Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Watch Group dates

Thursday July 27th 
Come and hunt for mini-beasts with Louth Watch at Spout Yard Park, Louth from 2.00 pm
This event is part of the Spout Yard "Beach Party" which is running from July 22nd to 30th.
The event is free. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Friday 18th August
Join in the Free Family Fun Day 11.00 to 15.00 at Rimac Eco-Classroom, Saltfleetby-Theddlethorpe Dunes LN11 7TS.
Pond dipping, Sweep Nets and Wild Crafts.
Organised by Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust.

Thursday, 20 July 2017


The “Ants and Nats”, the organisation responsible for Louth Museum is one of the oldest learned societies in Lincolnshire.  It started in 1884 when a group of teenage boys interested in Natural History began to meet each week to discuss their findings.  Recently we have come across an original document dated 1885 that lists some of their “Zoological Observations”, including
Jan 17th.  Two otters seen near the pond at Tathwell.
Feb 11th.  Cart load of sprats being drawn through the town to be used as manure.
Feb 24th.  Two white stoats are now being shown in the bird-stuffer’s window.  Three have been caught this winter.
Apr 3rd.  On vermin tree in Burwell Wood were 26 weasels and 3 stoats.
Aug 4th.  Natterjack toad seen on the sand hills at Mablethorpe.  Easily distinguished from the common toad, which is also present on the sand hills, by the white dorsal line.
Aug 21st.  School of porpoises seen off Mablethorpe.


Sunday, 25 June 2017


Only six of us turned up at the site south of Scunthorpe today where we were welcomed by Eddie Gaunt and two other insect and plant specialists. We spent almost three hours moving slowly through scrub, woodland paths, heathland and marsh margins.
A close up of a green plant

Description generated with very high confidenceRinglet, Comma and Red Admiral butterflies were easy to spot, so were the familiar small Common blue damselflies. However, nearly very plant had an interesting insect lurking on it or under it which enabled the specialists to point out Micro-moths, Soldier flies, Scorpion flies and White-tailed bumblebees. We must train our eyes to notice these species when we visit other reserves even if it just to notice the Pollen beetles on the yellow Cat’s ear flowers.
The Spear thistles were in full flower and the willow herbs were coming into bloom. Marsh orchids joined Greater bird’s foot trefoil to add colour to the grassy areas. The dense thickets of Phragmites rush and Hemp agrimony screened the water’s edge which in place was infested with the succulent leaves of Bogbean. I had not seen the yellow carnivorous Bladderwort before and here was a pond covered with it. Chris Packham would have had an underwater camera showing how the plant traps and ingests passing water fleas!
We saw birds – rafts of Tufted ducks and Coots, some elegant Great crested grebes a pair of Common terns with 3 fluffy chicks and a lone Pochard and we were treated to a fly past of 3 Egyptian geese. Young Cormorants were hanging out their wings to dry whilst Sedge warblers warbled in the reeds.
Towards the end of our stroll through the reserve Specialist John was asked about the presence of fungi. This was his cue to disappear into patch of woodland and to emerge clutching a football sized Puff ball fungus.
It was a fascinating visit – so different from our Wolds and coastal areas. I think we should find a date next summer when more people are able to be enthralled by the insects and flowers of these worked out quarries. RW

I have attached some more of Jane’s excellent pictures as well as adding a photograph kindly send to me by Geoff Mullett entitled, ‘the Brood of 2017’

Sunday, 18 June 2017


Some time ago Aidan Neary, the LWT Wildflower Meadow Project Officer, ask me whether LAG members would be able to assist with the National Plant Monitoring Scheme on farmland near Stenigot. After a recce in depth last August the committee members thought that we could carry out the task but given various constraints we would need to have a dozen people working together on the same day. I am pleased to report that 25 members showed an interest and 13 of us carried out the complicated task on the sunny morning of 31 May.
Now is orchid time; we all love the beautiful Bee orchids. However, watch out for the delicate pale pink Common spotted orchids that grow amongst the pollen laden grasses. Or take a walk down the path at Gibraltar Point from the first (not main) car park to view orchids in profusion. There are also Spoonbills, baby Avocets and fluffy gull chicks to be seen from the hides.

OUT NEXT FIELD TRIP will be a flower and insect visit on Saturday 24 June to LWT Messingham Sand Quarry. This will be an easy walk through woodland paths and by the edges of ponds led by Eddie Gaunt and his team of knowledgeable volunteers. Meet at 1100hrs at the car park which is east of the B1400 Messingham-Kirton road opposite Scallow Grove Farm, Messingham, Scunthorpe. Map reference SE 908032. There are no loos on site but it is a splendid picnic area.
Ray Woodcock Chairman LAG

Monday, 22 May 2017

Report on Meeting at Rimac 14th May 2017

We had a joint meeting with the Rimac Watch Group at Rimac Reserve.

We walked to the pond carrying nets, ID, sheets, containers etc. The children stood on the deck and used the nets to catch pond dwellers. The contents of the nets were transferred to the water in the four containers that Roger had already filled. We could then see what had been caught. There were lots of tadpoles. There were also some small fish and the nymphs of dragonflies and damselflies. We were able to look at them more closely using magnifying

The children really enjoyed dipping their nets in the pond and then seeing what
they had caught. When they had finished, they were given cards and told to find different items around the reserve.

Twenty children attended the joint meeting.


It was a pleasure to welcome new members to the group on this bright, sunny day. The ‘aaah factor’ was present in the car park – seven fluffy Canada goose goslings.  19 of us made a slow progression along the river bank and back through the woodland paths to have our picnic lunch in the double-decker hide amongst the reeds at Ness End.
It was a morning of quick sightings and calls – we saw Reed buntings, we heard a Cetti’s warbler, we caught glimpses of a Sedge warbler and had a good look at a tiny Willow warbler as it perched on a wire. An Oystercatcher flew over but we tended to ignore our beautifully marked Mallards and our elegant Black-headed gulls.
The wild flowers were beginning to bloom and as often at this time of year we tried to recall the names of the less common plants; not always easy, even with a guide book. The butterflies were easier to identify. Orange tips, Peacock, Green-veined whites and Small whites flitted around in the company of yellow Brimstones. There were a few dragonflies over the reeds whilst the Common blue damsel flies emerged from the ground cover as the air became warmer.
Our lunch stop location provided a steady trickle of different birds. The graceful Great crested grebes were the most numerous – four at one time. However, Shelduck came and went, a Common tern flew overhead and a couple of Blue tits were very busy feeding a family in a nearby bush. Inevitably the highlight of the day happened when most people had left the hide to return to their cars. We were given a wonderful flying display – about 10 metres away- by a Marsh harrier as it quartered the reed beds in search of prey.
Thank you, Judith for the excellent photographs. There are many more on our Facebook site. RW

BIRD LIST: Little grebe, Great crested grebe, Cormorant, Grey heron, Mute swan, Greylag goose, Canada goose, Shelduck, Mallard, Pochard, Tufted duck, Marsh harrier, Kestrel, Coot, Oystercatcher, Black-headed gull, Wood pigeon, Pied wagtail, Dunnock, Swift, Swallow, Blackbird, Sedge warbler, Willow warbler, Blue tit, Magpie, Carrion crow, Goldfinch, Reed bunting. 29

HEARD: Cuckoo, Cetti’s warbler, Reed warbler, Chiffchaff, Yellowhammer. 5


Kingfisher, Bearded tit. 2