© Andrew Moon

The rain held off on Sunday 19th September for our recruitment day with the valued help of eight FoSL volunteers. We covered three two hour shifts and are pleased to report that 16 new members signed-up. May I take this opportunity to welcome them to FoSL.

Sad to say, that this year’s Butterfly and Dragonfly Walk will not be the highlight of our FoSL calendar.

Alex Liddle had, as in previous years, agreed to identify, for which I am very grateful. Unfortunately, apart from Rob and Anna Liddle we had no other FoSL members join us.

It was a dull and overcast day, not the best weather for butterflies and dragonflies but nevertheless!…

Little did we know when we did the Wildflower Walk in June 2019 that we would not be joining together for another until June 2021.

In 2020 Janet Lowndes and I undertook Wildflower counts around Stockers Lake, which we shared with our members. Therefore, the continuity of the surveys has not been lost. However, it is not the same as having like minded FoSL members to share the experience with.

Last year we were of course unable to hold a Spring Chorus event and so it was good to get back to it this year. Just three of us this year gathered on the causeway at half past eight for a walk around the lake.

The weather was perfect; bright sunshine, clear sky, not much of a breeze and not too chilly. However, the sun had largely disappeared by the time we finished and the temperature had dropped quite a bit. We saw or, in many cases, only heard most of the expected birds. There were good numbers of swallow and swift over Bury and Stocker’s Lakes but no house martins. We had only glimpses of most birds. They were really well buried in the foliage which was, in most cases, well developed. Cetti’s Warbler called from many points round the lake but as ever remained well hidden. Warblers, Reed, a few Sedge, Garden, Blackcap, Chiffchaff were heard at many spots. We were fortunate to have excellent views of a Whitethroat right at the start on the causeway; quite unusual. Otherwise Blackbirds, Wrens (in profusion), Robins (lots), Chaffinches and plenty of Blue, Great and Long Tailed Tits were seen and serenaded us as we passed along.

As expected given the arrival of storm Dennis on Saturday and overnight into Sunday, no-one turned up for the walk, although from about 10.00 to 10.30 the weather was not too bad.

Dick Beeden led the walk which was attended by 6 other people. Like last year it was windy and cool. This year clouds were scudding across the sky in the strong winds giving periods of bright sunshine on and off throughout the morning. This gave pretty good light for identifying the birds most of the time. There were a good number on the lake but the surrounding trees etc were fairly quiet. We saw all the species we heard and ended with a tally of 30 species (half a dozen less than last year).