Whilst walking through the park yesterday afternoon, I managed to capture this photograph of a Blue Tit using one of the nest boxes.
Its encouraging to know that the boxes are still intact and in use, a number of years after being erected.
Blue Tit using nest box in Dolerw.
We had lovely summer weather for our first outing today with four surveyors starting at the Dolerw Bridge and walking slowly southwards along the west bank, with plenty to see and hear – a feast for the senses! Together we counted 22 definite species as follows: blackbirds (4), blue tit (1), great tit (1), carrion crows (2), chaffinch (4), coal tit (1), goldfinch (1), greater spotted woodpecker (1), long tailed tit (2), magpie (1), mallard (2), nuthatch (1), robin (1), song thrush (1), tree creeper (2), woodpigeon (4), wren (5), dipper (1), swallow (6), house martin (2), blackcap (1). This is a conservative estimate as we used counting technique to ensure we were not counting the same bird twice, I am sure there were many more! We were also excited to meet a man with a long lens who showed us a photo of an otter he had seen earlier in the morning. A very productive morning. Tilde
The RSC will undertake to do a full year survey of birds along the river. So far several members have signed up to participate so we will wait a little longer and then set up an initial meeting to kick the project off.
If you are interested in taking part, please contact us (Mike or Paula) to let us know you’ll be joining in. It should be interesting and rewarding.
Today I finally got to talk to some young people about the River Severn and the Custodians. I addressed all the pupils at their assembly in Penygloddfa School, Newtown. They were very interested and asked some good questions. They loved seeing the live American Signal Crayfish that I took to show them. The school would like to get involved with some of our activities, most likely litter picking initially.
In the afternoon, with Lisa Barlow from Severn Rivers Trust, I talked to two classes at Brynllywarch House School, Kerry. Lisa showed the pupils some of the Trust’s leaflets and massive posters illustrating good and bad farming practice in terms of their effect on the rivers. She also showed them a river fly larvae sample, collected this morning, and pointed out some of the principal species. I made a slightly modified presentation about our work and showed the same crayfish from the morning. The pupils also asked some good questions and engaged with the messages we were giving. This school would also like to maintain contact with our group and would like presentations to other classes and perhaps to join in some of our river activities.
All in all very worthwhile and satisfying to involve some young people.
If you are able, please join us and Keep Wales Tidy on a clean up of the river and river banks on Monday 15th September. We meet at 10 am at the Halfpenny bridge. Bring along wellies and hip waders if you have them. If you have chest waders, please let the secretary know, as you will need to be supplied with a flotation device. We can’t imagine the river will warrant such extreme wellies though!
If you would like to participate, but don’t fancy a dip, please come along and help with picking up litter on the banks. It will only take a couple of hours or so and is lots of fun.
Note to Blog Master. We had to add wellies to the dictionary. It kept changing the spelling to willies.
The results are in from the survey conducted at the Food Festival of what amenities people would like to see on the river. See the results under Projects on the web site. We’ve revamped the Projects page too. It was getting unwieldy so we hope it is now more user friendly. Let us know your thoughts on it.
Check the RSC web site under “Projects” for the latest results of our survey of the river. Almost 1000 people in total were counted over our two days.
The second day of the river use survey was even better attended than the first. Great weather again and lots of people out and about on the river. Great job by everyone. Keep an eye on the web site under “Projects” for results. We hope to get them out soon. Russ took this photo of us at the briefing.
We’ve collated the data from Saturday’s survey of river users. In a 2 hour period on a pleasant summer day 453 people and 77 dogs were out an about at our 7 survey sites, proving how much we in Newtown love our stretch of the Severn. Of these, 21% were cyclists. See the detailed results on our web site under RSC projects.
The RSC were out in force along the river today surveying the people who use the river. It was a sterling effort on the part of all those who participated. We have to collect some of the data from the surveyors and then begin the job of collating it all. Participants claimed they found it interesting and all we spoke to thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
We are going out again next Saturday so if you missed out this week you can join in next Saturday at 10 am at the halfpenny bridge. Contact us if you can make it. It is all finished by 1 pm so your afternoon is still free.
Keep an eye on the web site for the results once we have analysed the data.
A survey of the Japanese Knotweed has recently been carried out by Paula Scott, Mike Davies and Russ Edwards.
The photo below shows the results of the current survey and those of the previous survey in 2012, for comparison. It is quite alarming how this invasive plant has spread in that short period of time.
Last Thursday (13th March), Mike & Paula – with a lot of help from PCC, erected the 6 bird boxes and the 4 Bat boxes in Dolerw. (Sorry that I was out of town on that day, otherwise I would have been there to help).
The boxes are located in the trees along the river between the Gorsedd Stones and Dolerw Bridge, and are facing into the park so they can easily be seen from the footpath.
Let’s hope that they soon find some residents and that people leave them alone.
If you do see anyone attempting to disturb them, then you might like to remind them that it is now a criminal offence to do so.
On a hot and sunny Saturday a team of Custodians tackled the on-going problem of Giant Hogweed at Vaynor near where the Mochdre Brook joins the river. Many of these were quite small re-growths, with a few large, mature plants. The general opinion is that we are making progress here and should keep an eye on the area and return when necessary for another assault. Many thanks to the members that joined us in this attack.
I know that he would be the last person to hog (pardon the pun) the limelight, but I felt that I had to show this little clip of Mike dealing with this specimen plant, at the Hate Hogweed event held on 06/07/2013 at Vaynor.
There was a lot of good work done elsewhere by the RSC Team and I would prefer to leave it to Mike himself to provide details (in a separate post), of how the event went.
The Hate Hogweed on 13th April is now cancelled, due to the slow rate of growth of the plant in this cold weather.
Our efforts will be more effective if we re-schedule the event, probably in a few weeks’ time.
Sorry about that, we’ll monitor the area and suggest dates later.
Post created on Mike’s behalf by Blogmaster.
This post has been converted from a comment originally made by Mike Davies
The first Hate Hogweed of the year will take place on Saturday 13th April near the Mochdre Brook, starting at 10am. All are welcome and equipment and training will be provided.