Wensum Valley Birdwatching Society - April 2016

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Liz Bridge and Martin Spriggs provided lively reports of our indoor and outdoor meetings respectively.
David North, a very enthusiastic speaker, took us back in time many millennia to explore how the North Norfolk coast came to be as we know it today. He then gave us an idea, his own personal view, of how it might look in the future. We saw aerial views of the coast line prior to the storms of December 2013 and afterwards. On one of the photos, taken while the marshes around Cley were still under water, we could clearly see the original path of the river which had been re-routed to allow for the improvement of the sea defences. So much change occurs without us realizing and it was fascinating to see the marshes and coast line from above. Wildlife and Landscape took over the second half of the talk and we saw some interesting shots of birds, lovely landscapes and glorious sunsets.
31st January saw a 15 strong group of WVBS members gathering in Red Indian style around an enormous puddle in the first car park at Holme. From the top of the sand dunes overlooking Gore Point we had a 360 degree view of the sea, saltmarsh, serpentine water, dunes and fresh marshes inland. Quickly spotters called out names to the scribe --- Curlew (large overhead flock), Little Egret, Marsh Harriers(more than one), Barn Owl, Lapwing, Little Grebe (on the serpentine) Peregrine (leaving the area), Magpie (being chased by a starling) and a superb view of a Merlin. This last perched for some time on the top of a nearby bramble bush. Then from over Chosely way came a faint flock of geese, getting larger as they approached, the flock was 2000 ish strong and all came whiffling down onto the fresh marsh --- Pink- footed Geese, great. After coffee we made for the beach at Thornham to find the Shore Larks seen in this area. We did see Red Throated Diver , Merganser(male) and a Golden eye flying by as if the shops were about to close! Finally having walked quite a way along the shingle and sand three beautiful little shore Larks were seen busily foraging in the down slope of the shingle. Later, at the end of the harbour lane at Thornham the 'resident' flock of Twite entertained, on the roof of the Coal Barn and all around in the dykes and marsh. A Rock Pipit trundled up and down the sides of the dyke, beautifully camouflaged as 'mud'. Four seal were spotted hauled out on the mud. Three Barn Owls patrolled the distant wood edge and grazing marsh. The light was becoming dull and a reduced number of birders pushed on to Ringstead Downs where a large group of buntings festooned the bare hedge line. 100+ Yellow Hammers were counted along with 50+ Corn Bunting, Goldfinch, Brambling and Linnet.

Future events
Indoor meetings at Weston Longville Hall for All, 7.30pm. All welcome. (There is a £2.00 charge for non-members): Thursday 21st April – AGM Followed by ‘Uganda, the Pearl of Africa’ by Allan Hale Thursday 19th May ‘Birding and Birds in Arabia’ by Nick Moran
Field trips: Sunday 8th May – Dawn Chorus (meets 4.00am) Sunday 22nd May – Bintree Mill (9.00 to 12. Noon)
For more details and information contact Sue Gale – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

ELMHAM WIVES CLUB + ALL - April 2016

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An illustrated talk was given at the March meeting by Mr. Paul Webber, Chairman of Norfolk Lowland Search and Rescue. Norfolk Lowland Search and Rescue was formed in 1999 and provides a voluntary search and rescue service in the county of Norfolk, to assist, at the request of the police, in the search for vulnerable missing people. It works closely with the Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service, HM Coastguard, Norfolk Police, RAF Search & Rescue and the Ambulance Service and is manned by unpaid volunteers from all walks of life who are on call 24 hours a day 365 days a year. Norfolk Lowland Search and Rescue is funded entirely by voluntary donations and charitable grants.
Next month, 14th April, Kitty Lynn will give an illustrated talk entitled “Shops in Dereham Market Place, 1920 to 1970”. Our meetings are all open meetings, so please come if you are interested.
Gill King (668530)

WI - April 2016

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Our February meeting was an excellent talk by two members of Phoenix Bird of Prey Rescue. Although the members have their own birds that have been captive bred, the Charity is a non-profit organisation, set up and run solely by volunteers for the rescue, rehabilitation and release of wild British birds of prey. Their talk was illustrated by some of the girl’s own birds of prey as obviously they can never show rescued birds of prey, before they are released. There were the most stunning owls from different parts of the world, including a British Barn Owl.
If you are interested to know more then you can visit www.phoenixbirdofpreyrescue.org
Our April meeting on 27th at 2.00pm at the Memorial Institute is a talk all about ‘Stained Glass’, the speaker is Julie Kirkham from the Alby Stained Glass Studio. Later in the year we are going to have a craft day learning to make our own stained glass with Alby Studio. I am very excited, as I’ve always loved stained glass and wanted to learn how to make it myself. If this subject interests you too, why not come along and join our WI to learn about this topic and other interesting subjects too.
Kate Wyatt

Knit and Natter - April 2016

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At the beginning of the month, on a very wet and windy day, four of our group had a works outing to the Norwich Wool Loft Headquarters. Whilst drinking tea and yes, eating more cake, we had a very stimulating talk by Linda Brown, our continuously enthusiastic founder of Norfolk Knitters and Stitchers. We heard how the organization has grown to over 2,500 members, and how some of the huge lottery award has been spent on opening more groups, not only in Norfolk, but as far as Diss almost in Suffolk as well. We were driven home by a very patient husband, clutching our 5 balls of free wool - black and white, for our penguin project stall at the May show. We were just dying to get back to knitting again - Linda has that effect on people.
Many thanks go to all the knitters in our area, and this month a special thanks to Pam at Litcham, for her lovely, warm cheerful knee blankets, which I know will be gratefully accepted by one of our local care homes. I also had a good response to our appeal in the last Newsletter, for help in getting our items up to N & N Hospital, so the chickens will arrive in time for Easter. We love it when a plan comes together!
Our next meeting is at the Teapost, 12th April at 2-00pm
Eileen Cotterill 668380

GARDENING CLUB - April 2016

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Our January AGM was short and sweet with all officials agreeing to carry on for a further year, providing that everyone tried to suggest speakers for 6 meetings for the future. Everyone agreed but Ann still needs suggestions!
The Annual Show will be on Saturday August 6th, so start planning your fruit and vegetables now.
The annual fee was kept at £5 per year and £1 per meeting which kept members very happy.
The February Meeting was a splendid meal at the Kings Head, in lieu of a Christmas Meal though there were rumours that someone didn’t get their potatoes!
April’s meeting will be a talk by Louise Chapman, who is the only Lady Mole Catcher around. If you have trouble with moles or would like to learn more about them, please do come along and join us for the evening. You will be made most welcome.
Meg White