Natural HistoryMeetings: 4th Wednesday of each Month Group Leader: HilaryTelephone: 241360
The Natural History group includes bird watching, but titled thus gives us a wider scope.We are planning various visits to local wildlife hotspots over the next few months.
Natural History Group ~ updateJohn very kindly did the last write-up for our trip to Steart, as I was on the point of moving and in something of a muddle! June took us to a local Bee-keeper's apiary in April, shocking weather, the rain made so much noise on the roof, it was difficult to hear him at times. However, his talk was most interesting and it was fascinating to watch the bees, netted off from us but they had access outside. Not that they were doing much nectar-gathering in such conditions! We had a most enjoyable lunch afterwards and the pub opened just for us.May brought us totally different conditions, brilliantly warm, sunny day, which we were very thankful for since we were outside. This time, Shirley took us on a walk partially round Chard Reservoir and it was gorgeous, lots of huge carp in the water, many birds on it and wild flowers in the nearby fields, including two types of Orchid.To quote John (much more knowledgeable on species than any of the rest of us!) “Chard Reservoir is a tranquil place which combines watery and woodland habitats. Birds seen there included Great Crested Grebes, Tufted Ducks, Mallards, Reed Warblers, Tree Creepers and Green Woodpeckers. Woodland flowers there included Bluebells, Primroses, Wood Anemones, Ramsons, Honeysuckle, Dog's Mercury, Black Bryony, Hypericums, Willowherbs, several species of ferns and also Sedge species. Umbellifers there were well represented, from the highly toxic Hemlock and other Waterdropworts to the more edible Pignut, Angelica and the ancient woodland indicator species Sanicle. Rushy Meadow was found to be good for Cuckooflowers, Sorrel, Knapweed, Southern Marsh Orchid and Common Spotted Orchid.The George Inn at Donyatt was hospitable and served excellent food."We saw several pairs of Great Crested Grebe, displaying to each other, such a lovely sight. Also swans, different species of duck and assorted gulls plus many woodland birds.Our pub lunch was in Donyatt, near Ilminster, very tasty.Our next foray is to Shapwick Heath with John leading, at the end of June.If you are interested in finding out more about us, please ring me on 01278 241360. If I’m not around, please leave a message and I will endeavour to get back to you. Hilary