Tuesday, 22 October 2019
As the children arrived they were able to chose owl-centred colouring, word search or anagram.
Each child was then given a dissecting tray and an owl pellet, supplied by Roger Briggs.
Mary demonstrated how to tease the pellets apart with forceps and mounted points.
The children enjoyed pulling the pellets apart to discover the bones of small animals that had been
eaten and then regurgitated by the owl. They laid the bones they found carefully in the tray. They used a magnifier to examine the skulls and jaw bones they had separated out. They tried to identify the animal eaten by the owl by consulting a printed guide.
By using the digital microscope they were also able to look more closely at the skulls and bones. They were able to see the jaw and teeth which helped the identification of mainly shrews and voles.
Surprisingly several of the pellets contained the skull of more than one animal.
The children found the dissection really fascinating. They finished the afternoon by colouring an owl picture and attaching autumn coloured 'leaf feathers' to the owl's body. The results were very effective.
Eight children attended.
It was Mary Porter's last visit to a Watch group before her retirement as Administrator.
Thank you Mary.
Monday, 14 October 2019
Autumn has arrived; a wet Sunday, leaves to be swept and the spectacle of 83 Pink foot geese flying over the house early this morning.
Our remaining events for 2019 are the two speaker meetings in October and in November. You will be aware that the Information Coffee Morning scheduled for 9 November has been cancelled.
However, there will be LWT Christmas cards for sale at our Friday 25 October meeting from 7.00pm at the Nichol Hill Methodist Church, Louth. The entry fee, including refreshments, for members and for non-members stays at £2.50.
On this occasion the meeting will have a South American twist. We shall hear from two speakers, Roger Briggs and George Butler, who will tell us about their experiences in Peru and the Galapagos islands.
I look forward to seeing you.
Ray Woodcock Chairman Louth Area Group
Tuesday, 1 October 2019
A FUNGUS FORAY
It was pouring with rain at 0950hrs and a thunderstorm was forecast. Brian Oxborrow, the VRM, Judith and I agreed to cancel the event. A member of the Brigg group drove up, he concurred with our decision and left.
At 1001hrs LAG committee members and Watch leaders arrived and made the rain ease and then stop! So, we had another discussion and the walk, albeit very soggy underfoot was on. Brian took us around the site for the next two hours and described the ways in which rough pasture and scrub had been turned into heathland, woodland and grassland over the last few decades.
The rain held off and we all spotted many species of fungus, often in clumps by the path. The most notable was a huge red Fly agaric by the entrance. Bill Lee has kindly provided below a list of the species that we encountered.
‘We saw over a dozen different fungi a few I could identify with some certainty, some tentatively and some still elude me.
Types with sponge instead of gills, Suillus species including Slippery Jack and possibly Jersey Cow Boletus, also another Boletus species which I couldn't identify. Puff ball types, Common Puffball and Common Earthball. Quite a few gill fungi including Destroying Angel, Amanita virosa, Fly Agaric ,Amanita muscari, Amethyst Deceiver, Laccaria amathystea, Shaggy Ink Cap, Coprinus comatus, various Russulas including R.aeruginer(greencap), R.atropurorea (red cap ), and R. lepida(red cap).There were also bracket fungi on the birch and Coriolus (Tremelas) versicolor.’
It was a most interesting event and I should like to apologise to the member from Brigg who missed the walk.
Louth and Rimac Watch groups combined their September session at on the beach at Crook Bank, Theddlethorpe for the Annual Beach Clean.
In addition to the Rimac Watch group, several adults, a few families, two Scout Leaders and a Ladies group took part.
Three Watch Leaders from Louth also participated in the beach clean, but unfortunately no children from the Louth group.
The clearance began with a 100 yard recorded sweep to go to central records. We began this at Mablethorpe North End and worked our way back to Theddlethorpe. Once past the 100 yard cut off we continued to record on a separate sheet for Roger’s records.
The initial area had the most litter with a lot of wipes and food related items. Although we did find a few items, the remaining area was reasonably clean.
The Louth group would like to thank Roger and Ruth for organising and hosting the session.
Wednesday, 26 June 2019
We began the afternoon by walking to the meadow area at Lincolnshire Rural Activities Centre near Kenwick. It looked beautiful as it appeared to be full of ox-eye daisies.
The children were asked to see how many different leaf shapes they could find and record in a 3 metre long strip.
We talked about why meadows are so magical and special. The children (11) were given Meadow Activity Sheets and encouraged to explore the meadow. They were able to take the sheets home to use in other meadows.
They were also able to use the pootle pots and magnifiers to look for insects.
They were told about the Love Lincs Plants project .
The children chose the two plants that would be added to the Natural History Museum and Joseph Banks collections. There were a great number of common spotted orchids in flower and two of those were dug up and laid on a tray.
The other plant that was chosen was the meadow cranesbill which was again in abundance and two of those were dug up.
The children then each chose a flower to be added to the Watch collection. They collected a flower and leaf from each specimen. These included ox-eye daisy, germander speedwell, black medick, common mouse- ear and birds-foot trefoil.
We walked back to the Centre where the children were ready for the drinks and biscuits, donated by Northgate Coop in Louth.
The specimens were identified and recorded. Each was arranged on paper on a board laid on newspaper and then covered with paper and another board and placed in a press.
The resulting dried specimens will be mounted at a later meeting.
We had a very pleasant productive afternoon in a beautiful place.
Friday, 14 June 2019
Our next meeting is on Sunday 23rd June,starting at 2pm at the Lincolnshire Rural activity Centre at Kenwick.
We will be visiting the meadow area and arranging some fun activities there, including the Magnificent Meadows Activity sheet.
We are excited to be taking part in the LoveLincsPlants project to collect and preserve Lincolnshire plants for the Joseph Banks Institute and the Natural History Museum collections. So we will chose and collect two samples from each of two species growing there.
The children can also collect a flower and a leaf from other plants growing in the same area.
We can also look for butterflies and other insects in the meadow.
Back in the classroom we will start the process of pressing the flowers, which can then be mounted at a later meeting.
We will also have magnifiers and the digital microscope in the classroom so that the children can look more closely at things they might find.
We will meet in the LRAC car park, Kenwick Hill Louth LN11 8NR
(There is a shared entrance with Kenwick Park Leisure Centre, Continue straight on and turn right after the overflow car park)
Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Sunday, 26 May 2019
Report on Louth Watch Meeting at Westgate Fields
Sunday 19th May 2019
Over a dozen children attended this month’s session on ‘30 Days Wild’. We were fortunate to have fine weather which meant that all the planned activities were available.
The children were introduced to the concept of ‘30 Days Wild’ and were provided with a blank calendar page to fill in with ideas that they may like to try during June.
They were then given a large selection of activities from which to choose and were encouraged to try several during the afternoon. There was also a bank of further ideas from which they could extract those which may be of interest them. We also hoped that this would spark their own imagination and they would think of more activities which they could then share amongst the group.
The children were able to select from the following activities in any order and could complete as many or as few as they liked:
1) I-spy in Westgate Fields sheet
2) Litter pick (with equipment kindly lent by the Co-op)
3) Mini treasure hunt – find tiny items to fill a pot
4) Craft Butterflies
5) Nature pictures using natural resources
6) Colour wheel – locating natural objects for as many colours on the wheel as possible
7) Mask making – Owl, Fox or Mouse
8) Leaf/Tree/Plant ID
9) Measuring tree girth
10) Flower sketching and symmetry
11) Use of pooters/hand lenses for minibeast ID
The children (and their parents) were very enthusiastic and were all given the chance to feedback to the group as a whole. Hopefully many of them will sign up for ‘30 Days Wild’ and will attend at least one Watch activity during June.