News archive

May 2020

Thursday, 28 May 2020

Newsletter no. 2

And still the sun shines. And still we are not as socially mobile as we would like. But from what I hear, many of us are taking advantage of the increased laxity to see more family and friends - in very small numbers and always in the open air, of course. So birding can slowly feel more companionable.
Carol Wood and I met on Lyth Hill last week, her first proper experience of it, well most of it at any rate. She was excited to hear corn buntings in an adjacent field and I was thrilled to stand beneath a red kite as it scoped out the hillside. We had a lovely spaced out walk and talk and felt quite normal again!
In my garden a young blackbird decided that the water bowl was too inviting to drink from and took a bath instead!
I was also witness to a murder attempt! Two mature starlings took against a youngster and chased him off the feeders. They dragged him to the ground, turned him on to his back and stabbed away relentlessly at his throat. Scary! How relieved I was when he somehow kicked one off, rolled over and scrambled into the bushes, to emerge a little later apparently none the worse for wear. I expect he's all the warier and tougher for it.
Life at home can be quite dramatic at times!

Now to practical meters. The RSPB is gradually checking and amending all the routes in its sites and opening them as quickly as possible. There will not be cafés and toilets for some while yet as they are concentrating on keeping us all contact free. Their website will keep us informed. Ian and I have discussed his planned walks and agreed that there's very little chance of anything for a group until the autumn. When he resumes he will concentrate on local venues to keep the time away from our homes manageable. It's highly likely therefore that this year's outdoor programme will be next year's.
We're not able to progress with indoor meetings but as soon as I hear, I will let you know.
Until then, I do hope you all keep well, keep birding and keep in touch.
Very best wishes
Group Leader