Thursday, 14 February 2019

LAG CHAIRMAN’S JOTTINGS FEBRUARY 2019

 
SPEAKER MEETING
We shall be hearing from Conservationist Gary Steele who will be talking about, ‘Barn Owls in Lincolnshire’ next Friday 22 February at 1930 hrs in the Nichol Hill Methodist Church, Louth. The entry fee, including refreshments, is £2.50. Children are most welcome and have free entry.
Last June Jane and I spent a fascinating morning under the tutelage of Gary when we learnt how to identify and record the contents of owl pellets. We are looking forward to meeting him again. 
 
VOLUNTEERS REQUIRED
The AGM approaches. After a shortened version of the AGM it will be your chance to have up to 10 minutes to show wildlife photographs or give brief wildlife presentation. Please let me know if you are prepared to let us share your pictures.
Fresh ideas and new faces are needed. The group needs more committee members. The committee meets three or four times a year. Why not give it a whirl for a year? Speak to me or any of the other committee members for more details.
There is a need for one or two members to take responsibility for the important task of organising of refreshments at our six indoor meetings. Contact Jane Woodcock on lag2014rww@aol.com to find out what is involved.
 
GREAT GARDEN BIRD WATCH
Many thanks to the 18 members who let me have a copy of the bird list that they had sent to the RSPB. Between us we recorded 31 different species including a 4 Pheasants, a Heron and a Tawny owl. I have totalled the numbers of the most numerous species from all the gardens for your information.
Sparrow 137, Blackbird 73, Goldfinch 64, Wood pigeon 59, Blue tit 42. Greenfinch 39, Chaffinch 34, Jackdaw 27 [15 in one garden!], Great tit 26, Robin 18, Black-headed gull 17 [7 in my garden!], Collared dove 18, Starling 16, Dunnock 14, Coal tit 11.
It will be interesting to compare our small sample with that of the national figures when they are announced.
 
SIGHTINGS
The Pink-footed geese were still around on 7 February. Jane and I were in the vicinity of Rimac looking at Wigeon, Curlew and Roe deer in a meadow just prior to dusk when we saw skein of about 200 Pink-footed geese moving from inland to the coast.
Our hedgehogs did not appear during the snow; we presumed that they had hibernated. But on 6 February two appeared and we have had sightings ever since. When they both appear at the same time there is interaction between them. Scuffling, sniffing and grunting indicates that they are of different sexes.
 
Best wishes
Ray Woodcock Chairman Louth Area Group
lag2014rww@aol.com   01507 606880

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Big Garden Bird Watch

Several people from the Louth area who joined this year's Big Garden Bird Watch sent us their records. The data are available to download on this spreadsheet


Saturday, 26 January 2019

Report on Louth Watch Meeting at Spout Yard 20th January 2019


The meeting began with a quiz for the  children.  They identified twenty pictures of British birds which had been arranged on the walls. The answers were discussed and the children did  very well. We talked about which birds you might see in your garden and which birds are most common in the UK. Also we talked about the Big British Birdwatch which would be the following weekend.

Everybody then walked around Spout Yard Park together and managed to spot several different birds in the area.

The digital microscope and optical microscope were set up so that  children were able to view various bird feathers and a bird skull.

Each child was able to chose to play a bird game, either bird bingo or snap with a set of bird cards. They  all enjoyed the games. They then could chose to colour a bird picture.

The children each had a biscuit and a drink of fruit juice which had been donated by Louth
 Co-op.

They finally were able to get very messy whilst making bird feeders. String was tied to each pine cone and a loop made so that it  could be hung up. They then mixed soft lard, muesli, cheese etc and covered the pine cones with the mixture. They also filled half coconut shells with it.

The children took bird feeders home to hang in their gardens. They also hung some of the bird feeders on trees in Spout Yard Park.

It was a very busy afternoon which everybody seemed to enjoy.


Friday, 18 January 2019

CHAIRMAN’S JOTTINGS JANUARY 2019

Good day and a belated Happy New Year,
Our first Speaker Meeting of 2019 will be given by Geoff Lea on the History and Wildlife Areas of the Norfolk Broads. The meeting on Friday 25 January will commence at 1930 hrs in the Nichol Hill Methodist Church, Louth. The entry fee, including refreshments, is £2.50. Children are most welcome and have free entry.
I am particularly looking forward to this talk. I spent the first 25 years of my life in Hunstanton on the edge of the Wash but rarely visited the ‘other side’ of the county’.
 
The last seals have left the foreshore at Donna Nook although some can still be seen lingering on the off-shore sandbanks. There has been a record number of pups born; 2066 had been recorded by 21 December. Geoff Mullett made a video of a seal giving birth which may be viewed on You Tube:

 
The great event for me at this time of year is the Great Garden Bird Watch on 26-28 January. Please take part and let me have a copy of your results and post code on lag2014@aol.com. I can then ascertain the number of species that have been seen LAG area.
I enjoy looking at and recording the birds in our garden for this national task and hope that there will be as many species as we had at various times on 15 January; 27 sparrows, 4 Blackbirds, 2 Collared doves, 3 Wood pigeons, 2 Coal tits, 2 Great tits a Blue tit, a Wren and a Robin. A few scraps of meat on the lawn attracted 2 Common gulls, 7 Black-headed gulls and for the first time a huge Herring gull. It is interesting to note that one of the Common gulls has been a regular visitor for the last 3 years. It has a badly deformed left foot but looks in good health and is usually the first gull to hit the food.
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50 YEARS OF LAG – LONG TERM PLANNING
In January 2020 the Louth Area Group will reach its 50th year of existence. I am seeking ideas as to how the half century should be celebrated – possibly with some sort of exhibition. The LAG archives only consist of copies of programmes and some committee minutes. Consequently, I shall be delighted to hear from: -
1.    Long standing LAG members who have pored over photograph albums of the period 1970- 2010 to see whether they have pictures that they would permit to be used in a display.
2.    Members who have ideas for a low-key event or events that could mark this 50-year point.
3.    A person or people who would be prepared to research documents held at LWT HQ, Horncastle.
4.    A volunteer or volunteers who would be prepared to manage any planned event or events.
 
Best wishes
Ray Woodcock Chairman Louth Area Group