Monday 6 November 2017

This week members’ reports covered much activity at RSPB Saltholme: Starling murmurations, Peregrine, Marsh Harrier, Black Tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Golden Plover, Little Egret and Great White Egret.  A collection of fungi fruiting bodies from Bearpark, Durham was put on display.

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 Monday 6 November 2017

Robin Daniels of Tees Archaeology gave an illustrated talk on “The Medieval Towns and Villages of The Tees Valley”. The Medieval Villages such as Cowpen Bewley, Eppleby, Carlton in Cleveland and Middridge were all built to the same layout of a village green with farmsteads and access roads down either side. Back lanes behind the farms provided access to the fields. Churches would be sited close to manor houses.

Writer: Fleur E Miles

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Monday 16 October 2017

This week, Members reported:- Sparrow Hawk and Buzzards in Richmond, Red Admirals and Ladybirds in Darlington. A mammal survey held at RSPB Saltholme recorded Pigmy Shrew, Common Shrew, Short Tailed Voles, and House Mouse. Water Pipits, Pintails and Cattle Egret had also been spotted at Saltholme.

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On Monday 16 October 2017,

Jill Cunningham, Club Member, held a Fungi Workshop. Jill’s excellent photographs and collection of fungi fruiting bodies illustrated how fungi can be identified by its gills or spore holes and by its various shapes such as brackets, clubs, spindles, spheres, cups and crusts. Last Monday, Wendy English, Member of Whitby Naturalists, gave a talk about Indicator Flowers. In North Yorkshire 25 plant species are Ancient Woodland indicators, and Lichens are indicators of air quality.

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Outing to Teesmouth
23rd September 2017
Leaders D.I.Griss and J.Turner

The party gathered at Abbey Road on a day that was much better than forecast with regular patches of sunshine. We travelled to Saltholme where there were additions which brought numbers up to 15. After driving to the North Gare car park we started the walk out to the breakwater. the botanists found several interesting plants in the area after crossing the golf course most notable of which was flowering Yellow-wort. In this same area the ornithologists flushed a Skylark. Further on the only wader on the lagoon to the right of the path proved to be a Bar-tailed Godwit. Probably the best bird of the day. On the sea we saw two flocks of ducks which were difficult to identify but one was probably Teal and the other Wigeon. Also present were a Great Crested Grebe, Cormorants, Curlew, Oystercatcher and a Tern which was not identified. On the way back to the cars two Kestrels were seen fighting.
We drove back to RSPB Saltholme for lunch after which most members of the party finished in the Saltholme Pool hide where there was i nice variety of birds. On the way to the hide we passed the garden which has been planted to attract butterflies. There and in the adjacent walled garden were 26 Red Admirals and one Speckled Wood Butterflies.
From the hide we were able to see A Black Swan, which was obviously an escaped bird, Barnacle Geese, Pintail, Gadwall, Wigeon, and Teal among other ducks. The waders on view were Curlew, Lapwing, Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank, Ruff and a Common Snipe which crouched in front of the hide and gave very good views of the effectiveness of its camouflage.
In the mean time the botanists were struck by the changes in the vegetation, which is not managed, beside the path to the hide which was becoming less diverse.
Most then gathered for a discussion on the day over a cup of tea before we dispersed at c 16.oohrs.
Thanks to John Turner for the bird list and Fal. Sarker for the botany list.

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