Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Lots to do and see on this Saturday 28th..walks and DerwentWISE event

Update Sunday 30th June: despite a rather grey day and some mid-morning rain, over 20 people came on the guided walks. We saw swifts entering a building, elm trees with weird looking galls, himalayan balsam, feverfew, woundwort, harlequin ladybirds, various trees, buddleia growing out of a chimney and more besides. The second group did see a white letter hairstreak sitting high up on the tree and several people said they would get back there on a sunny morning now they knew where to look. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the peregrines showed themselves mainly on Jurys Inn. The last Watch Point of the year will be next Saturday 5th July.
Thanks to those of you who have donated to our project. If you've not done so yet please consider it. There's a 'donate' tab on the blog home page - or scroll down to an earlier post.
If Andrew from Mickleover could send in his email address (to peregrines@derbyshirewt.co.uk ) I'd be grateful because I seem to have lost the piece of paper on which he'd written it. NB

The peregrine season is certainly drawing to an end though the Watch Point this coming weekend should be worth coming to, with the juveniles still pestering their parents and chasing them above our heads hoping for some food. Expect plenty of action!
In addition there will be three free guided walks starting on The Green led by Nick B. Weather permitting, they are timed to start at 11 am, 12 am and 1pm so take your pick! Bring some binoculars if you have any......but we'll lend you some if you don't. They will last c. 45 minutes.
(And the new DerwentWISE project has an event 1-5 pm in the nearby Silk Mill Museum - see below)
Nick will hope to show you some swifts and at least one local building in which they nest.
A new Swift Project, joinly run by the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust (DWT) and the Derbyshire Ornithological Society (DOS) aims to locate exactly where swifts are nesting both in Derby and beyond.
Swifts can be seen around the cathedral tower
Photo Stefan Johansson
Swifts have declined rapidly partly because when buildings that had swifts nesting in them are renovated, the birds, often by accident, are excluded.
If you live in Derbyshire and think you can help, do get in touch. If you live beyond, then the RSPB is running a national swift survey and they will be glad of your records - .https://www.rspb.org.uk/applications/swiftsurvey/
If you want to find out more about the exciting provision being made for these charismatic (and very urban) birds visit Swift Conservation's website http://www.swift-conservation.org/ .
These swift boxes near Ashbourne are in use every year
Swifts are amazing birds. The young fledglings remain airborne until they are old enough to nest themselves. They sleep, feed, drink and even mate on the wing and of course they fly to Southern Africa for the winter.
Their noisy screaming chasing low over the rooftops were such a feature of summer evenings in our towns and cities...but for how much longer?
Also, we'll look by the river for the banded demoiselle - what a beauty to find in a city!
Banded demoiselle damselflies turn up at Watch Points sometimes!
The guided walks will also take you to an elm tree that has a colony of the delightful White Letter Hairstreak butterfly on it. This little insect suffered major declines when Dutch elm disease killed most of our elm trees. This particular elm is now probably the only tree in the city where you can still find this species.
WLH sunning itself on an elm leaf, Chapel Street, Derby.
The new DerwentWISE project, funded by the lottery, will cover the lower Derwent Valley from Derby north to Matlock. Do come to the Silk Mill to find out more about it - especially if you live in the area but even if you don't. There will be activities for all ages - dream catcher making, exploring underwater life and rangoli making (what is rangoli? I better go and find out!) plus details about what the scheme will achieve in this lovely valley that runs north from Derby and over which both swifts and peregrines hunt! 

Nick B (DWT)

10 comments:

Joyce S said...

Well, I love guided walks, so I'll be there. Thank you Nick for organising the walks.

Anonymous said...

Web Cam 4 is giving an "Asset Unavailable" error.

Anonymous said...

Web Can 4 is OK now :-)

Anonymous said...

...or even: Web Cam 4 is OK now :-)

Joyce S said...

Thank you Nick - the guided walk was really good. Even though there was no sun, so no butterflies on the first walk, I now know where to look out for them, and it was so good to know where the swifts are nesting too. There's always something to see, isn't there?

Sue Peregrino said...

I was on walk 1 too and loved it, thank you Nick. It was indeed very cold and wet so we were incredibly lucky to see swifts. What Nick really needs to know is where else in the county and city they are using. Remember, in this country it will be be exclusively with man, right INSIDE our buildings. If you ever see them flying at roof level, they will be nesting somewhere nearby. The weather had improved a bit by walk 3 and one of the white hairstreaks was seen, so they are definately around - but for how much longer if all the elms die?
Oh - and the peregrines were great too! They were in a "Jury's Inn" mood and making much use of their favourite blue lettering and occasionally the flat roof. Unfortunately, there were no spectacular food passes this time, unlike last week.

Sue Peregrino said...

Sorry for going a little bit off-topic, but if anyone wants to do something to help Hen Harriers, vote for this project on the Lottery web site http://www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/project/skydancer

Norma Duce said...

Thankyou Nick, we enjoyed our walk last Saturday & were lucky to see a Swift going in to the nest! Also the White Hairstreak. And as we got of our bus in Heanor we also saw Swifts below the church, the question now is where are they nesting? Kind Regards Norma & Roy
P.S. A big thank you to all concerned with the Peregrine Project I will continue to keep an eye on the family both on the webcam & when in town. Hope they all continue to prosper.
P.P.S. The Chichester Peregrines should fledge imminently!

Lorraine said...

Thanks Sue - will do !

Lorraine said...

I found leaving a vote on the link from Sue about the Hen Harriers ( see above )is very quick and simple to do. They are in such dire need - please do take a few seconds (literally) to add to the vote.

:)