Eyebrook Wild Bird Feeds – Offer for SLB Members

Members Offer from Eyebrook Wild Bird Feeds

“Following the Prime Ministers address yesterday evening our shop at Rectory Farm will be closed as of today.  The days, weeks and months ahead will be continually changing for us all, but we will keep you updated on all changes to our services.

10% Discount Online to SLB Members

All our birdseed and bird feeding accessories are still available to purchase via mail order either online or over the phone.  We are offering a 10% discount off our online prices to SLBW members throughout this period of lock down, simply enter/quote SL10 at checkout.  Visit us at www.eyebrookwildbirdfeeds.co.uk or phone the farm on 01536 770771.  Do take advantage of this service to ensure plentiful food in the garden for your feathered friends.  By providing essential food for them, your efforts will be rewarded by having life, colour and entertainment in the garden through this time of isolation.

Keep In Touch

Keep talking to us – we are all in this together and it is essential to keep the community spirit going, we hope to continue communication with you all through our social channels where we bring you updates from the farm and our garden to raise a smile during these difficult times.  Do keep chatting to us – we would love to know what’s going on in your garden, what birds you are seeing, or hear what wildlife is waking up to this beautiful Spring weather and pottering through your garden – share your pictures and comments on our social media pages.

We will continue to send email updates over the coming weeks, if you know anyone who would like to keep updated from us please encourage them to get in touch, and we can share our garden tales together.  We will endeavour to provide the best possible service to you though this difficult time, and of course our thoughts go out to anyone who has been personally impacted, we hope that you and your families are safe and well.”

COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Following the recent government guidelines regarding non essential social gatherings the Committee has taken the decision to cancel all indoor meetings and field trips until further notice.

Whilst this is very disappointing we feel this is for the best and gives our members a clear decision on the future of our programme of events. As it happens some speakers have already contacted us to cancel future bookings and whilst you could argue the field trips could still go ahead because of being outdoors, but you are still sharing cars, using supermarket cafes and obviously we do not know whether the reserves may close in the future.

This also means the weekend away in May has been cancelled. It was felt better to make the decision now as the balance for the coach hire was due to be paid very soon which would mean a larger loss on any monies you have paid. There is still a small loss of deposit for everyone for the coach booking of £22.00. Sue will be sending cheques for reimbursement to all concerned once we have received a new cheque book from the Bank so please bear with us.

Sue is in the process of contacting everyone who had booked on the trip and Maz will contact the remaining members regarding meeting cancellations.

Any further updates will be added to the website as necessary. We appreciate not all members have access to the website so if you can spread the word to other members that you might see that would be most helpful.

On a happier note if you are staying at home more at least you can pass your time by feeding and watching the birds!

Happy birding and keep safe.

 

Nest Boxes – Update 1st November

On Friday a group of 5 volunteers met at Blaby for the annual clean out, repair and recording of the various SLB nest boxes. First stop was All Saints Churchyard where there was evidence that 3 of the 4 nest box holes had been used and in one box there was a clutch of 6 Great Tit eggs which had been abandoned, with another nest built on top which appeared to have been successful.

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The group then moved on to Rectory Farm, Great Easton, where we have about 30 assorted nest boxes. Highlights this year were that 10 boxes had been used by Tree Sparrows – all appear to have been successful. One adult bird was found dead on a nest (see photo), it had probably died whilst using the box to roost. One box was used by a Blue Tit and 2 others by Great Tits but the open-fronted boxes still continue to be ignored.

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The Little Owl box, kindly made by Brian Pepall, which was erected last year had been used as we found 1 unhatched egg inside. However, after thorough cleaning the egg appears not to be that of an Owl as the shape, size and appearance tends to suggest a Dove species rather than Owl.

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Some of the boxes were showing signs of rotting, so the 6 boxes that Brian had made over the winter were put up to replace them. We feel this has been the most successful year to date.

Photos courtesy of Derek Walker.

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Kent Weekend – 17th-19th May 2019

Day 1
Twenty-four SLB members went to Kent for this years “weekend away” by coach and our first stop was Elmley Marsh National Nature Reserve on the Isle of Sheppey. This is an extensive area of freshwater grazing marsh and no sooner had we turned on to the access track we were seeing abundant water birds, Lapwing and Marsh Harriers. A mile or so further on was the car park where we were met by a volunteer warden who gave us an introduction to the site and the work there. The weather was overcast and a little cool and the site flat so walking was pleasant. This was made even more so by our first good sighting, a singing Corn Bunting on a nearby fence post that
continued to perform so all the group had fine views. Yellow Wagtail were soon added as well as numerous Marsh Harriers. It was good to see so many breeding Lapwing and Avocet as well as Redshank, Little Egret and plenty of duck. The first hide was another mile further on and a welcome resting stop for lunch but not before some of the group had ventured a little further to see distant Cattle Egrets – a new species for SLB. Other notables were a Ringed Plover, Hobby, Curlew and a Cuckoo back at the car park. Total of 58 species on the day.

Day 2
Weather was quite warm if a little overcast as we started our short journey to
Dungeness stopping first at the lighthouse. We headed towards the sea and had views of Gannet and Sandwich Tern flying by and on returning to the coach we had notable fine views of Stonechat and Linnet. Next stop was RSPB Dungeness where we took the 2 mile main trail. Highlights of our walk included a couple of Hobbies hawking overhead, hearing a booming Bittern and we also had views of both male and female Bearded Reedlings flying over the reeds, all whilst listening to a distant Cuckoo.
There was also a good selection of waders including Greenshank, Turnstone, Dunlin,
Common Sandpiper, and both Ringed and Grey Plover. Notable others were Pintail and Whimbrel. Last stop was the nearby Hanson Trail where most of the group were fortunate to see a Bittern flying over. Total of 79 species for the day.

Day 3
Another new site for the club today when we visited Sevenoaks Wildlife Trust reserve Kent  We were kindly given a two hour guided tour by the warden of 11 years Susanna who showed us the main areas and hides and gave us a good history and background of the reserve. It had been a working sand & gravel quarry but was now a SSSI site. As we walked through the trees warblers were very evident with Garden Warbler and Blackcap competing in the song stakes with Chiffchaff and Common
Whitethroat also heard.

A pair of Little Ringed Plover were on one of the many man made scrapes and it was hoped they would breed successfully this year after a failure last year. In the afternoon we were left to explore the reserve ourselves and so we took in the west lake circular route and several hides we had missed in the morning. Total of 52 species for the day bringing the total for the weekend after the journey home birds were added in to 98.