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Friday, January 29, 2010

Moths and Butterflies

Possibly the hardest working specialist groups in Somerset are the "Somerset Moth Group" and the associated "Somerset and Bristol Butterfly Conservation Group". I would like to challenge any conservation group to show me a more extensive series of outdoor activities than those shown on the respective web sites, linked below, for 2010.
Please check out this web link and please let me know if anyone can do more for conservation than this!
Here is the Moth Group  link  

To complete the picture here is a link to the Butterfly Conservation web site showing their list of events.  click here

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Severn babies in bathwater risk

Severn babies in bathwater risk

Here is a new venture for me!!!
Looking at the RSPB web site for news about the Severn Estuary energy proposals I came across a Blog they run and a post on the subject.
There were all sorts of links on the page including Blogger, and clicking on the symbol comes up with "Blog this" which I did ( bravely) and lo and behold it appears on my own Blog ( I had to sign in with my Google pass word etc).

So if you are still with me, and interested in what the RSPB thinks about flooding the Severn Estuary than click on the link above.  Then don't forget to come to our next public meeting . See previous posts.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Energy recovery from the Severn Estuary, The Severn Barrage and other scheems.

Here are details of our next public meeting. The wildlife which relies on the Severn Estuary makes it a very special place. Slimbridge is part of it. Before we see it seriously damaged we should take the time and trouble to find out what is being proposed.

Thur, Feb, 11th, 2010   Time 7.30 pm till approx 9.30 pm                           

Title of Talk :  Major Energy Projects and Somerset Wildlife

Description of talk: Severn Tidal Power is just one of several major energy projects proposed for Somerset all of which will affect wildlife.

Lisa Schneidau, SWT’s Director of Conservation, will give a presentation concentrating on the potential for energy recovery from the Severn estuary. Lisa will  review the current situation regarding the effect on wildlife, the Trusts response and future plans. The proposed new power station at Hinkley Point will also be covered.  There will be a Q and A session after the interval. Your comments and questions are  welcome.

Meeting Place:  Somerton United Reform Church Hall, West Street, Somerton

Where to Park: Free car park close by.

Is Venue Suitable for Wheelchair-User/Limited Mobility: Yes but not easy.

Admission fee:     £2.50

Friday, January 22, 2010

Bumble Bees

A quick note to give an advance reference to the subject of our public meeting on March 11th
Bumble Bees.

Here is a link to a Blog which has an excellent and informative post on the subject. Click here.
You should find a post dated Sept 27th 2009 all about Bumble bees

I've also just changed to a new editor for the Blog so I'm not entirely sure every thing is working. So will just publish and look at the results!! Well, it didnt work first time because of operator error! This time it will be OK.

Friday, January 15, 2010

British Owls; their natural history and practical conservation

This time last night I was on my way to our planned public meeting. Our speaker was almost certainly on his way from Bristol with a Barn Owl in the back of his car. As always with these meetings we have no way of knowing how many people will turn up, or if anyone except our small committee and our speaker. There are almost always glitches in the arrangements and it is all a bit stressful really but that's because its very important for our purpose of spreading some light on the mostly hidden world of wildlife.
So how did it go? Dealing with the glitches we got under way with an audience of around 65. That might not sound many but it is probably a record for our meetings. Many of them turned out to not be members of the Wildlife Trust. That was a surprise but also a bonus since some of them may join. The speaker was brilliant, the photos shown were excellent and the Barn Owl stole the show.
We manged a short break for tea or coffee, we had a raffle for prizes with an owl theme and there were good questions. Having arrived at the hall at around 7 pm we finally left at 10 pm. Our treasurer was happy because we had made a small surplus and the audience all looked very happy. Job done!
I should write another post with a bit more conservation content but that needs a bit of research.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

British Owls; their natural history and practical conservation

We confirm ( on Wed 13.01.10 ) that the School is open and the meeting will take place as advertised.

Dont forget our meeting on British Owls on Thursday 14th at 7.30 pm Huish Episcopy School,Wincanton Rd, Langport. This photograph by Chris Sperring, our speaker for the meeting may well be the one accompaning Chris for the talk!
PS the latest snow is melting fast now.

Friday, January 08, 2010

BBC Breathing Spaces

Photo by Mike Cook.

Here's a lovely photo of a Goldfinch taken by a neighbour, showing some of the recent snow. It may be the same bird which feeds on Niger seed in our garden too. We often have three or four birds at a time. The night time temperature has been down to minus 5 or 6 C over the last few nights. How do these birds stand it?

I get a regular newsletter from the Breathing Spaces team and its a good reminder of the many events and activities going on in the wildlife world. Even if you cant get to any of them they are still good value for activity ideas.
So here is a link to their newsletter web site. Click here.

And here is the full BBC Breathing spaces web site. Click here

Chris Sperring MBE: Best Wishes to all for 2010

This bitterly cold weather ( might be regarded as climate change but not to be confused with global warming!) is causing a lot of problems for people getting out and about. I had to make a special trip to buy bird food. I am also concerned that it might stop people coming to our next public meeting on Jan 14th. Fingers crossed that conditions might have eased by then.
I have just visited Cris Sperring's Blog to see what is going on in the Hawk and Owl world.
He has a wonderful photograph of an Owl of course which is worth seeing. I blogged his last post , (link below) which I found full of good things to look forward to in 2010 so here it is. I recommend it to keep you up to date.
Click on this link:
Chris Sperring MBE: Best Wishes to all for 2010

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


I wonder how our starlings are faring in this prolonged icy weather. Are they still flocking to Westhay and Hamwall to roost? Finding food in the fields must be difficult and it must take a lot of energy to fly ten or twenty miles just to settle in the reed beds of the levels. I must look this afternoon to see if they fly over our village at around 3.30 to 4.00 pm.
The starling hot line says ( lunch time Wednesday) that they are currently roosting at the Natural England site at Shapwick Heath. I have been surprised to find that they change the location from time to time.
I am hoping to get along to hear the talk on Starlings organised by the Taunton Dene local Group of SWT next Tuesday 12th Jan :
Talk on Starlings by Chris Sperring.
Why do starlings mass in the sky? Where do they come from? Chris Sperring, a well-known local naturalist, will explain the habits of starlings and their amazing gatherings over the Somerset Levels during the winter months. Tea, coffee & raffle. Children welcome. Meetings Room, Taunton Library, Paul Street, Taunton. Car park nearby. Suitable for wheelchair users/limited mobility. £2.50.

That will lead nicely onto our own meeting on Thursday 14th on British Owls in Langport. See our diary blog for details. Link here.