A summary of our year so far

This year the conservation society has been busy as always. So far, we’ve already continued our involvement with the signal crayfish and grizzled skipper projects, which are run by the Nottinghamshire Biodiversity Action Group (NottsBAG).

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  Catching signal crayfish    Scrub clearance for the grizzled skipper

We’ve also had some great trips: We visited Big Moor, where we got excellent views of the red deer (Cervus elaphus), and we also visited Langford Lowfields to see the bearded tits (Panurus biarmicus). Here we got a few brief glimpses of the tits and managed to see a peregrine (Falco peregrinus). Other notable birding trips include visiting Rufford to see hawfinches (Coccothraustes coccothraustes), going to Nottingham to see waxwings (Bombycilla garrulus), and seeing a large array of birds at Frampton Marsh, including a long billed dowitcher (Limnodromus scolopaceus) and hen harrier (Circus cyaneus).

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       Red deer at Big Moor                  Hawfinch at Rufford

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Waxwing in Nottingham          Goldeneye at Frampton Marsh

This year we’ve also been attending plenty of fascinating talks, including talks on long eared owls, hazel dormice, barn owls, and raptor persecution. We have plenty more of these in the calendar, such as a talk about the Lincolnshire coast.

As usual we’ve continued our moth trapping with plenty of catches so far, including mottled umbers (Erannis defoliaria), December moths (Poecilocampa populi), and a large quantity of winter moths (Operophtera brumata) (see a male with a wingless female below).

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      Male and female winter moths          December Moth

We have a great variety of events happening soon, such as coppicing, hedge laying, birding at Langford Lowfields, and bird ringing demonstrations on campus. We’ll be sure to keep the blog updated with how all of these events turn out!

 

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Heathland management at Budby

4th March, 2017

Today we made a visit to the northern side of Sherwood Forest, known as Budby South Forest and this is a very new RSPB reserve so there is a lot of management work to be done in order to fulfil the ecological potential of the site.

Continue reading Heathland management at Budby

Idle Valley… Northern Sector

15th February, 2017

So it was decided to return to the Idle Valley for a spot more bird watching, as we’d previously only covered the southern half which found us heading north from the visitor centre, along the River Idles course, as far as the village of Tiln. All previous recorded bird sightings (Notts. Birders) all stated that the ‘interesting stuff’ was all spotted to the north of where we last visited.

Continue reading Idle Valley… Northern Sector

Langford Lowfield Birding!

25th January, 2017

So ConSoc have recently come up with the great idea of loading a group of us keen birders into the minivan for some ‘spontaneous’  birdwatching. This week we decided to head to Langford Lowfields, Nottinghamshire, an RSPB nature reserve and a working quarry on the River Trent, which is currently being restored into the biggest reedbed in the East Midlands.

Continue reading Langford Lowfield Birding!

Big Moor

23rd November, 2016

Today began with a planned start to leave Brackenhurst campus at 11am, however, due to waiting for equipment we left at 11.30am. The drive to Big Moor, Peak District, was quiet, the only noise from Simon who was unable to decide on a radio station to listen to. Once arriving on site, the first fun activity was to walk through the muddy fields ready to approach the hill. The hill was tackled swiftly and enthusiastically by members due to their eagerness to see the red deer.

Continue reading Big Moor

Grizzled Skipper Project

9th October, 2016

For several years now ConSoc has been involved in the Grizzled Skipper project and this year is no different! The project is run by the Nottinghamshire Biodiversity Action Group (NABG) to help protect and expand the range of the Grizzled Skipper, and every year volunteers cut back scrub and create small scrapes to allow the butterfly to lay its eggs.

Continue reading Grizzled Skipper Project

Habitat Management work

2nd October, 2016

Today was our first opportunity of the year to get stuck in and involved with habitat management work at Brackenhurst campus. The session began at 1pm, gathering outside the library before setting off to our location in ConSoc wood. An astonishing turnout of approximately 20 members were seen- very promising for our future events! Once all the members were gathered they were introduced to our committee and then we all made our way to the workshop to collect the tools and do a tool health and safety talk – thanks James Jackson!

Continue reading Habitat Management work