Thursday, 26 November 2009

Bittern at the Moors

Here's a couple of bittern snaps taken on Monday at the north moors at Upton Warren. The bitterns are showing well at the moment and before the work party started on Tuesday morning a bittern was showing well in front of the west hide and could be seen later in the morning in the same area.

Stuart, Upton Warren

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

From the garden shed

The weather has been particularly gloomy lately. However, in the garden we've accomplished a lot. The strawberries have been moved into an adjacent bed to keep the crop in prime condition and grass seed has been sown on the top paths to create a lawn effect (reducing the need for weeding the paths next year)! The lavender and buddleia have been trimmed back, the bottom bed dug over and the scarecrow dismantled (don't worry, he'll be back in spring). And thanks to the hard work of the volunteer workgroup the pond has been been redug and filled - a new resident toad was even spotted (hiding snugly under a piece of turf).

Mary, Lower Smite garden

Friday, 20 November 2009

700 million years of Earth's history

The last indoor meeting of the SE Worcestershire local group at Wulstan Hall, Pershore hosted a speaker from the Earth Heritage Trust, Eve Miles, who gave a very interesting and enthusiastic talk on Linking Geodiversity and Biodiversity.

It was fascinating to find out how special the geology of Worcestershire is, how old the Malvern hills are, and how the geology of a region can influence the plants that grow. Eve brought with her an excellent presentation, fossil bearing rocks, landscape and geology trail leaflets and newsletters from the Earth Heritage Trust.

By far the most amazing revelation was the Geopark Way, a 109 mile walking trail through the Abberley and Malvern Hills Geopark that I didn't know existed, it looks fantastic - and now I can't wait until the spring so that I can start exploring 700 million years of the Earth's history!

Our next indoor meeting is on Thursday 15th December at Wulstan Hall, Pershore when we will be welcoming Roger Umpelby to talk to us about Friends and Foes in the Garden - and its our Christmas meeting so festive refreshments will be available - come along and join us!

Jayne, SE Worcs local group

Monday, 16 November 2009

Barnacle goose

This rare visitor to the Moors at Upton Warren was around last weekend.
Stuart, Upton Warren

Friday, 6 November 2009

Knapp looking beautiful

Have just been to the Knapp and Papermill, the sun was out and the leaf colours on the trees and scattered around the woodland floor are beautiful. Heard ravens overhead and flocks of longtailed tits sip- sip calling as they moved through the orchard trees. There is fruit on the ground in the orchard attracting red admiral butterflies and winter thrushes. I also saw comma butterflies out on Papermill Meadow and speckled woods in the woodland glades.

Helen, Smite

(photo of long-tailed tit by Karen Summers)

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Bittern at the Moors

Here's a couple of snaps of the bittern from the Moors at Upton Warren yesterday.

There's one as the bittern was flying to the north Moors where the other two photos were taken.

In one shot the bittern was trying to catch an insect that was bugging it - if you'll excuse the pun!

Stuart, Upton Warren

Committee members needed

I joined the committee of Worcester local group a couple of years ago. I was a bit nervous about joining but there really was no need to be. Our committee meetings are held about 4 times a year and always provoke interesting ideas and debates! We’ve organised (and enjoyed!) bird-watching walks, cream tea cruises, interesting talks and much more.

With a couple of our committee members due to step down we’re now on the look out for others to join our team. However much or little time you have to spare is always gratefully received and no particular skills are required as there’s such a wide variety of ways you can get involved. I generally give a few hours of my time each month and these are easily fitted around my full-time work and other commitments.

In the relatively short time I’ve been involved with the group I’ve made lots of friends, discovered new places, learnt many new things and, perhaps most importantly, has the satisfaction of knowing I’m doing my bit to help support the Trust’s invaluable work.

If you’re interested in helping out on the Worcester committee (I believe Bromsgrove and South Birmingham are also recruiting new committee members) please get in touch with Zoe Stevens on 01905 754919 or

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Owls in Stourbridge

The October indoor meeting of the Stourbridge Local Group was a little different from our usual illustrated talks. We were visited by 6 owls, rescued and reared by the speaker, Gillian Hales. They were very well behaved, as we learnt about the threats and conservation of these magnificent birds in the U.K.

A fascinating evening.

Carol, Stourbridge Local Group

Wildfowl on the move

2 shoveler dropped in to Feckenham Wylde Moor reserve at the weekend. This isn't a common bird for FWM but is an indication that wildfowl are starting to move around for winter.

I've also got a video of our water shrews feeding near the main pool hide. We're hoping to get it loaded onto the main website at some point in the near future so keep checking the FWM page.

Paul, Feckenham Wylde Moor