Category

Bird Group

Bird meeting at Culver on 15th October 2017

The weather was very mild for this time of year, 17C, but overcast and a bit breezy. 12 of us met at the far car park on Culver Down. We skirted the cliffs from the far end, past the footpath that leads down to Yaverland, making our way back around the fort and up past the monument. (more…)

Bird walk from Blackgang Viewpoint car park

Nine members met on a beautiful, sunny morning for a walk along the top of the cliff to Niton and then walk back inland. The whole morning we were accompanied by Swallows and some House Martins who were flying and hawking for food before making the long journey to Africa. (more…)

Laundry Lane, Brading

Sunday 20th August 2017
The weather was mild, partly cloudy and with light winds as 14 members met at
Carpenter’s Rd end of Laundry Lane. We walked along the cycle/footpath, successfully seeing the Marsh Harrier and later a Hobby. A grey heron was in the triangular field. (more…)

Bird Meeting at Fort Victoria 29th July 2017

14 members meet at the car park for a walk led by Toni Goodley. As is our custom we started off with a brief sea watch. Besides an Oystercatcher only gulls were seen – Herring Gull, Black-headed Gull and Great Black Backed Gull were spotted. As there was no other activity we set off (more…)

Summer Recorders Event – Sunday 2nd July

Just a few days left until the very first IW Summer Recorders Event takes place at Dinosaur Isle, Sandown on Sunday 2nd July 2pm – 5pm, so please register and book your place asap.

This is a great opportunity to brush up your species identification skills as we explore the surrounding habitats to collect specimens and return to Dinosaur Isle to examine and identify them. (more…)

Bird Meeting, 25th June 2017 at Mersley Farm

Nine members met at The Garlic Farm on a lovely but windy morning. A Turtle Dove was seen and heard last year  and they have been heard in the vicinity in recent years however, (more…)

Bird Meeting at Merstone, 20th May 2017

Seven members met at the old railway station at Merstone for a walk to Horringford and led by Anthea Blackwell. It rained briefly at the beginning but it soon turned into a lovely morning. As expected we saw farmland and hedgerow birds with some migrants nesting. As the leaf cover was very dense (more…)

Wight Swifts needs your help

Wight Swifts is a new group set up on Facebook by Jim Baldwin – our IW British Trust for Ornithology Officer. (more…)

West High Down, 29th April 2017

12 members met at the chalkpit car park in Totland for a walk led by Nicky Falconar on West High Down on a cloudy and rather windy morning. We were hoping for some migrants (more…)

iWatch Wildlife Species of the Month

House Martin (Delichon urbica)

Last month iWatch Wildlife asked for Brown Hare sightings for ‘Species of the Month’ – and we’ve had a great response with Hare records still coming in!

This month we are asking you to tell us about House Martin nest sites.

Upon returning to the UK from Africa each spring, the House Martin used to be a regular summer sighting in every town and village. Sadly, during the last 40 years, the population in England has declined by 69% and now nest sites are mainly associated with village locations. This recent decline means they are now at Amber status on the list of Birds of Conservation Concern.

Surprisingly, despite their close association with mankind by building their mud nests mainly on houses and bungalows, very little is known about House Martins or why there has been such a decline; here is where citizen science can step in and help – we need your observations please!

It would be brilliant to boost the current records for House Martin nest sites on the Island, so please let us know if you spot a nest, or are lucky enough to have a nest where you live – photos would be an extra bonus!

If you can spare a little extra time, Jim Baldwin our local British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) representative is looking for help with monitoring House Martin nests. All you need to do is spend a maximum of 15 minutes observing it once a week throughout the breeding season from a safe distance to minimise disturbance to the birds. Regular observations over a period of time can be invaluable, so please do get in touch with Jim on Facebook @wightbto or email: wightbto@hotmail.com and he can tell you everything you need to know and help you get started.

Identification: a small bird with glossy blue-black upper parts and pure white under parts. It has a distinctive white rump with a forked tail. It spends much of its time on the wing collecting insect prey.

Good to know: They return to the UK in April. Originally, nesting on cliffs they soon took to nesting on buildings, attaching their mud nest cup under eaves; each cup takes up to 10 days to build, and over 1000 beak sized pellets of mud – incredible!

More info here:
https://www.rspb.org.uk/…/bird-and-…/bird-a-z/h/housemartin/

https://www.bto.org/volunteer-surveys/house-martin-survey

House Martins by John Adams