BRIDGWATER and District U3A
Natural History Meetings:        4th Wednesday of each Month      Group Leader:   Hilary Telephone:       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 ~ update John   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
Note:  In all cases before joining a group for the first time please telephone the group leader.