Thursday, 10 June 2021
Thursday, 10 December 2020
For the sixth year, the peregrines maintained their presence at St. James’ Church. Following the failure of the 2019 brood when all five chicks failed to fledge – thought to be a combination of bad weather and poor parenting by an inexperienced female – we waited with a degree of apprehension for the pair to breed again.
A new nest tray with a protective roof was installed on the walkway on 24th January and by the 2nd March, pictures from the TV screen showed a depression in the gravel, proof that at least one of the pair had visited and ‘tried it for size’.
By the middle of March with COVID-19 sweeping the country, the church was closed to visitors, so we were relying Verger Dale Walker to provide any news, and on the 29th March, he revealed the falcon was now installed on the nest. On 11th April, Dale was able to check the TV screen and saw the falcon brooding at least two, and possibly more eggs. It was a month before we received a further report, when on the 10th May, 3 chicks were seen to be fed.
The chicks were ringed at the end of the month by Alan Ball under strict health security conditions, and thought to be two males and a female. By the 6th June, The chicks/young juveniles (eyases) were heard to call for the first time, showing that they are growing and demanding food, and on the 9th, we had the first glimpse of one of the juveniles peering through one of the castellations. A couple of days later, all 3 juveniles showed themselves
Two of the juveniles made their first flights on the morning of 18th June, predictably landing in gardens where they sat, looking quite confused. One was picked up in the rectory driveway by local vet Andy Cook, a bird of prey specialist, and carried up the stairway and released on the tower walkway. The other turned up in our garden, spending three hours on our shelter roof, before flying into a rose bush where I caught it (I’m not a bird of prey specialist!). So when Andy reappeared from the tower, it was my turn to climb the 198 steps with the peregrine struggling in its box.
Unlike previous years, all the juveniles made good progress and by 10th July, a juvenile was seen to bring in its own prey and by August, most of the juveniles were spending much of the day hunting away from the church, often returning noisily in the late afternoon. It’s likely that in another few weeks, views of the juveniles will be few and far between, so as I write this on 21st August, we can look back on a successful year.
Noted for the first time in Louth, our resident peregrines showed extreme territorial aggression towards any common buzzard within sight of the peregrines’ nest or the juveniles. We knew the peregrines in Exeter had brought down 21 buzzards in 190 attacks over a 6-month period, but it was the sight from our garden of the pair working together to attack and kill a buzzard passing near the church on 13th June that prompted us to log such events. In the following three weeks, 11 incidents were noted and the attacks only stopped when the juveniles were confidently flying.
For more information on Louth’s peregrines, or to purchase the booklet, visit: www.louthperegrines.org.uk
Wednesday, 7 October 2020
I've never seen a bullfinch, Pyrrhula pyrrhula, in my garden (I've lived here 33 years). They may be common in other places but I've have hardly ever seen one, and I'm pretty rubbish at bird identification anyway. I assumed bullfinches look like these. But of course those are just the brightly coloured males. So when two birds turned up, one with distinct markings and the other rather drab, I thought at first they were a male and female of I knew not what. And then I realised. This was no pair but a mother and child, a female and juvenile bullfinch. There are pictures showing the difference on the BTO website. And lots of other information.
Friday, 10 April 2020
LOUTH AREA GROUP 2020 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
As you are aware all LWT activities that involve personal contact have been postponed until a future date. The LAG AGM was scheduled for 24 April 2020. Rather than plan another date for the Autumn the committee made a case to the LWT for conducting the 2020 AGM by email. This was approved by Paul Learoyd, CEO of the LWT, on 3 March 2020. This move will enable the new committee to become operational early in May.
To date nominations for the 2020/2021 committee are Chairman Biff Vernon, Secretary Jan Boyd, Treasurer Rod Baddon together with Louise Scott, Judith John and Chris Henderson.
The LAG Constitution paragraph 4 tells us that the AGM is held for the election of committee members, for the receipt and consideration of the Chairman’s report and for the receipt and consideration the Financial statement. You will receive AGM documents for consideration and decision by email on 24 April.
In an email to all Area Group committee members on 9 April the CEO asked that group members be given 14 days warning of any changes to the group’s AGM arrangements. Consequently, I am sending this notification by email to the 75 members of the Group who have provided me with their email addresses. It will also be published on the LAG Facebook page and on the blog that forms part of our website. If you are a LAG member and not on my list and you would like to take part in this unprecedented AGM, please contact me on email@example.com
You may like to know that only 25 members attended the 2019 AGM which was reported in the 2019 Summer Newsletter. Let me know if you would like a copy of the Minutes of that meeting, a copy of the LWT LAG Constitution or if you would like to be nominated as a committee member.
LOUTH AREA GROUP 50TH ANNIVERSARY
Part of the proceedings at the April 2020 meeting was to have been a short presentation about the Group since 1970 followed by cake and coffee. I have attached a summary of the history of the group. I fear that you will have to provide your own cake and coffee.
Keep safe and keep in touch
Ray Woodcock Chairman Louth Area Group LWT 10 April 2020
Sunday, 29 March 2020