Monday, 24 August 2015

Day 285 - A Brilliant Open Day at Nosterfield Nature Reserve

Me & Esme on the way to Tanfield Hide
(hoping I grow into the T-Shirt!)
Hi everyone, Day 285, something a little bit different today and it's about the reason I had to come back from Birdfair on Saturday. I had the chance to help out with my local nature reserves' first Open Day. I've done a few posts about this fabulous place - it is of course Nosterfield Nature Reserve. It started life as a sand and gravel quarry and even before they'd finished taking it all out the wildlife was starting to appear. In 1996 a group called LUCT was formed by local naturalists to manage the site which was made a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation. I've linked the website so you can see more about the reserve, if you are ever in the area it's a great place to visit.
Medicinal Leeches - a future post!

It was great to be asked to help out and I had a really brilliant day. The reserve had put lots of activities on. There was pond dipping, a bird walk, a botanical walk, a butterfly and dragonfly walk - these were great as there were lots of experts around from organisations such as the British Dragonfly Society to tell you lots about the things you could see. One of the best things that I saw was some medicinal leeches, more about these another time, but it was great to see them as they aren't that common in the wild now. I did see a horse leech in Gormire but never one of these before.

Feathered Gothic Moth - also a future post
One of the best activities was the moth trapping and it was one that I got to help out with the most. Charlie, the County Moth Recorder and Jill from LUCT were there identifying and recording the moths that had been caught in the traps they had set up the night before. I've never seen so many moths!! My job was to put some of them into little pots so that they could be passed round for people to see. Some were quite tricky but I got the hang of it in the end. All together there were 72 different species caught, two of these hadn't been recorded on the site before including this lovely Feathered Gothic. This makes the total amount of moth species found at Nosterfield now up to 524 different species!

Common Darter on wall by Tanfield Hide
My other job for part of the day was to be in the Tanfield hide welcoming people and telling them about the birds and wildlife that was about. This ?? Dragonfly settled just outside while it was quiet. There were quite a few people that came through and it was great to tell them and some of the children that came through about the birds that were there. There was also a Barn Owl nest box, though the owls had all fledged but there was lots of information around to tell people about the owls. There were even owl pellets and some cleaned up skulls and bones of voles and things to show the children. It was quite quiet bird-wise when I was there. I missed an Osprey and Buzzard that had been hanging around but there were still Avocets, Shovellers. Sandmartins, Herons, Greylag and Canada Geese, a Stock Dove, Tufted Ducks, Coots, to name but a few! So enough to show people.
All the volunteers at the end of the day!

It was really nice to be asked to help out and it was fun to point everybody in the right direction at the hides, as well as helping to capture the Moths so we could show people that weren't there at the counting. I liked volunteering and actually doing something to help out the reserve. It was nice to share my passion for nature with everyone there too!

Hope you enjoyed,


1 comment:

  1. Great photos Zach, looks like you had an amazing day! - Tasha