LWT LOUTH AREA GROUP CHAIRMAN’S JOTTINGS JANUARY 2020
A ‘Happy New Year’ to you all and a Happy 50th Birthday to the Louth Group.
Our first meeting of 2020 will be given by the dynamic Tammy Smalley, Head of LWT Conservation. Her topic will be ‘The Sea and Me’ at 7.30pm on Friday 31 January at the Nichol Hill Methodist Church, Louth. Entry, including refreshments is £2.50; children have free entry
I wonder whether we shall have any cold weather to balance out the wet months of late 2019. We already have Primroses and Snowdrops in the garden whilst at least one hedgehog turns up very night for its Spike and sultanas. We have also seen the return of the Common gull with a deformed leg for the third year in succession.
The Pink-footed geese and Brent geese are still providing dawn and dusk flockings on the coast but nearly all the seals have left Donna Nook. There were 2,186 pups born this year which is an increase of 5.4% on 2019. Not all these creatures survive; it is estimated that 20% of pups do not live for longer than a year.
The busiest and possibly smelliest day at Donna Nook was 6 December when there were 466 bulls, 997 cows and 2135 pups to be seen. The seals have a very busy time whilst they are on the marshes. The cows give birth and suckle the pups who grow rapidly and turn from cream to grey before heading out to sea. The huge bulls roar and fight for the attention of the cows who are often still suckling their pups. They mate – quite a spectacle – they have no modesty and some visitors claim to be offended by this behaviour within a few feet of the boundary fence.
They soon start to leave, so the beach is virtually empty by late December when the seals return to the sea and start to feed again and when the stoical volunteer seal wardens and LWT staff have time for a rest.
Please remember to take part in the RSPB Great Garden Birdwatch scheduled for 25 and 26 January. Report forms will be in the national press as well as being on the RSPB website.
Ray Woodcock Chairman Louth Area Group, LWT