MKNHS member Chris Coppock has just had to withdraw for health reasons from a Scottish wildlife holiday run by Naturetrek for members of North Bucks RSPB. The dates are 25th May to 1st June, and the cost was £1335 per person based on sharing a room: £155 single supplement. He had a single room booked, and the outstanding balance is £1192 (he’s paid the £299 deposit). See the holiday description below and the contacts if you’d like to follow this up.
“The wild landscapes around the River Spey in the Scottish Highlands are amongst the most unspoilt in the UK. The area inland of Inverness and the Moray Firth embodies much of what people love about Scotland, encompassing the high peaks of the Cairngorms, peaceful forests and scenic river valleys, all within a relatively small area. These alpine uplands, windswept moorlands, remote lochs and ancient Caledonian pinewoods also support some of the country’s rarest and most exciting creatures. Speyside is technically just the area around the River Spey, although many use the term more generically to refer to the ‘whiskey triangle’. Our tour will visit Speyside as well as Strathspey, Badenoch, the Cairngorms and Moray, taking in the ancient Caledonian Pine Forest, hidden lochans, beautiful coastline and high passes in search of the region’s wildlife. We’ll stay for 7 nights in the area, searching for iconic birds and mammals such as Golden Eagle, Red and Black Grouse, Red Squirrel, Crested Tit and Crossbill. Spring is a particularly rewarding time to visit, when the forests resound with the calls of songbirds and summer visitors have arrived to breed, while the occasional passage migrant or lingering winter visitor can still be found.
As a group members, MKNHS have the following notice from Bucks Fungus Group. They have arranged for a Springtime Fungi Walk on Saturday April 16th at Rushbeds Wood near Brill. Details are now on the website at www.bucksfungusgroup.org.uk/events.html.
On a fine spring morning the wood will be looking its best with primroses etc. and lots of spring birdsong. NB, in wet weather Rushbeds can be very muddy!
The National Plant Monitoring Scheme (NPMS) aims to survey plant species across different habitats in the UK in order to get a picture of their abundance and diversity and to understand the health of different habitats.
The survey is open to anyone interested in nature who can identify plants, or who is keen to learn. You do not have to be an experienced botanist. You will only need to identify between 25-30 ‘indicator species’ per habitat. These are distinctive species specially selected to allow Plantlife to monitor changes in the countryside.
This annual free seminar for anyone interested or involved in recording wildlife in Milton Keynes or Buckinghamshire is being held on Zoom. It can be attended by phone or computer
Booking is essential, and is first come first served. Booking will reserve your place, details of the meeting will be sent to you a couple days before the Seminar. The full programme of the day will be circulated soon.
30 members of the Society met at Westbury Arts Centre on Tuesday 8th May. In an introduction to the site, wildlife artist Kate Wyatt, and Martin Kincaid explained that the centre had gained funding last year for a project to research the history and natural history of Westbury farm.
The Society was invited to carry out surveys in the surrounding grounds to document the wildlife as part of this project. Mammals, birds, moths, and trees had been surveyed and this evening, members continued recording.
They were also able to look round inside the house, and to visit Kate’s studio as well as enjoying refreshments in the kitchen. A mothing session was held later in the evening and a trap was left overnight. Unfortunately temperatures dropped and a wind got up, so moth numbers were low. The final list was: Lime Hawk-moth, Brimstone (X3), Green Carpet (X3), Flame Shoulder (X2), Common Carpet, V Pug
Wood pasture is characterised by big old trees growing in open pasture-land
Wood Pasture and Parkland is home to some of the oldest living trees in the UK, whose value to wildlife is astounding. Their myriad of micro-habitats support some of our most endangered species. If you can’t picture what this habitat looks like, you’re not alone.
At their core, both wood pasture and parkland consist of big old trees with full crowns growing in grazed pasture, with abundant wood decay. They are what ecologists like to call a ‘mosaic habitat’ which means an area with a mixture of other habitats; the value of the mosaic is greater than the sum of its parts.
For too long this habitat has been overlooked, understudied and undervalued; we are only just starting to fully appreciate its real value.
The Wood Pasture and Parkland Network are determined to raise the profile of this incredible habitat with a series of 5 videos which introduce the ecological, biological, historical, cultural and landscape aspects of Wood Pasture and Parkland, describing best management techniques.
Although Bucks is an inland county, County Recorder Andy Harding has alerted Buck Bird Club members to the fact that the National Seabird Survey organised by JNCC, covers Cormorants and Common Terns , and encourages members to provide as much information as possible. Andy says “this year in particular it would be helpful if you could make additional efforts to record all breeding or attempted breeding information for Cormorants and Common Terns and enter that information with your sightings of these species on the Club website.”
‘The Seabird Monitoring Programme (SMP) aims to ensure that sample data on breeding numbers and performance of seabirds are collected, both regionally and nationally, to enable their conservation status to be assessed. Reports as seabird numbers and breeding success in Britain and Ireland’