members thought that we could carry out the task but given various constraints we would need to have a dozen people working together on the same day. I am pleased to report that 25 members showed an interest and 13 of us carried out the complicated task on the sunny morning of 31 May.
Now is orchid time; we all love the beautiful Bee orchids. However, watch out for the delicate pale pink Common spotted orchids that grow amongst the pollen laden grasses. Or take a walk down the path at Gibraltar Point from the first (not main) car park to view orchids in profusion. There are also Spoonbills, baby Avocets and fluffy gull chicks to be seen from the hides.

OUT NEXT FIELD TRIP will be a flower and insect visit on Saturday 24 June to LWT Messingham Sand Quarry. This will be an easy walk through woodland paths and by the edges of ponds led by Eddie Gaunt and his team of knowledgeable volunteers. Meet at 1100hrs at the car park which is east of the B1400 Messingham-Kirton road opposite Scallow Grove Farm, Messingham, Scunthorpe. Map reference SE 908032. There are no loos on site but it is a splendid picnic area.
Ray Woodcock Chairman LAG
 

Monday, 22 May 2017

Report on Meeting at Rimac 14th May 2017

We had a joint meeting with the Rimac Watch Group at Rimac Reserve.

We walked to the pond carrying nets, ID, sheets, containers etc. The children stood on the deck and used the nets to catch pond dwellers. The contents of the nets were transferred to the water in the four containers that Roger had already filled. We could then see what had been caught. There were lots of tadpoles. There were also some small fish and the nymphs of dragonflies and damselflies. We were able to look at them more closely using magnifying
glasses.

The children really enjoyed dipping their nets in the pond and then seeing what
they had caught. When they had finished, they were given cards and told to find different items around the reserve.

Twenty children attended the joint meeting.
Avril.

LAG FIELD TRIP FAR INGS 21 MAY 2017



It was a pleasure to welcome new members to the group on this bright, sunny day. The ‘aaah factor’ was present in the car park – seven fluffy Canada goose goslings.  19 of us made a slow progression along the river bank and back through the woodland paths to have our picnic lunch in the double-decker hide amongst the reeds at Ness End.
It was a morning of quick sightings and calls – we saw Reed buntings, we heard a Cetti’s warbler, we caught glimpses of a Sedge warbler and had a good look at a tiny Willow warbler as it perched on a wire. An Oystercatcher flew over but we tended to ignore our beautifully marked Mallards and our elegant Black-headed gulls.
The wild flowers were beginning to bloom and as often at this time of year we tried to recall the names of the less common plants; not always easy, even with a guide book. The butterflies were easier to identify. Orange tips, Peacock, Green-veined whites and Small whites flitted around in the company of yellow Brimstones. There were a few dragonflies over the reeds whilst the Common blue damsel flies emerged from the ground cover as the air became warmer.
Our lunch stop location provided a steady trickle of different birds. The graceful Great crested grebes were the most numerous – four at one time. However, Shelduck came and went, a Common tern flew overhead and a couple of Blue tits were very busy feeding a family in a nearby bush. Inevitably the highlight of the day happened when most people had left the hide to return to their cars. We were given a wonderful flying display – about 10 metres away- by a Marsh harrier as it quartered the reed beds in search of prey.
Thank you, Judith for the excellent photographs. There are many more on our Facebook site. RW

BIRD LIST: Little grebe, Great crested grebe, Cormorant, Grey heron, Mute swan, Greylag goose, Canada goose, Shelduck, Mallard, Pochard, Tufted duck, Marsh harrier, Kestrel, Coot, Oystercatcher, Black-headed gull, Wood pigeon, Pied wagtail, Dunnock, Swift, Swallow, Blackbird, Sedge warbler, Willow warbler, Blue tit, Magpie, Carrion crow, Goldfinch, Reed bunting. 29

HEARD: Cuckoo, Cetti’s warbler, Reed warbler, Chiffchaff, Yellowhammer. 5

SEEN BUT NOT BELIEVED

Kingfisher, Bearded tit. 2

Thursday, 18 May 2017

LAG CHAIRMAN’S JOTTINGS MAY 2017


AGM: Our Annual General Meeting on 28 April was livened up by a display of photographs from Chairman Ray, Watch Group Leader Avril and six other members. A raffle raised funds for the LWT whilst 48 members enjoyed cakes and biscuits at the end of the evening. Many thanks to those of you who supplied the photographs, the raffle prizes and the refreshments as well as those who attended the meeting.
The committee members elected for the next 12 months are, Ray Woodcock Chairman, Biff Vernon, Secretary and Rod Baddon Treasurer with Avril Huke Watch Leader, Colin Byatt LWT Council Representative and Site liaison, Louise Scott Lapwings Distribution, Judith John Programme Secretary and Andy Goy.

SUNDAY 21 MAY 2017 Visit to LWT Far Ings Reserve on Humber Bank led by Reserve Warden Simon Wellock. We shall walk along paths through wild flower areas and along the river bank looking for birds and insects. There has been an extensive reed clearance programme the during winter months: you may see or hear a Bittern! Meet at the Main Visitors’ Centre at 1100hrs. There are loos on site but no refreshment facilities. However, there are plenty of seating spots for a picnic. If you have not been before the post code is DN18 5RG.

OUT AND ABOUT
Since the beginning of May, Jane and I have been photographing wild flowers in some of the local LWT woodland sites. Rigsby Wood has Red campion, Dog’s Mercury and patches of Sweet Woodruff together with so many other delicately coloured spring flowers.  Mill Hill Quarry and Hopland’s Wood are also coming into bloom. They are not far away and are worthy of a visit at this time of the year as well as being sheltered from the cold winds that are hitting the coast.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Watch Meetings



Report on Watch Meeting at Hubbard's Hills April 23rd 2017

A trail of 20 clues for a Nature Treasure Hunt were laid through Hubbard's Hills before the meeting.
The children and adults were given written directions to help find the clues and a question to answer when finding each clue.
It was a nice sunny afternoon.  Several children took part and were rewarded with some "Treasure" (glittery stickers or an animal eraser pencil) when they had completed the challenge.

Louise had worked out and produced the clues to make a very popular Treasure Hunt.