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Group News 2003-A
Updated February 25, 2019

 

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est. 1992

website est. 1996

 

News Archive

23/06/03 Our very own Geoff Facer gave an interesting and concise account of a trip to Romania, from the Danube Delta to the Carpathian mountains. It's nice to know that areas like Romania still remain untouched. Geoff's slides reinforced the unspoilt habitats and vividly portrayed the attractive and varied countryside within Romania as well as the avian inhabitants.

23/06/03 It's Dinnington Carnival this coming weekend (28th June on the Resource Centre fields, Dinnington) and the group have a stall. Any support on the day would be helpful, even for a couple of hours. We will display our videos as well as sell reports and promote what the group is all about.

18/06/03 Our annual pilgrimage to Budby was a little disappointing bird wise. A good turnout eagerly anticipated prolonged views of The motley crew!Nightjars. Several were heard churring quite early on, An early bird flew across in front of the group, with 2 more observed last thing flying over the heath in front of us. Views were generally poor, but a full repertoire of churrs, Koicking, and brief wing-clapping were heard. More visible were the multiple views of several Woodcock roding, other highlights were Woodlark, Tree Pipit and very brief Long-eared Owl.

08/06/03 The group were represented at an event organised at Thrybergh Country Park. We flew the flag and handed out a few leaflets. Our website and videos were on show as were the bird reports. The highlight of the day however were the breeding Common Terns, which were performing all day.

30/05/03 We have now added video grabs from our Anston Stones Video, go to Gallery page and click on the Anston Stones video link

28/05/03 Vic Gibson made his third appearance at out monthly indoor meeting, again producing an AV extravaganza. His video this evening was a 35 min epic illustrating the behaviour and life cycles of South Yorkshires Dragonflies and Damselflies. This was a very entertaining and informative evening with stunning close-up shots emphasised by the video projected onto a large screen. We look forward to a 4th visit soon!

24/05/03 Our annual sponsored bird race was another huge success again this year, with both teams reaching the 90 species mark-it just goes to show what birds inhabit the around us. The team of Brian and Mick began at 17:00 on Friday evening, so were well ahead by the time the team of Chris and Andy began at 19:30 Both teams tried to record as many species as possible on the Friday evening, this allowing more time on Saturday to find target species. After an hour Chris and Andy were on 31 species, by the time they ticked Woodcock and Long-eared Owl in the fading light at 22:00 they were up to 41 species. Brian and Mick were on 53 species, their 2.5 hour head start an advantage.

Both teams met (coincidentally) next morning at 5:00 in Kings Wood, both teams eagerly adding typical woodland species to their growing lists. 07:00 and Andy & Chris' 56th species was Buzzard near Firbeck. Both teams met up again a little later at the Woodlark site, and again at Carlton Lake where, graciously Mick called Andy & Chris to let them know that 4 Oystercatcher were present (very sporting). Yet again both teams met this time at Axle Lane, where Corn Bunting and Yellow Wagtail were the quarry. It was 08:27 and Andy & Chris' team were on 74 species. 09:23 and the 80th species for Andy & Chris was Willow Tit, untypically skulking, and not wheezing out it's buzzy call. This is where it gets hard, as you spend long periods of time hunting single species. By 12:00 Andy & Chris' team had risen slowly to 85 species, the 85th being amazingly Long-tailed Tit. More sporting gestures from Mick and Brain lead to the opposition ticking off Ringed Plover and Kingfisher at 14:23, bringing Andy & Chris to 88 species. Their 90th bird was Spotted Flycatcher, in Anston Stones Wood, which they saw within 10mins of arriving, Mick and Brian had spent a good long time there without success, returning the gestures Andy tried to call Mick, but alas his phone was turned off as Brian and Mick approached their time limit! A last ditch effort by Andy & Chris' team in the final 2 hours reaped reward with Little Owl (91) and finally Grasshopper Warbler that produced a new square record of 92 species in a 24 hour period within the confines of SK58.

It's a shame more teams don't enter into the spirit of the event. Many good birds are found, and the race is run in a very sporting manor with teams helping each other out with elusive species. The highlights for me were the evening serenade of waders at Brampton, the stunning views of Long-eared Owl, and calling juv's, as well as Woodlark, Hawfinch, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Little Ringed Plover, and finally the enigmatic Little Owl-Why not have a go next year, it is truly memorable. If you sponsored any of the teams do please pay promptly.

06/05/03 The group picked up the new 200mm lens for it's video production work, paid for by the National Lottery Awards for All. We have to make a cradle to hold the lens and camera on the tripod, but first impressions are very favourable. The lens is incredibly sharp, with superb light gathering capability. Armed with this we shall endeavour to film the areas birds more successfully, for use as an archive, and in future productions.

04/05/03 Our annual Dawn Chorus walk in Anston Stones Wood was another success. A group of 15 headed off at 5am as group members pointed out the delights and inhabitants of Anston Stones Wood. Highlights were very confiding pair Green Woodpeckers and the first Spotted Flycatchers of the spring. The early risers were rewarded with bacon baps and sausage sandwiches upon their return provided by the RMBC mobile caterers. The money raised was donated to to the group by Rotherham MBC-Many thanks for this. We also sold several reports as well as enlightening several folk on the work we do. Thanks to Mick Clay for organising and running this now annual event.

02/05/03 Work continues on the pit tops. We will keep you up to date with all the developments at both North Anston/ Dinnington and at Kiveton. Don't forget the groups annual Sponsored Bird Race. As usual several teams will in a 24 hour period, attempt to see as many species as they can see or hear within the confines of SK58. As well as seeing great birds the teams will also raise funds for the group. Why not form your own team and give the 'old has beens' a run for their money. If you don't want to form team, then do please sponsor one of the other teams.

30/04/03 At the April monthly meeting the guest speaker was Michael Krause from the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. It was an enlightening evening, as Michael revealed some of Yorkshires best kept secrets as he explored the variety of reserves in the county. From Potteric, to Spurn, to some unspoilt havens in the Yorkshire Dales-if you're a member of the YWT you get to see all of these gems for free.

25/04/03 We can announce that the group has been awarded another 'Awards For All' lottery grant, as last time we have been awarded the full amount of £5000. This will go towards purchasing a professional lens, converters and adapters for the groups video camera. This lens is a boost, it means we will finally be able to get really good close-ups of the areas birds. The images will go into an archive to record digitally the areas birds. The images will also be used in forthcoming productions.

15/04/03 Today we noted workman and diggers on the Dinnington side of North Anston Pit Top. We understand work has started on removing contaminated waste and on the marking out of the waders scrape on the N. Anston side. Watch this space for more news.

01/04/03 The groups monthly trip was a pleasant walk along the Chesterfield Canal, from Harry Crofts to Turnerwood, and back to the Loyal Trooper via Moses Seat and Lindrick Dale. The walk was well attended, but despite the fine weather little of note was seen. Chiffchaffs are well in now. Kingfisher was the highlight along the canal as were 4 Little Grebe. A female Wheatear was located near La Farge Quarry.

26/03/03 A guest speaker from Yorkshire Forward highlighted the work and plans to be undertaken at North Anston and Kiveton Pit Tops, and confirmed the inclusion of wader scrapes, with hides at both locations. There followed quite a few questions. PLEASE REMEMBER TO RENEW YOUR SUBS!!!. They are due in April. This years annual sponsored bird race will take place over the weekend of May 24/25th. Two teams are already sorted, Brian Chambers (secretary) and Chris Lilley (Treasurer) and Andy Hirst (Recorder) and Mick Clay (Chair). It would be nice to have more teams involved. All money raised goes into group funds for report/ video production, and for development of the Pit Tops. The magical target of 90 species was cracked last year and the teams hope to do even better this year.

26/02/03 At our indoor meeting Rich Swales paid us a return visit after 8 years! The topic of his talk this time was Australia, where he was luckily enough to spend a year travelling around. A light -hearted talk was illustrated with excellent slides from all corners of the huge country, where the mammals, snakes and spiders all add an extra dimension to the birding!!!

22/02/03 A new venue for the group this month for it's monthly field trip. Boston Point, on the coast SE of Boston, where the River Witham enters the North Sea, was the destination. a new venue for many, a return after many years for others. 2 cars loads made the surprisingly short journey (1.5 hours) to Boston Point, calling at Fishtoft for a regular Long-eared Owl roost, where just one very pale individual was located. Parking by North Sea Camp (HM Prison!), we made our along the banks of the Witham with 1000's of grumbling Brent Geese for company. The car park here has a feeding station that attracted many buntings including several Corn. An acrobatic Merlin entertained us as it attempted to out manoeuvre a Meadow Pipit-1-0 to the pipit. Towards N Sea Camp at least 2 Short-eared Owls were observed as well as a pair of Stonechat. Loads of distant waders were noted from the obs hide, which doubled as a dining room. These included Turnstone, Grey Plover, Knot, Bar-tailed Godwit, Curlew and bucket loads of Redshank. The tide was well out now and made the walk along the sea wall towards Frieston Shore a bit of a trudge. However it was heartening to see hundreds of Lapwing and Golden Plover in the grazed fields behind the sea wall. A mile or so along the wall brought us to our halt at Frieston Shore, this now an RSPB reserve. It had been totally transformed. The outer sea wall had been deliberately breached to allow acres of land to flood at high tide and become brackish, which in turn in years to come will no doubt become a superb marsh. Behind several new banks to link the inner and outer sea walls, were fresh water areas, these producing a variety of possibly dubious geese including Brent, Barnacle and a minima race Canada Goose. Wild wildfowl however included a pair of Pintail and a nice female Long-tailed Duck. The bushes near the hide held good numbers of Tree Sparrow. Those who hung on to the bitter end were rewarded with good views of a hunting Barn Owl, occasionally mobbed by a Short-eared Owl. All in all another great trip-no doubt we will be here again next winter.

29/01/03 The group's AGM produced no change is officers (see contacts page). Following a superb buffet (thanks to the Loyal Trooper), Andy Hirst showed slides of how North Anston Pit Top had changed in 10 years.

23/01/03 The group undertook it's now annual winter trip to Norfolk over the weekend of 18th /19th. Strumpshaw Fen (SE of Norwich) produced the goods, with Bearded Tit's, Cetti's Warbler, Marsh Harrier, and to top it all crippling views of Bittern (20 feet away). Moving further down the Yare valley to Cantley, and Bean Geese were observed somewhat distantly. Just 10 were found and not the 50+ reported on the birdlines? Marsh Harriers were also abundant along the valley. The late afternoon was spent at Horsey, alas we missed a couple of Cranes, but were rewarded with several male and female Hen Harriers, lots more Marsh Harriers, plus Bewick's and Whooper Swan, plus 1000's of calling Pink-feet heading of to roost. The night was spent in a comfortable B+B in Wells-next-the-sea (Glebe Barn, Glebe Road, Wells), this ideally situated for Warham Green, where a Pallid Harrier has roosted for what seems like weeks. The evening curry was dampened by rainfall that continued throughout the night and greeted us at 7am the following morning. A very wet, grey and frustrating couple of hours possibly revealed the Pallid leaving the roost, but the weather made i.d. uncertain. The highlight was the presence of at least 7 Little Egrets. A stunning breakfast boosted moral. Following a trip to Holkham Gap where we duly observed Snow Bunting, Twite and 62 Shore Lark we headed to Cockthorpe airfield, where a local birder gave us sites where the harrier had been seen previously. In the rain we spent several hours checking fields and game cover without any luck. We decided to head back to Warham, where the sun came out and hey presto, the Pallid Harrier had been reported perched on a post. Within 20 mins we had excellent views in the now bright sunlight. The rich pale breast, pale collar, dark ear coverts, dark secondaries, long wings and tail were all obvious. It was certainly worth the 8 hours it took to see this bird perform. Also around were several Hen Harriers, single Merlin and Glaucous Gull and 2 brilliant hunting Barn Owls. This more than making up for the lack of cranes at Horsey yesterday-Roll on Jan 2004 for a return visit!

09/01/03 Just a reminder that our AGM is on the 29th, any nominations for the organising committee should be forwarded to Mick Clay (see contacts) before the meeting. All posts are open and all current incumbents are standing for re-election. Namely: Chair Mick Clay, Secretary Brian Chambers, Treasurer Chris Lilley, Membership Secretary Lyn Facer, Diary Dates Geoff Facer, Recorder Andy Hirst, Publicity Yuri Gabrilovich.

28/12/02 A traditional Christmas walk, this year between Laughton en le Morthen and Firbeck, was unfortunately an anti-climax. The highlights a flock of Tree Sparrow and Yellowhammer, plus modest views of perched Buzzard. Despite the lack of decent birds a good time was had by all.

A group focused on recording the bird life of a single 10km square between Sheffield, Rotherham & Worksop

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