News archive

March 2020

Monday, 30 March 2020

Cumberland Bird Observers Club, Sydney

Cumberland Bird Observers Club, Sydney

Wendy and I have just returned from an eight week holiday to Australia and New Zealand. During our five nights in Sydney at the beginning of the holiday, we went along to a meeting of the Cumberland Bird Observers Club, arranged back in October by contacting their club president.
After an hour's train journey from the centre of Sydney, we were met at the station by Doug Meredith, their president, who took us along to the meeting. He showed us around the local area on the way to the venue as we were slightly early.
In many ways, their group is very similar to ours, with a programme of regular indoor and outdoor meetings, meetings being held in a church hall, and it has very friendly members. They have just celebrated their 40th anniversary, so are ten years younger than our group.
They have a membership of nearly 400 which is much larger than ours but many choose to take part in different aspects of the club. Some attend just the outdoor meetings and some the indoor meetings, while others do bird surveys and ringing. 30 members attended the meeting we were at, which is very similar to numbers attending our meetings.
The meeting was their "Members' Night" where some of the members showed photographs from recent holidays, much like our evening after our AGM. We were officially welcomed to the meeting and made to feel very much at home. Afterwards, we chatted to various members while having tea/coffee, biscuits AND cakes.
The following day, because were going to the Sydney Olympic Park to do some birdwatching, their secretary emailed us a map with detailed paths to follow and what to see and where. It was very helpful and I think we only got lost once!
After the meeting, Doug very kindly drove us all the way back to our hotel in the middle of Sydney.
I emailed Doug when we returned to Scotland to pass on our thanks, and he told me that the meetings for their group have been cancelled until the end of June.
Darell Berthon

Sunday, 29 March 2020

Another warbler

Another warbler

Janet saw a willow warbler near Errol today. I've not had any here yet but chiffchaffs are abundant - 8 on one walk today (and one blackcap).

Thursday, 26 March 2020

Another sign of spring!

Another sign of spring!

Last Friday chiffchaffs were reported, and around my neck of the woods the Carse of Gowrie, they are increasing rapidly with 6 counted on yesterday's walk. Darell has let me know he's seen his first blackcap of the year in his garden in Wormit. I haven't seen or heard one here yet but no doubt they will turn up soon.

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Nestbox squatter

Nestbox squatter

Philip and Sheila found this little long-tailed field mouse when clearing out their nestboxes earlier in the year. The only thing I've found squatting in mine are tree slugs - sometimes loads of them.......I've nothing against slugs but they are not as cute as this little chap.

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Blossom pickers

Blossom pickers

Philip and Sheila discovered this bullfinch doing its best to reduce his crop of sloes - they are hoping enough will be left for the next batch of sloe gin in the Autumn.

Friday, 20 March 2020

Signs of spring!

Signs of spring!

Yesterday Anne Reid saw her first chiffchaff of the year on Carnoustie golf course. Co-incidentally I saw/heard two on the same day at Pitroddle, Carse of Gowrie. So the warblers are on their way (and oblivious of Covid-19 the lucky things!).
The photo attched to this post is a willow warbler.......I didn't have a chiffchaff, no doubt they will be returning soon.

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Montrose Basin SWT Centre closure

Montrose Basin SWT Centre closure

I've just heard that the SWT visitors' Centre at Montrose closed this morning along with all the hides. This will be for at least a week but maybe longer so best to phone and check before making a trip up there.

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

White-tailed eagle seen

White-tailed eagle seen

Darell and Wendy have seen a white-tailed eagle flying over Wormit today, just above the railway line. It was probably one of the one's from Tentsmuir but they didn't manage to see any tags.

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Barnacle goose at Murton

Barnacle goose at Murton

A single barnacle goose was seen at Murton this morning (17 March) amongst the greylags. There was also one pink-footed goose so its worth having a careful look.

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Activity cancellations

Activity cancellations

Unfortunately we've been advised to cancel all group activities until at least 1st September. There will be another news post when they are definitely to re-start. Keep safe and watching the birds.