Category

Recording

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

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…)

Recorders Conference presentations now on line

If you missed the conference or wish to look back on the presentations, you can now find them at http://iwnhas.org/presentations-from-the-2017-recorders-conference/

Presentations from the 2017 Recorders’ Conference

Biological recording and its influence on wildlife conservation at Briddlesford

A presentation given by Jonathan Cox to the 2017 Isle of Wight Recorders’ Conference


Artificial structures and ecological enhancement

Presentation by Roger Herbert and Alice Hall to the 2017 Isle of Wight Recorders’ Conference

Discovery Bay Science Weekend 11th/12th March

Come and be a Bayologist in British Science Week and explore 100 million years of wildlife!

There will be microscopes, rockpooling, fossil hunting and birdwatching as we take a look at the amazing natural world of The Bay.

iWatch Wildlife (The Society’s new species recording project) will be getting involved helping out with species recording over the two days, please do come along – it would be brilliant to see you there – any help with species identification / recording / would be warmly welcomed! For more information please search for @IWNHAS on Facebook or contact Tina iwatchwildlife@gmail.com.

 

Isle of Wight Moth Report 2016

Mother of Pearl © IF

The Isle of Wight Moth Report 2016 is now available to download here.

Iain Outlaw writes in the introduction to the report: ” Although the first two weeks of January were mild the following months were dominated by wet and unsettled weather causing a negative impact on Lepidoptera. (more…)

Wight Botanists New Year Plant Hunt 4th January 2017

Eight of the botany group gathered at the top of Appley Steps to start the hunt for native and naturalised plants (not planted in gardens) which were in flower. The definition of ‘in flower’ requires the anthers to be visible. A male Hazel (Corylus avellana) catkin fully open had already been observed and at our feet was a plant of Common Centaury (Centaurium erythraea) in bloom. We set off along the cliff top and round Rylstone Gardens to find more species, including Greater Periwinkle (Vinca major). (more…)

Exciting new fungus find

Dave Dana has discovered one of our rarest fungi in private woodland at Appuldurcombe. (more…)

Ian Boyd tells us about broomrapes

The broomrapes are up and about in hedgerows and roadside verges and it’s a good time to track them down.

(more…)

November Fungi

Magpie Ink Cap © GTa

Magpie Ink Cap © GTa

Dog Stinkhorn © GTa

Dog Stinkhorn © GTa

Gary Taylor had been out and about and sent us some pictures taken in Borthwood Copse; Magpie Ink Cap (Coprinus picaceus) and Dog Phallus or Dog Stinkhorn (Mutinus caninus). Dr Colin Pope, one of our joint Fungus Recorders, replied

‘It’s not something we see a lot of but this autumn seems to have been a particularly good one for Magpie Ink Caps. They seem to be popping up all over the place.’