Thursday, 21 April 2016
May 2016 Newsletter
30 years ago (26th April 1986 to be precise) an explosion and fire at Reactor 4 of the nuclear power plant at Chernobyl released large quantities of radioactive material into the environment. The area with the highest levels of contamination, now known as the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, occupies some 4,200 square kilometres across the border of Ukraine and Belarus and required the permanent evacuation of 116,000 people. This has, in effect, created a unique nature reserveand recent studies using techniques such as helicopter tracking and the placement of movement-activated camera traps have indicated that nature has reclaimed the space. More...
Saturday, 16 April 2016
Bird and Birdsong Day at Knole
At the invitation of the National Trust, volunteers from the Group again led two walks from the entrance to Knole House, around the adjacent park. Despite the cold weather, with wind and showers, 25 intrepid visitors of all ages joined us as we explored a range of habitats, including canopy trees, scrub and open grassland. More...
Thursday, 7 April 2016
New Zealand's wildlife gems - Ed Drewett
The birds of New Zealand evolved into an avifauna that included a large number of endemic species (that is, species found in no other country). As an island archipelago New Zealand accumulated bird diversity and the mix includes species with unusual biology such as the Kakapo which is the world's only flightless, nocturnal, lek breeding parrot. More...
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Sunday, 17 April 2016
Pulborough Brooks RSPB, led by John Waterman
A splendid sunny spring day greeted the members visiting Pulborough Brooks RSPB reserve, led around by John Waterman. The human visitors were not alone in appreciating the weather as a number of migrants had arrived and were singing and generally showing off. One Nightingale in particular made sure we not only heard its lovely song but also saw it well. They may not be the most colourful of birds, but this was showing off its richly rufous tail as well as all angles of warm brown plumage. Later, another was feeding on the grass in front of a hedge - its not often you see a Nightingale on the ground in the open. More...
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