Bird Group

Bird Walk, Mottistone Down 17th August 2019

Five members, including one new to the section, enjoyed a walk from the Jubilee NT car park down Strawberry Lane, then taking the footpath to The Longstone. We then wended our way along some footpaths up to Harboro and Mottistone Down and back to our cars. Although it was overcast to begin with it brightened up but the windy conditions persisted resulting in few birds in exposed spots. However, the footpath at the foot of the downs was sheltered and we found a variety of birds which were on migration: Spotted Flycatcher, Willow Warbler, Whitethroat, Tree Pipit, Yellowhammer, only the odd Swallow and House Martin. At the beginning of the walk we saw two Sparrowhawk and a Kestrel  vying for airspace and a Buzzard. During the course of the morning we also saw or heard Woodpigeon, Pheasant, Crow, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, a juvenile Great Black Backed Gull, Chiffchaff, Wren, Blue Tit, Herring Gull, Green Woodpecker, Magpie, Blackbird, Robin and Jackdaw. A Weasel ran across the path in front of us – my first for the year. 24 bird species. Leader: Jackie Hart

Bird Walk Fort Victoria 28 July 2019

There were 6 people on the Bird Walk 2 of which were thinking of joining the Society.  The weather was slightly cooler with a nice breeze.

We did some sea watching first and even managed to see the odd gannet.  We then did our usual round walk along the cliff and back over farmland but it was rather quiet.

Pied Wagtail, Wood Pigeon, Black headed Gull, Gannet, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Great Black-backed Gull, Shag, Cormorant, Mediterranean Gull, Jay, Magpie, Wren, Buzzard, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Pheasant, Robin, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Chiffchaff, Blackbird, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Swallow, Herring Gull, Linnet, House Sparrow, Rook, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow were the bird species seen and/or heard.

Marbled White, Common Blue, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper, Red Admiral, Large White, Small White, Brimstone, Small Copper, Ringlet, Comma, Meadow Brown, White Admiral were the butterflies seen and we also saw a female Emperor Dragonfly.

Leader: Toni Goodley

Bird walk in Parkhurst Forest June 28th

Ten people met in the main car park at Parkhurst Forest at 8.30 pm for a short walk to the site where we have seen and heard Nightjars in previous years. Although this meeting was about three weeks later than usual after a patient wait a very soft churring sound was heard and a bit later much louder. After waving a white handkerchief in the air a Nightjar came to investigate shortly followed by another. As night was closing in a bird came to sit on the top of a nearby bare tree and we had good views of its profile and we could also hear it constantly calling. Two Woodcock were seen flying over. David pointed out a Glowworm in the vegetation nearby. On our way back to the car park we heard Nightjars churring so we think we probably had five birds in all. We also spotted two more Glowworms and a Toad. Jackie Hart

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Bird meeting on May 19th at Laundry Lane, St Helens/Brading Marshes

Seven people met in the unmade up road for a walk along the old railway track and along the causeway at Bexley Point and back along the fields to our cars. Although the Bittern was not calling they have been seen and heard on the RSPB Marshes this year but we did have good views on three Marsh Harriers flying over the reed beds.  The other bird of prey we saw was Buzzard – at least two early on but when we were by the pools on the ‘Great Marsh’ we were surprised to see eight soaring above our heads and one nearby. There were at least 30 Cormorants sitting/standing on the usual trees on the main marsh with a number of nests visible. Skylark were heard singing everywhere. A Sedge Warbler was singing and briefly flew up from bramble at the edge of the path and a number of Reed Warbler were singing in the reeds on both sides of the track as well as by the bridge in the pools area of ‘Great Marsh’ as were Cetti’s Warbler. Four Shelduck flew and a further two were seen on this marsh.  A Great White Egret was seen flying in the far distance and three Tufted Ducks were noted  as well as at least  five Lapwing. At least five Mute Swans were noted as were four Grey Heron. A male Pied Wagtail was feeding a youngster on the mud by the pools bridge. Many Chaffinches were heard and some seen in the oaks lining the track, plus we heard Whitethroat and Chiffchaff. In all a successful morning with 43 species of birds recorded. Quite often our walks turn into looking at general natural history and Jim Baldwin noted the following: Red-and black Froghopper, Cercopis vulnerata,, Miridae family – a plant or capsid bug, Rhabdomiris striatellus, a soldier beetle, Cantharis rustica, Red-headed or Common Cardinal Beetle, Pyrochroa serraticomis, Swollen-thighed, or Thick-kneed Beetle, Oedemera nobilis and 7-spot Ladybird (Coccinella setempunctata.  We also saw a Green Lacewing , a pair of Red Damselfly, a Blue tailed Dragonfly, Orange Tipped butterfly, Small Heath and a number of Wall Brown butterfly. Jackie Hart

Bird walk in Rowlands Wood 27th April 2019

11 members met on a very cold, windy morning for a walk in these delightful private woods  with the kind permission of the owners. With one eye on the weather we walked in South Rowlands wood but as it was so windy we were unable to hear or see many birds but the bluebells were in full bloom and a glimpse was seen of a Red Squirrel. The birds heard were of the usual birds of woods; Goldcrest, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Wren, Blackcap, Goldfinch, Chiffchaff, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Dunnock,Robin and seen Woodpigeon and Buzzard. We did have a look in the area near the car park and saw Moorhen and Canada Goose and some Early Purple Orchids. An enjoyable morning was had by all. Jackie Hart

March 17th at Whippingham

After experiencing a storming Saturday 10 members and one visitor met at the Folly on a blustery but sunny Sunday morning for a walk along the east bank of the River Medina  towards Newport. We started off looking over the river and to the west bank and saw 25 Turnstone on one of the pontoons. (more…)

Bird meeting at St Helen’s on 17th February 2019

11 members met on a beautiful, mild morning at Latimer’s Road for a walk in the vicinity of Bembridge Harbour. Unfortunately, the tide was high at the beginning of the walk and our first port of call was the causeway to look at the old mill pond and the harbour. Mallard, Coot, Little Grebe, Brent Geese, Herring Gull, Common Gull, Black-headed Gull and several Mediterranean Gulls were noted as well as Gadwall, (more…)

Bird Meeting at Seaview

19th January at Seaview . Five members meet on a cold overcast morning in Bluett Avenue for a short sea watch, visit to Hersey Reserve and then a circular walk up Oakhill, along footpaths back to our cars. The tide was high but the only sea ducks observed were two Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant were about as were Black-headed Gull, Common Gull and Herring Gull. On the shingle there were 10 Sanderling and five Ringed Plover later joined by a further five. At Hersey Reserve we saw four Little Grebe, two Cormorant fishing, Mallard, Coot, Moorhen, seven Shoveler (three pairs plus one male had an additional female in tow), a Greenshank, two Grey Heron, and besides the same gulls seen on the Solent and beach we also saw three Mediterranean Gull. As we were leaving the reserve we spotted a Kingfisher just flying away from the sluice. Further along the beach we saw 21 Oystercatcher. On a field beside Nettlestone Hill we counted at least 180 Barnacle Geese and with them one Snow Goose and a Swan-necked Goose. Towards the end of our walk we could hear two Great Spotted Woodpeckers drumming and we located them in a field beside the footpath and also could hear a fainter drumming which presumably was another bird. During the walk 43 species of bird were recorded and one Red Squirrel which was at the Westbrook  Urban Saints Centre. Jackie Hart

Recorders’ Conference 2019

The annual IW Recorders’ Conference is set to make a return next month Saturday 2nd February, 2pm – 4:30pm at Arreton Community Centre. As usual, there will be a packed programme of presentations showcasing current species related projects and surveys, displays and of course delicious cakes and tea during the interval. (more…)