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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…)

IWNHAS visit to Lee Farm, Wellow, Wednesday 3rd May 2017

13 members met at Lee Farm, Wellow, the home of Steve and Jill Cowley since the 1950s (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…)

SPECIES OF THE MONTH MAY – Stag Beetle

This month iWatch Wildlife are asking for records of the magnificent Stag Beetle (Lucans cervus)

Stag beetles live in woodland edges, hedgerows, traditional orchards, parks and gardens throughout Western Europe including Britain (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…)

Notice of Rev Fox geology events

Seats are limited for this special event

(more…)

Meeting at Lee Farm, 3rd May NEW INFORMATION

The grid reference for the meeting should read SZ383887. We are invited to bring a picnic lunch. Jill Cowley will provide tea/coffee.

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

Volunteering Opportunities

The Maritime Archaeology Trust (formerly Hants & IOW Maritime Archaeology) have taken over the shipwreck museum at Arreton Barns.

During the week April 24th – 28th they would like volunteers to help catalogue finds or help with survey fieldwork for a few hours or more.

For more details contact Julie Satchell or Amanda Bowens or Grant Bettison  Tel: 02380 237300

Discovery Bay Species Discovered

In March, iWatch Wildlife took part in a special event called Discovery Bay led by Arc Consulting as part of British National Science Week. (more…)