Category

Bird Group

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

Bird Meeting at Newtown Nature Reserve 4th March 2017

After overnight rain 22 members met at the National Trust visitor centre car park on a lovely, bright morning. Wellington boots were a must this morning as there were muddy, wet fields and paths to negotiate. (more…)

Hurstake to Werrar Farm Bird Meeting 5th February 2017

On a cool cloudy morning 17 members met at the Medina Park Picnic Site car-park for a walk along the cyclepath towards Werrar Farm; one keen member walked in from Cowes for the meeting. (more…)

BIRD MEETING 7th January 2017

Seaview 

18 members met on a dull morning in Bluett Avenue for a circular walk starting with a sea and shore watch. The tide was retreating, not ideal to spot birds that are on the sea. However, we did manage to pick up a pair of Red Breasted Mergansers and two Great Crested Grebes and Cormorant. (more…)

Bird meeting Sunday 11th December 2016

A good turnout of 16 members was greeted by an exceptionally sunny and clear day, ideal for the leisurely walk along the former rail track from Shide to Blackwater. A varied list of species was observed (more…)

BIRD SECTION MEETING 11th DECEMBER 2016

Parking at Shide: A one way traffic system is in operation at the moment from Matalan roundabout towards Shide, Shide Road, Medina Avenue, St Georges Approach to the Matalan roundabout. I suggest the you turn left passed the football ground into Burnt House Lane and at the first junction turn right and park neatly by the side of the road.

Bird meeting at Yarmouth

13th November 2016

17 members and one guest met in Thorley Road for a walk along the cycle track in Yarmouth on a beautiful and sunny morning. As the autumn has been unusually dry and mild the water meadows at Rofford Marsh had little water. However, we did see Mallard, Lapwing, Moorhen, Teal and Wigeon (more…)