Monday, 18 September 2017

LOUTH AREA GROUP CHAIRMAN’S JOTTINGS SEPTEMBER 2017


Good evening,
SEPTEMBER MEETING
It will be an early start at 0800 hrs on Sunday 24 September when we meet at the main car park at Gibraltar Point. Bring your binoculars and cameras to enhance your enjoyment of the bird activity to be seen at an autumn high spring tide under the expert guidance of LWT wardens.
Judith John was there earlier this week and caught this wonderful shot of Knot and Oystercatchers in flight.
UPDATES.
In August we had two sessions of seed collecting at Red Hill. On each ocassion a dozen members turned up to help at short notice. Warden Harry Turner was very pleased by the amount of Cowslip and Small scabiuos seeds that we collected and we were delighted to see many Red Admiral butterflies on the Devil’s bit scabious.
A further group of LAG members have been busy working at Rigsby Wood, Mill Hill and Muckton Wood whilst the Watch group had fun meetings at Rimac and at Anderby Creek.
GOOD NEWS
I am pleased to report that two members responded to the request I made in the Summer Newsletter for assistance with editing the newsletter and with organising the refreshments at our indoor meetings.
Thanks Chris Henderson and Jan Croft and welcome to the LAG committee.
Best wishes
Ray Woodcock Chiarman LAG

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Watch Group

Hello
I hope everybody has had a happy school holiday.

We are starting our autumn programme on Sunday September 10th at 2pm in Muckton Woods. MR TF 382810

With the new season we will be looking to see what is changing in the woods.
We will also be thinking about hibernation and how animals cope with winter in the woods.

Please park on the verge and walk along the track into the wood
The event is free. Children must be accompanied by an adult. 

We would love children to bring and show us anything interesting they have found over the summer.

The Spout Yard Trustees have invited us to take part in a project to create some wild flower areas in the park area.
We would like the children to be involved. 
We would like to start with the children planting some cowslip seeds in the greenhouse at Spout Yard. We hope that we would eventually be able to plant them out as plugs. We are hoping to do this on Sunday 17th September at 2pm.
On the same day they can help decide which areas to plant, measure and work out the size of the area so we will know how much seed to buy. We will possibly prepare the ground and plant a wildflower mixture next spring. 

Please let me know if your children would be interested in this project. We would prefer to know how many trays and quantity of compost we need!

Best Wishes
Avril

SEED COLLECTING AT RED HILL


On a couple of mornings this Summer we  helped Harry Turner collect seeds at Coronation Meadow Red Hill where we collected a couple of kilos of Cowslip seeds and a lesser amount of Small Scabious seeds. Last week, the second occasion, we saw clouds of Red Admiral butterflies on the Devil's bit scabious and marvelled at the golden seed heads of the Greater knapweed plants.
Harry was delighted and most effusive in his thanks. In turn, we were pleased to offer him some support in the hard work that he carries out at this spectacular LWT site. Because of the weather we had very little notice of the call for assistance. However, the turnout of volunteers was excellent – a dozen of us on each occasion. RW



Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Watch Group dates

Thursday July 27th 
Come and hunt for mini-beasts with Louth Watch at Spout Yard Park, Louth from 2.00 pm
This event is part of the Spout Yard "Beach Party" which is running from July 22nd to 30th.
The event is free. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Friday 18th August
Join in the Free Family Fun Day 11.00 to 15.00 at Rimac Eco-Classroom, Saltfleetby-Theddlethorpe Dunes LN11 7TS.
Pond dipping, Sweep Nets and Wild Crafts.
Organised by Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

FROM THE LOUTH MUSEUM BLOG OBSERVATIONS 1885


The “Ants and Nats”, the organisation responsible for Louth Museum is one of the oldest learned societies in Lincolnshire.  It started in 1884 when a group of teenage boys interested in Natural History began to meet each week to discuss their findings.  Recently we have come across an original document dated 1885 that lists some of their “Zoological Observations”, including
Jan 17th.  Two otters seen near the pond at Tathwell.
Feb 11th.  Cart load of sprats being drawn through the town to be used as manure.
Feb 24th.  Two white stoats are now being shown in the bird-stuffer’s window.  Three have been caught this winter.
Apr 3rd.  On vermin tree in Burwell Wood were 26 weasels and 3 stoats.
Aug 4th.  Natterjack toad seen on the sand hills at Mablethorpe.  Easily distinguished from the common toad, which is also present on the sand hills, by the white dorsal line.
Aug 21st.  School of porpoises seen off Mablethorpe.

Ruth

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