Stamford U3A Bird Watching Group 2017
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Bird Watching Group at Home Farm, Laxton – November 2017
The U3A Bird Group met at Home Farm, Laxton, on Sunday afternoon at 2:30pm. This was a ‘first’ for the Stamford Group; 15 members attended, to observe the RED KITE ROOST.
Weather conditions were poor, with the sun beginning to wane behind heavy low clouds, and it was very cold, but dry, and calm. The intrepid watchers were rewarded with Red Kites appearing slowly, then settling in the wood (some in the upper canopy), and many birds were calling (their lovely fluting whistles drifting towards us). During this spectacular scene, Buzzards were observed flying around overhead, and one Buzzard settled down on the pasture amongst some feeding Pheasants. At 4pm, the last of the Red Kites drifted in over the woodland then dropped lower down for the night. But for one minute; suddenly about 40 Red Kites erupted from the wood, and circled around before returning to their roost.
Members then went in to the cabin for a convivial chat, as they were treated to tea, coffee and biscuits by the hosts: Elizabeth and David Simpson.
Bird Watching Group at Home Farm, Laxton – October 2017
20 members attended this Monday morning meeting at Home Farm Laxton on 23rd October 2017.
We were taken around this Conservation Farm, by Elizabeth and David Simpson (the farmers), and were shown the conservation practices they carry out on their farm. Members asked some searching questions, and they were readily answered. This gave the members a wonderful chance to learn how farmers balance their farming methods with conservation practices.
Weather conditions were good, and lunch was enjoyed at The Royal Oak, Duddington. A hornets nest attached to a bird box was observed, with hornets still active in and out of their nest. The group can be seen inspecting the wild bird cover crops!
Bird Watching Group at Frampton Marsh, RSPB Reserve – September 2017
17 members attended the September meeting at Frampton. This reserve is situated on the coast of the Wash, some 4 miles from the town of Boston, between the rivers Welland and Witham – the weather was very good: mild, bright, calm, dry. We had 40 species of Wildfowl and Waders, and spent much time in the 360 Hide.
Afterwards, lunch was enjoyed at Boston in the The Spirit of Endeavour restaurant.
Bird Watching Group at Ketton Quarries – July 2017
The U3A Bird Group met this month at 10:00am, in the Ketton Quarry Car Park. The weather conditions were poor (overcast, cold and damp). However, the 13 members made their way into the valley, and met up with the Wildlife Trust’s small flock of sheep; doing their best to keep the vegetation in check. The sheep consisted of a mixed flock of Manx Loaghtan, and Hebridean. The group then headed for the Stamford Garden Centre Restaurant, at Casterton Road for lunch, and were joined by 2 more members.
Bird Watching Group at Castor Hanglands – May 2017
This was a Nightingale meeting! – Thirteen members attended, and we had a meal in the “Red Lion”, West Deeping, at 6:30pm. At 7:45pm. we departed in convoy, and drove to the Castor Hanglands (National Nature Reserve), near Helpston, for a 8:00pm walk. We stayed in one area listening to the songs of the Nightingales, until just after dusk. We also heard Tawny Owls, Pipistrelle bats and Muntjac deer!
Bird Watching Group at Duck decoy, Peakirk – April 2017
Our group at the famous ‘Duck Decoy’, near Peakirk. The photographs show leader David Needham outlying the history of the (now defunct) Duck Decoy to the members. Also some views of the Decoy nets and side panels. Poor weather, overcast, cold and damp, but enjoyable. Lunch at the “Boundary” Fish and Chips Restaurant in Market Deeping.
Bird Watching Group in Bourne Woods – March 2017
Despite the cold and dull conditions, we had lots of highlights: Large flock of Lesser Redpolls. Buzzard, Sparrowhawk; many resident birds in song, and several singing Chiff Chaffs (summer migrants). The woods were carpeted with Wood Anemones. Lunch at the Sugar Mill, a Marstons hostelry.
Bird Watching Group at Barnsdale – January 2017