News archive

September 2014

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Comings and Goings

Comings and Goings

Birds are on the move and the field trip to Oare Marshes gave us views of little terns, house martins and swallows on their way out of the UK and brent geese and others moving in. The BTO migration blog is a useful way to keep informed of nationwide activity.

The blog reports some exotic arrivals in the UK in the past week including a red-eyed vireo in Shetland. wrynecks and red-breasted flycatchers continued to arrive in the east, along with the first multiple arrival of bluethroats, however, even more exciting, was Britain's third ever masked shrike that was found at Spurn, East Yorkshire, on 20 September.

The common migrant movements are changing all the time as different species come and go. Numbers of whinchats began to fall during the week as stonechats began to rise. The first real movement of linnets began mid-week joining the increasing number of siskins on the move, and hirundines continued to pour out of the country. The first reed buntings are on the move as are alba wagtail (pied and white wagtails are difficult to separate on fly-over views so are often lumped as albas). Late September is also a good time for the arrival of short-eared owl and great grey shrike.

Friday, 19 September 2014

News from the RSPB's Weald reserves, Broadwater Warren and Tudeley Woods.

News from the RSPB's Weald reserves, Broadwater Warren and Tudeley Woods.

As the autumn season approaches, you'll start to notice the fungal fruits blooming out on the reserves. Both Tudeley and Broadwater have wonderful displays of fungi, with over 1000 species being recorded at Tudeley! The man who has done most of that recording is Martin Allison, and he will be leading two "Fungus Forays" in October. It's a great opportunity to identify and learn more about mushrooms and has always proven very popular in previous years. There's one at Tudeley on 2nd October and another at Broadwater on 17th October. Another guided walk taking place at Tudeley is the High Weald Walk, organised by Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery. Join local expert Ian Beavis looking at the plant, animal and insect life of different High Weald habitats on 20th September. Please get in touch to find out more or book your place.

Large amounts of red and white hazard tape are appearing amongst the trees at Broadwater this week. These mark areas containing historical land features which we will be preserving as the forestry work is carried out this winter. You may know already that Broadwater was used extensively as a training ground for both World Wars, and as such is littered with archaeological features - over 400! There are also other features like ditches and banks that can be dated back centuries, and give us a real insight into the past land uses of the Wealden landscape. As the heathland is restored, the features become much more identifiable and allow us to better interpret the land. We will be ensuring that they're all protected as the large machinery moves through the site later on this month.

The winter work season has just kicked off, when the more visible habitat management begins across both reserves. It means you'll see more changes occurring as we begin to coppice and reduce scrub. Much of this work is carried out by our fantastic volunteer teams, and we are hoping to recruit new troops this winter. Tudeley work parties run fortnightly on Wednesdays and monthly Sundays, and Broadwater work parties run fortnightly Tuesdays and monthly Saturdays. All tools and training are provided, and no experience is needed. It really is a fantastic way to give to a charity, get fit, gain new skills and learn more about how we are giving nature a home. If you'd like more information, please just ask.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Nightingale singing

Nightingales petition

CALL TO ACTION! What we need you to do before 25th September

Last week Medway Council voted to give the go-ahead for 5,000 houses in the SSSI (Special Site of Scientific Interest) at Lodge Hill in Kent, in spite of vigorous campaigning against it. This site is nationally protected and home to a nationally-important population of nightingales.

Please can you sign this petition (live until 25th September) and forward to your friends, family, work colleagues and, if you're part of an RSPB Local Group, to your members, asking them to do the same. The next milestone on this will be heavily influenced by individual action so it's hugely important that as many people sign the petition as possible.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Volunteer Work Parties

Volunteer Work Parties

The winter work season has just kicked off, when the more visible habitat management begins across both reserves. It means you'll see more changes occurring as we begin to coppice and reduce scrub.

Much of this work is carried out by our fantastic volunteer teams, and we are hoping to recruit new troops this winter. Tudeley work parties run fortnightly on Wednesdays and monthly Sundays, and Broadwater work parties run fortnightly Tuesdays and monthly Saturdays. All tools and training are provided, and no experience is needed. It really is a fantastic way to give to a charity, get fit, gain new skills and learn more about how we are giving nature a home. If you'd like more information, please just ask any member of the Wealden Team.