Saturday, 21 July 2018

LAG CHAIRMAN’S JOTTINGS JULY 2018


Louth Area Group Field Trip Sunday 29 July 2018
We meet at LWT Red Hill Reserve car park at 1400hrs on Sunday 29 July for a guided walk around this extensive reserve. Our guide will be LWT Conservation Officer Mark Schofield.
As most of you know the reserve is North east of Goulceby, nearest postcode LN11 9UE with
OS Map Reference TF 264 806.
The ground is very hard, there are some steep paths and a stile to climb – not good for a new knee. Just to cheer you up further the biting bugs love exposed flesh and ticks may crawl up your trouser legs. So, tuck your trousers in your socks and use some insect repellent. 
Jane and I visited the site on Wednesday – it was very dry, but there was colour amongst the long grasses from the Marjoram and Scabious flowers and the views over the Wolds were spectacular.
 
The Summer edition of the LWT Lapwings magazine is on its way to you together with the LAG Newsletter. In the latter I have given a report on the St James’ spire Peregrines. I have more recent news from Geoff Mullet who told me that, ‘As last year, one of the three fledglings was unable to fly – reason unknown. So, it has been taken to the raptor rescue centre in Worksop, where it is being examined by their vet. I received a text from them this morning, but only to confirm that the bird is still unable to fly but has a good appetite! I’ve asked them to let me know if it’s the same ‘angel wing’ problem as the one last year as apparently, it’s hereditary, or if it’s some other problem.
 
Our three hedgehogs have been joined by a much smaller one – is it a new born? We don’t think it is the offspring of the large male who bullies all the others with much snuffling. Last night at 0333hrs we were fascinated to see on the camera the scenario of a hedgehog feeding from a dish with our friendly vixen lapping from the water bowl; both being watched from across the lawn by one of the five cats that regularly pass through the garden.
 
The camera also picks up bats and moths as blurs on the screen. We see the bats around the house in the late evening but not the moths. At the beginning of the month we borrowed a moth trap and were delighted and surprised by the numbers of species present. From the large red Elephant hawk moth to the tiny micro moths. To help us identify some of these creatures we went to a Moth Morning organised by the Spirit of Sutterby group where the North Lincs Moth recorder, Colin Smith, identified 40 species found in 3 moth traps and told us how to identify 32 species of common micro-moths. Luckily for us he provided an identification chart!
 
Please remember to leave water out at night for your nocturnal visitors as well as by day for the birds.
 
Best wishes
Ray Woodcock 

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Louth Watch Group Meeting

Louth Watch Group of the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust.

We are holding a joint meeting with the Rimac Watch Group on Sunday July 15th at Crook Bank, near Theddlethorpe.

We will be using push-nets in the sea to find sea creatures such as pipefish, isopods,flatfish, brown shrimps, hermit crabs & sea gooseberries.

The meeting will start at 2pm. and is free

Children must be accompanied by an adult.

It is essential that everyone going in the sea should wear wellies or water shoes to protect against Weever fish stings.

Weever fish bury themselves in the sand with their dorsal fin sticking up. The dorsal fin releases a poison which gives an extremely painful sting to anyone treading on the buried fish and will result in a trip to hospital.

We will meet at Crook Bank car park. Postcode LN12 1NP, MR: TF 489883

I have attached a map with directions to Crook Bank.

We hope to see you then

Avril

Monday, 25 June 2018

LAG VISIT TO GOSLINGS CORNER WOOD 22 JUNE 2018



A GENTLE STROLL AMONG THE ORCHIDS ON A BEAUTIFUL SUMMER’S EVENING




A dozen cars managed to squeeze in to the car park at the edge of Goslings Corner Wood and 23 of us sprayed ourselves with insect repellent whilst we listened to an initial briefing from LWT Warden Damien Carter. We learnt that this wood is one of the smaller Lincolnshire oak/lime woods. The variety of soils in the reserve - ranging from neutral to acidic - produce the variety of flora. (See species list below.)



As we strolled around identifying the wild flowers Damien told us how the site was being managed. A series of coppice plots have been created off the main rides. The oldest plot at the southern end of the main ride was cut in the winter of 1989/90 and the last one in this present series is due to be completed in about 2045. In some areas new tree growth is being encouraged to restrict light reaching the ground to reduce the amount of grass growth. In another area the grass is left to enable the natural development of saplings which in turn will create fresh woodland. In a further area some larger trees are to be felled and coppiced. This work will be carried out by a contractor who also processes the timber for use as firewood and charcoal. A large meadow in the centre is harvested for hay twice a year. Sadly for us, it had just been cut so the wonderful field that had recently been full of yellow Meadow buttercups looked very bare.
The sunshine disappeared as we left the grassy paths and entered the woodland. Consequently, there was an abrupt change in the ground flora. Dog’s mercury was in profusion and we saw many Common spotted orchids. Wetter ground was indicated by Marsh thistles and Water avens.
The only birds that we saw were a couple of Wood pigeons and a Magpie although some people heard a Blackcap, a Chiffchaff and Peacocks!
Many thanks to Damien for his guidance and to Volunteer Reserve Warden Eric Sergeant who manages the site on a day to day basis.RW

PLANT LIST
GOSLINGS CORNER WOOD 22 JUNE 2018
LAG 1800-2000hrs
Small leaved lime
Cocksfoot grass
Oak
Foxtail grass
Birch
Rough meadow grass
Field maple
Timothy grass
Hawthorn
Crested dog's tail
Elder
Meadow foxtail
Crab apple
Yorkshire fog
White beam
Rough meadow grass
Hogweed
Wood melick grass
Alder
Rye grass
Meadow buttercup
Red fescue grass
Creeping buttercup
Pendulous sedge
Common vetch
Speedwell
Marsh thistle
Dandelion
Spear thistle
Ribwort plantain
Curled dock
Ramsons
Common sedge
Common spotted orchid
Lesser stitchwort
Water avens
White clover
Broad leaved willow herb
Pignut
Heath spotted orchid
Bramble
Meadow cranesbill
Stinging nettle
Hedge woundwort
Dog's mercury
Bugle
Cleavers
Ragged robin
Common sedge
Creeping-Jenny
Compact rush
Tormentil
Lady's smock
Great tussock sedge 
Prickly ox-tongue
Remote sedge
Yellow rattle
Fen bedstraw
Figwort
Hemp agrimony
Nipplewort
Marsh stitchwort
Marsh thistle
Spear thistle
Yellow vetchling
Ragged robin
Tufted vetch
Bush vetch



Thursday, 14 June 2018

LWT LOUTH AREA GROUP CHAIRMAN’S JOTTINGS JUNE 2018


Our next field outing will be to LWT Reserve Goslings Corner Wood at 1800hrs on Friday 22 June. Meet at the Hoop Lane car park GR TF 144753. Damian Carter, the LWT site manager, will show us around.
From the B1202 Wragby to Bardney road take the left turning down Hoop Lane signed ‘Chambers Farm Wood’ and carry on down the lane past the right turn that leads to ‘Chambers Farm Wood’. There is a small car park just inside the gate marking Goslings Corner Wood and cars may be parked on the road. There are no toilet facilities on site.
Jane and I went there for the first time last week and recorded over 40 wild flower species including Water avens and orchids. The mile-long, grassy path had just been mown and a few Blackbirds were very busy picking out bugs and seeds from the sweet-smelling cut grass. However, the path was a bit lumpy whilst Jane was joined by some biting insects. So, boots and mosquito spray may be a good idea.
We re-visited the Middlemarsh site near to Croft on Monday 11 June for the first time for a couple of years. The old, dilapidated hide has been taken away and the area fenced to enable easy access to the large hide which is reached by a grassy path. If you want a noisy couple of hours go soon. There are Black-headed gulls with chicks of all sizes, Herring gull families, Greylag goslings and little black balls of fluff masquerading as Moor hen chicks as well as Tufted ducks, Avocets, Oystercatchers and a few waders.
Later in the day we saw Avocets on nests at Gibraltar Point but no chicks. As always there was a cacophony of Black-headed gulls on the small islands in front of the hides and inevitably we were told that, ‘there were Spoonbills here yesterday’.
Ray Woodcock Chairman LAG

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Watch Group Meeting

Our May meeting is on Sunday 13th May at 2pm at the Lincolnshire Rural Activities Centre , Kenwick, just outside Louth.  LN11 8NR
At the start of the afternoon we would like the children to collect insects and greenery in the garden area.  They can take the specimens collected into the LRAC classroom to look at under our new digital microscope, donated by Louth Lions. 
We will  walk together to visit the replica Iron Age round house in the grounds to see how people lived 2,000 years ago.
We can discuss how it was built and think about the animals that may have lived in the area during the Iron Age.
We will then sit in the new camping area to draw pictures etc.
From there we can continue a nature walk round the site before going back to the car park.
It is an opportunity to visit a beautiful area just outside Louth.
Please meet in the car park. Use the shared entrance with Kenwick Park Hotel, but continue straight on and turn right after the overflow car park.
Children must be accompanied by an adult.  The event is free.



Wednesday, 18 April 2018

CHAIRMAN’S JOTTINGS APRIL 2018


At last we are seeing the sunshine. The buds on the two fruit trees in our garden have been waiting for so long that they are only just beginning to show green shoots. These trees are usually beginning to bloom by now and are being pollinated by bees and other insects. I hope the cold, wet weather has not had too much of an effect by delaying the blossom time which means that there will be fewer insect larvae to sustain the baby birds.
However, two and sometimes three the hedgehogs are still visiting the food in our garden each night. Two are males; one is a big bully who pushes the smaller male out of the feeding area! Nevertheless, the latter perseveres and sneaks back on his own.
 
I have been informed that there are now 3 eggs in the Peregrine’s nest on the spire of St James’ Church.
 
Has anyone seen a Swallow, heard a Cuckoo or noticed a Cuckoo flower (Lady’s smock) in bloom yet?
 
The Annual General Meeting of the Louth Area Group followed by a picture quiz, a raffle and coffee and cakes will be at 7.30 pm on Friday 27 April at the Nichol Hill Methodist Church Louth. All are welcome. I am delighted to report that we have nominations for a full committee and enough prizes for the raffle.
This meeting will be the last occasion when you will be able to buy the books that were donated to the group by the family of the late Joyce Robinson. Any remaining volumes will go to the Louth Museum for sale at book fairs. Thanks to your generosity an amount of about £200 has been raised from the sale of the books at LAG meetings.
 
Ray Woodcock Chairman Louth Area Group LWT

Wildflower Project with Spout Yard Trustees 4th April 2018





Despite the very damp cold weather, 13 children met in Spout Yard to transplant some of the cowslip seedlings into pots. They had been sown last September, but were still very small. The children took the pots home to look after.
They then sowed wildflower seeds in the five small circles that had been prepared in the park near the river. The seed mixture, 3g/sqm and the sand to mix with them, was supplied by Spout Yard Trustees.
The seed mixture contained 24 species of wildflowers.  A poster has been attached to the wall of the kiosk to help children identify the flowers as they grow.