Last Saturday a group of us got the bus to Gonalston and walked to Hoveringham. We first stopped at the railway lake, where we saw goldeneye, widgeon, and great crested grebes performing a mating display.
On the journey through Hoveringham village and on to the sailing lake we saw birds such as kestrel, green woodpecker, and jay. Once we’d reached the sailing lake, we stopped next to the river Trent for a break.
Due to the amount of activity on the sailing lake there were not many birds on the lake itself, but on the bank and shore we saw species including egyptian geese, reed bunting, little egret, and cormorant.
On the way back up to Nottingham road, we saw plenty of frogs and frogspawn. We concluded the trip by stopping at the pub for lunch.
Last Wednesday (27/02/19) and the Thursday before (21/02/19) we ran some successful moth trapping sessions. During the Thursday session the trap was positioned at the south entrance to millennium wood, and we caught 23 moths of 7 species: 4 Dotted Border (Agriopis marginaria), 9 March Moth (Alsophila aescularia), 3 Pale Brindled Beauty (Apocheima pilosaria), 4 Agonopterix heracliana (a species of micro-moth), 1 Engrailed (Ectropis crepuscularia), 1 Satellite (Eupsilia transversa), and 1 Oak Beauty (Biston strataria).
During the Wednesday session the trap was placed in the south-west corner of weir close, where we caught 21 moths of 5 different species: 11 March Moth (Alsophila aescularia), 6 Clouded Drab (Orthosia incerta), 2 Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi), 1 Satellite (Eupsilia transversa), and 1 Pale Brindled Beauty (Apocheima pilosaria). 2 Dotted Border (Agriopis marginaria) were also found in the bus stops the next morning and a Hebrew character (Orthosia gothica) was found at the bus stops the next evening.
Every year the South Notts Ringing Group kindly do some bird ringing demonstrations on the Brackenhurst estate, and this year they ran two sessions for us. Both sessions had good turnouts, with students watching the ringing and recording processes and getting the opportunity to release the ringed birds.
There was a great number and variety of birds caught and ringed across both sessions: Yellowhammers (Emberiza citronella) were one of the main species caught in the mist nets, a species that many students know all too well from their assignments. Blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) and great tits (Parus major) also made up a decent proportion of the catches, but many other species were caught including blackbird (Turdus merula), house sparrow (Passer domesticus), chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs), and reed bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus).
Overall the demonstrations were very successful, and we look forward to organising more bird ringing events for students next year.