Stamford U3A Bird Watching Group 2019

Stamford U3A Bird Watching Group 2019

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Bird Watching Group – Clipsham Yews, May 2019

A warm and sunny, dry morning, greeted the Stamford U3A Bird Watching Group, on Monday morning, 20th May 2019. Eight members assembled in the car park, at Yew Tree Avenue, Clipsham .
The entourage moved off down the avenue, listening intently to the fabulous bird-song. Although the resident birds were busy feeding young, the summer migrants were in good voice; including, the warblers: Chiff Chaff, Blackcap, and Garden Warbler. Time was taken to explain the various song patterns; and to add one resident singer , the Chaffinch.
The naturalists then moved on to the woodland trail area, where the Garden Warblers were singing their wonderful deep, throaty song from the thick scrub cover. Suddenly, the listeners were delighted to hear 2 Cuckoos (at either end of the trail), singing constantly. ‘Time stood still’; as this was a precious moment: the Cuckoo is a declining species, and not heard very much in recent years.
After admiring the seasonal wild flowers, and the beautiful sight of the masses of flowers on the Hawthorn bushes; they made their way gradually along the trail, back towards the car park; the silvery wisps of songs from Willow Warblers floated through the trees. Finally, the songs of the resident Dunnocks were noted: which is good news for the Cuckoo; the Dunnock being the main host for the female Cuckoo to lay her egg in the nest: in this habitat of woodland and farm hedgerows.

Members then visited the Stamford Garden Centre Restaurant, in Casterton Road for lunch, and a convivial chat on the mornings proceedings.
Phil Rudkin

Bird Watching Group – Twyford Woods, April 2019

The Forestry Commission’s Twyford Woods was the site for the Stamford U3A Bird Group; when thirteen members met in the car park at 10 am on Monday morning, 29th April 2019. Thirteen members attended the meeting, and retired to the Blue Cow, South Witham, for lunch.

Photographs by Ian Baugh – the bird is a buzzard.

Bird Watching Group – Wakerley Woods, March 2019

The Forestry Commission’s Wakerley Woods was the venue for the Stamford U3A Bird Group; when 20 members assembled in the car park at 10.0am on Monday morning, 25th March 2019. Weather conditions were excellent; with a bright, cool and dry sunny day. The group walked along the main ride but the birds were keeping a low profile amongst the imposing tall conifer plantations. Therefore, it was time for everyone to “brush up their skills” and listen for the lovely songs and calls, to identify the singers!
The resident Wrens, Chaffinches, Blue, Great and Coal Tits were all in good voice, and the ornithologists were delighted to locate the “rattling, metallic trill” of a small number of Lesser Redpolls, deep in the pines. The only summer migrant heard was the Chiff Chaff and a few were observed in the trees, giving good views of this small warbler.

At 11am the far away ‘hooting’ of a Tawny Owl, drifted through the trees. This behaviour is normal for this species, which often wakes up briefly, and gives this contact song! As the sun got warmer, butterflies were encouraged to ‘take wing’, including the attractive male Brimstone, Peacock, and Comma. Patricia Dale logged 15 species of birds for the morning! Spring is here at last! The group then retired to The Royal Oak, at Duddington for a convivial chat and excellent lunch!

Philip Rudkin – photographs by Ian Baugh And Phil Rudkin.

Bird Watching Group – Ferry Meadows, February 2019

On a cool morning,  dry and calm, with a clear blue sky, 16 members of the Stamford U3A Bird Watching Group, assembled in the car park, at Ferry Meadows Country Park, Peterborough. The entourage headed to the large lake, flanked by woodland.   This proved an excellent watch point: and the remarkable courtship display of several pairs of Great Crested Grebes was witnessed with delight by the onlookers -see photo by Clive Adkin.   Suddenly, the temperature began to rise, and  the sun became warmer and warmer!  This spring-like weather encouraged the birds to sing, with:  Wren, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Dunnock, Great and Blue Tits, Robin, Reed Bunting all joining in the woodland chorus; and a few ‘yaffles’ were heard, from Green Woodpeckers.  On the lake: were Heron, Mallard, Coot, and flocks of Gulls: the highlight being a Common Gull, spotted with the telescopes at the ready! Large numbers of Cormorants were perched in the trees, and many with their wings held out to dry.  On the bridge, a Blue Tit pair were observed, exploring a nest box, and Magpies were building their large stick nest, high in a conifer.  Patricia Dale logged a total of 30 species for the morning!   It was now very hot, and the group headed for the ‘Beefeater’ for a welcome pub lunch.    Later that day, it was headlines on the Radio and TV news, that this day, was the hottest February day, since records began!
Philip Rudkin

Bird Watching Group – Christmas Meal, January 2019

22 members of the U3A Bird Watching Group, met at  Easton on the Hill, Village Hall, at 2:30 pm  for their Annual Christmas get-together.   Co leader of the Group, David Needham, gave an expert presentation, on the successful introduction of the Osprey to Rutland Water, in the mid 1990s.

David has a wonderful collection of slides, showing the work of the staff and volunteers, preparing for the arrival of these majestic fish-eating birds.  Followed by the young birds being introduced to their temporary new home, and the new surroundings.  The speaker used Power Point, for his presentation, (of which he was a member of the introduction team).
Members then settled down for a Buffet lunch and convivial conversation. The lunch was provided by the members themselves!

Carol and David Needham were thanked for organising the event.


Photos from earlier years –

Stamford U3A Bird Watching Group Photos 2018

Stamford U3A Bird Watching Group Photos 2017

Stamford U3A Bird Watching Group Photos 2016

Stamford U3A Bird Watching Group Photos 2015

Stamford U3A Bird Watching Group Photos 2014