Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Networking for Nature - A successful partnership

Bird feeder tree   Southwood


Following on from the email below the local RSPB group felt that we should support this request as birds and nature are great way to help people with mindfulness and fantastic source of well being once you embrace nature.

A number of RSPB bird ID posters, bird feeders, information leaflets about nestboxs, ponds for wildlife, feeding garden birds and planting nature for wildlife. Chris our group leader visited the site and walked around with John Edwards and explained the various options that can be done to the grounds to help benefit nature and wildlife and also support the clients with an enjoyable experience.

Chris Tynan
Leader  RSPB Liverpool Local group


A request - 

I wonder if you could help , I am employee by the probation service in Liverpool and I am based in a residential setting for 29 men on a rehabilitative journey from offending behaviour back In to society. 

We are based in Aigburth and have very large garden that we aim to encourage birds in to as a way of enhancing the already very impressive space and help the local bird community flourish.

As usual in the public sector we are bound financially and was wondering if you could direct me to anyone that could help in donating bird houses or feeding equipment.

It's a huge ask but thought I would ask.


John  - National probation service

Dads go free this Father’s Day at RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands


Family trial - David Levensen RSPB  images



Enjoy a family day out at RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands, near Neston this Father’s Day and dads will be treated to free entry, to marvel at the wildlife spectacles on offer. Dozens of elegant avocets, one of the nature reserve’s star birds and the emblem of the RSPB, will be on view with their youngsters. A stroll along the nature trails will serenade visitors with birdsong, whilst the wildflowers, butterflies and dragonflies add a rainbow of colour. 
On the day and throughout June families can also take part in the ‘Wonderful Wildflowers’ trail - a self-led quiz to discover more about the incredible variety of flowers at Burton Mere Wetlands. Normal admission charges apply to non-members, no additional charge for the event. Available 9.30am-4.30pm daily in March.
On any day Explorer Backpacks are available for families to hire, packed with everything needed to discover more about the creatures that call Burton Mere Wetlands home. No booking required, cost £3. Self-led den building is also available close to the visitor facilities, at no additional cost.
Visitors can enjoy some lunch at the reserve, with a variety of fresh, locally-made sandwiches available to buy daily along with hot and cold drinks and a range of snacks.
Venue: RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands, Puddington Lane, Burton, Cheshire, CH64 5SF

Contact: For further details visit www.rspb.org.uk/burtonmerewetlands or phone the visitor reception on 0151 353 2720.

June in Bloom – Wildflower events at RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands


RSPB IMAGES -Child enjoying wild flowers

The team at RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands are inviting visitors to an expert-led guided walk to admire and learn all about the rich array of wildflowers on the reserve, including beautiful orchids. The event takes place on Wednesday 20 June from 10am -12pm and includes exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the reserve’s hay meadow, which boasts specialist flowers including yellow rattle and ragged robin.
 
Places are limited so advanced booking and payment is essential. The walk covers some grassland and farmland so is unsuitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs, and a decent level of fitness is required. Suitable outdoor clothing and footwear should be worn.
 
Additionally, throughout June the ‘Wonderful Wildflowers’ self-led quiz trail encourages families to look a little closer at the colourful plants around the reserve’s nature trails and discover more about them. Available daily at the visitor reception from 9.30am - 4.30pm, free of charge (normal admission charges apply to non-members).
 
On any day Explorer Backpacks are available for families to hire, packed with everything needed to discover more about the creatures that call Burton Mere Wetlands home. No booking required, cost £3. Self-led den building in the woodland is also on offer close to the visitor facilities, at no additional cost (normal admission charges apply to non-members).
Venue: RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands, Puddington Lane, Burton, Cheshire, CH64 5SF

Contact: For further details visit www.rspb.org.uk/burtonmerewetlands or emaildeeestuary@rspb.org.uk or phone the visitor reception on 0151 353 2720.
 


Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Give a little time to save nature this summer

Burton Mere Wetlands  -Ron Thomas

It’s National Volunteering Week (1-7 June) and the team at RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands, near Neston are appealing for help.
The visitor facilities at Burton Mere Wetlands have been open for almost seven years and the small staff team is seeking additional volunteers to help with the attraction’s growing number of visitors. The site is already supported by a fantastic team of volunteers but is now seeking more to provide all visitors with a consistently high quality experience as they arrive at the reserve.
Dan Trotman, Visitor Experience Manager at Burton Mere Wetlands said: “We’ve had a brilliant few years since we opened, with the reserve going from strength to strength in all areas; new wildlife has colonised and resident populations have flourished and grown in number. Similarly, our number of visitors has grown from around 30,000 per year in 2013 to over 40,000 now. That means we need more volunteers to help meet and greet visitors as they arrive at our unique reception building, which boasts spectacular views across the reserve and offers the chance to see a great variety of different wildlife.
“We’re looking for enthusiastic volunteers, with excellent people skills, to be trained to give visitors of all ages a great welcome to the reserve, ensuring every visitor gets the most from their visit, and encouraging them to support the RSPB’s vital conservation work.”
Mike Giverin, an RSPB volunteer at the site said: “In 2013 I had re-kindled a childhood interest in wildlife, especially birds, and after visiting Burton Mere Wetlands I knew very quickly this was somewhere I wanted to get involved.
“Volunteering here allows me to make a tangible contribution to the RSPB’s mission to give nature a home, plus I’ve been able to develop my knowledge of wildlife and conservation massively. No two days are the same, with different wildlife appearing through the seasons and a broad range of visitors to talk to from experienced birdwatchers to families eager to explore.
“I’m immensely proud to represent one of the leading wildlife conservation charities, and I quickly felt like a valued member of the team at Burton Mere Wetlands. I hope there are more people out there who want to do the same, so that we can connect even more people with the wonderful wildlife we’re blessed with in the UK.”
For anyone interested in this or other volunteering opportunities at RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands, enquire by email deeestuary@rspb.org.uk or telephone 0151 353 2720. For more information on the reserve and its activities, check out the websitewww.rspb.org.uk/burtonmerewetlands
Dan Trotman, Visitor Experience Manager, on 0151 353 2720  or email daniel.trotman@rspb.org.uk  

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Spring into life with a visit to RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands this half term


Coot with chick_Lynne Greenstreet

Take a walk on the wild side this May half term and admire nature’s new arrivals. The team at RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands, near Neston are encouraging visitors to explore the nature trails and discover a range of different homes for wildlife this school holiday.
Dan Trotman, Visitor Experience Manager at the reserve, said: “Spring is a fantastic time of year here; not only is the weather encouraging us to spend more time outdoors, the wildlife is exciting too. Whilst the bluebells have faded for this year, lots of other flowers – the orchids are my favourite – are just starting to bloom. We are also seeing fresh, fuzzy chicks every day, as birds around the pools and trees welcome their young into the world.
“The gentle walks meander through beautiful wetland, woodland and grassland and offer the chance to get close to elegant egrets, brilliant butterflies and lounging lizards, who bask on wooden fences soaking up the sun’s warmth.”
In celebration of all the feathered new arrivals, families visiting the reserve can follow the ‘Baby Birds’ quiz trail to test their knowledge of the fresh faces seen around the reserve at this time of year. Plus, there’s lots of other fun, family activities to take part in, from hiring a Wildlife Explorer backpack, complete with minibeast kit, mini binoculars and more, to having a go at den building or enjoying a picnic with family and friends.
The Baby Birds self-led quiz trail is available daily from 9.30am-4.30pm until Sunday 3 June. All activities are free of charge but normal reserve admission charges apply for non-RSPB members.
For more information on the reserve and its activities, please call 0151 353 2720 or check out the website rspb.org.uk/burtonmerewetlands

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Catch the spring symphony at RSPB Dee Estuary nature reserve this May



It’s a noisy time of year, as our resident birds are joined by a variety of summer migrants, all of whom are busy preparing for another breeding season on our doorstep. Springtime is the best time of year to enjoy birdsong, and the RSPB Dee Estuary team are hosting two exciting events to help visitors learn more about the different songs that can be heard all around us.
Birdsong and Breakfast” on Sunday 13 May offers the chance to discover a variety of warblers busily establishing breeding territories at this time of year, whilst the marsh is peppered with other summer migrants such as wheatears, and alive with the songs of skylarks and meadow pipits. This early morning walk provides an opportunity to see and hear Burton Marsh coming to life for the day in this busy time for nesting and migrating birds. Booking essential. Time: 7-10am. Cost: £15 (£12 RSPB members) which includes a cooked breakfast and drink at Nets CafĂ©.
 
“Birdsong for Beginners” on Sunday 27 May is the perfect time for less experienced birdwatchers to learn more about different bird songs in the woodland and around the reedbed at Burton Mere Wetlands. Get tips on identification and general advice about wildlife watching. This time of year, birds are particularly vocal as they sing to defend territories and attract a mate. Booking essential. Time: 8.30-10.30am. Cost: £10 (£8 RSPB members).
Venue: Birdsong and Breakfast - RSPB Burton Marsh, Station Road, Burton, Cheshire, CH64 0TG
Birdsong for Beginners - RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands, Puddington Lane, Burton, Cheshire, CH64 5SF
 
Contact: For further details visit rspb.org.uk/burtonmerewetlands To book, phone the visitor centre on 0151 353 2720 or email deeestuary@rspb.org.uk

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch results reveal a golden year for the goldfinch in Merseyside


Goldfinch on frozen pond - L Bimson


The latest results from the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch have revealed a golden year for the goldfinch along with a number of other small birds after a surge in sightings in gardens across Merseyside.  build up a picture of how they are doing. This year, more than 450,000 people across the country, including over 6,000 in Merseyside took part.
Coal tit - L Bimson

The event held over the last weekend in January revealed an increase in sightings of smaller birds, such as goldfinches, long-tailed tits and coal tits that can usually be seen visiting gardens and outside spaces in mixed flocks. Recorded sightings of the brightly coloured, sociable finch rose by 17% on 2017 figures for Merseyside and its bright red face was seen in more than a third of gardens. Other small birds that are thought to have benefited from the mild January weather include long-tailed tits (+20%) and coal tits  (+7%).
It also proved to be a good year for the greenfinch after a 4% rise in numbers seen, a welcome sign for a species that has undergone a 60% decline in sightings since the first survey in 1979.
The influx of these species to our gardens is thought to be linked to the favourable conditions during their successful breeding season in 2017. This, combined with the kind autumn and early winter weather in the run up to the Birdwatch in January, will have contributed to the rise in sightings. 
Daniel Hayhow, RSPB Conservation Scientist, said: “Our garden birds are a part of our everyday life, whether it’s the robin perched on the garden fence or the flock of starlings you see on your way to work. To have hundreds of thousands of people spend an hour watching the wildlife in their garden isn’t only great to see, but it also helps us build up a picture of how our garden birds are doing, which is really helpful.
“Last summer was a really good year for many breeding birds with warm weather creating great conditions for many smaller birds to raise their young to adulthood. The rise in sightings of goldfinches, long-tailed tits and coal tits, along with chaffinches and greenfinches nationally, goes to show that in the absence of cold weather they can survive the winter months in good numbers. Looking at the results it is likely that across the UK this is what people saw in their garden.”

Wren - L Bimson
The survey also highlighted a dip in the number of recorded sightings of blackbirds (-12%), robins (-12%) and wren (-6%) on last year’s figures for Merseyside. Dr Hayhow explained: “We all will have noticed that the weather earlier in the winter was slightly warmer than we’re used to, and our garden birds have felt this too. It’s usual for there to be more food available in the wider countryside during a mild winter meaning birds are less reliant on the treats we put out on the garden feeders. However, unlike the finches and tits, robins and wrens did not have a good breeding season in 2017 and data from other surveys indicate that their numbers may be down overall this
year.” 
House sparrows - L Bimson



The house sparrow remained at the top of the Big Garden Birdwatch rankings as the most commonly seen garden birds with an average of more than three per garden recorded in Merseyside throughout the weekend. Starling held down the second spot, with the blackbird rounding off the top three.


Magpie - L Bimson 
For a full round up of all the Throughout the first half of the spring term the nation’s school children took part in the RSPB’s Big Schools Birdwatch. The survey of birds in school grounds saw over 670 school children in Merseyside spend an hour in nature counting the birds. The magpie was top of the Big Schools Birdwatch rankings with one being spotted in over 80% of schools in the county.

For a full round up of all the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch results and to see which birds were visiting gardens where you live, visit www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch 




The top 10 birds in 2018 RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch for Merseyside:

Rank
Species





Change in rank 2017-2018
Average per garden




Average per garden% change 2017 - 2018
% of gardens species recorded in 2018



% of gardens species recorded in change 2017-2018
1
House sparrow
0
3.2
0
52
-4
2
Starling
+1
2.5
-8.3
32
-12
3
Blackbird
-1
2..4
-12.1
88
-4
4
Woodpigeon
0
2.2
-7
79
-3
5
Goldfinch
+1
2.1
+17.3
34
0
6
Blue tit
-1
2.0
-6
70
-5
7
Magpie
0
1.7
-2.1
66
0
8
Robin
0
1.3
-12
80
-7
9
Great tit
0
1.3
-3.3
52
-3
10
Feral Pigeon
0
1.1
-6.8
25
-3

3.     Selected other results from RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch for Merseyside:
Rank
Species





Change in rank 2017-2018
Average per garden




Average per garden% change 2017 - 2018
% of gardens species recorded in 2018



% of gardens species recorded in change 2017-2018
14
Chaffinch
0
0.7
+11.2
27
+6
15
Coal tit
0
0.5
+6.7
28
+8
16
Greenfinch
+2
0.4
+4
16
-1

4.     The top 10 birds in 2018 RSPB Big Schools Birdwatch for Merseyside
Rank
Species





Change in rank 2017-2018
Average per garden




Average per garden% change 2017 - 2018
% of gardens species recorded in 2018
% of gardens species recorded in change 2017-2018
1
Magpie
+3
7.0
+40.8
82
+6
2
Black headed gull
-1
5.8
-47.5
47
-7
3
Blackbird
0
5.1
-0.3
67
-14
4
Feral pigeon
+2
4.9
+86.3
68
+39
5
Woodpigeon
-3
4.2
-29.9
71
-2
6
Common gull
+13
3.2
+579.4
36
+291
7
Carrion crow
+7
2.3
+105.1
53
+68
8
Herring gull
+2
1.7
-18.5
27
-35
9
Blue tit
+3
1.5
-0.9
47
-14
10
Robin
-3
1.4
-44.9
53
-16


       Laura