News – Page 6

The World Day of Prayer

Friday 1st March 2.00pm
At St Anthony’s Church, Calverton.
Slovenia is the country which has prepared the service this year.
Light refreshments provided after the service.
All are very welcome.

Yellow is the colour that shouts out from the rest.

I’m here again another spring, please see me at my best! 

Memories of last year are bound to be brought back,

The same pattern has happened as year on year we stack.

 

But where are we all going, as time keeps ticking on,

Like the  never ending heartbeat passed from mother on to son?

Take a look at this springtime, take a look at this day,

For the moment you ignore them, you’ve lost them and your way!

 
Jean K Cave

WOODBOROUGH BADMINTON CLUB

The Tuesday Evening Badminton Club at Woodborough Village Hall are looking to recruit a couple of new players. There’s no need to feel intimidated – the standard is not very high! We play most Tuesdays from about 8.15pm to around 9.30pm.

If you would like to give it a go, please ring Andrew on 07948 729577 and leave a message containg your name and phone number – men, women, young and not-so-young are all welcome.

by

Jean Powley

Photo – John Harding BTO

The Rise of the Little Egret

Living near a watercourse, i.e. the Dover Beck, it isn’t surprising that this member of the heron family is seen quite often around the outskirts of our village. Some people have even had one in their gardens and I well remember seeing one seemingly sheltering in someone’s porch.

It is amazing to think that until a few decades ago, this bird was rarely seen in the UK but now there are nearly 700 breeding pairs. Nowadays when you walk by a stretch of water, you are almost guaranteed a sighting of one of these birds, certainly if you live in southern and eastern England, some parts of Wales and also Northern Ireland. Presently in northern England and Scotland it is only a winter visitor along coastal areas.  

The Little Egret has partly the RSPB to thank for its rise in numbers during the twentieth century. In late Victorian times, thousands of this species were killed for their beautiful white plumes which were used by milliners to make fashionable lady’s hats. As a result, the bird became extinct in North West Europe. In 1889 Emily Williamson began a campaign to stop this massive devastation of not just this species but also many other birds and in 1891 together with Eliza Phillips, the small movement of women became the Society for the Protection of Birds (SPB) and in 1904 it gained its Royal Charter to become the RSPB.    

The population of Little Egrets made a good recovery on the continent and they first started appearing in the UK in the 1950’s. Numbers began to steadily increase and in 1996 the first breeding pair was recorded in Dorset. Since then this small white heron has gone from strength to strength and is now a fairly common sight in small pools, marshes, tiny ditches and wet flooded fields. The bird is now breeding in Nottinghamshire, mainly in areas alongside the River Trent.

There is no mistaking the difference between the Liittle Egret and the Grey Heron. The former is half the size and its plumage is white. Sometimes you will see the Little Egret with its long neck outstretched but sometimes it can look much smaller especially if it hunches up. Its bill is black and if you are fortunate enough to see all of its legs, you will see that the legs are black but the feet are yellow. There is another white heron which may be seen and which is also increasing in numbers and that is the Great White Egret. This is the size of a Grey Heron but has a much elongated neck, black legs and feet and usually a yellow bill. There are only small number s of these in England at the moment so if you do see a white egret, it is more likely to be the Little Egret.  

If you walk down Shelt Hill, do take a look in the fields and ditches as you approach the by-pass and you have a good chance of seeing the elegant Little Egret.

Jean Powley

Jean is a voluntary Ambassador for the British Trust for Ornithology’s Garden BirdWatch scheme in Nottinghamshire. If you enjoy watching birds and other wildlife which visit your garden, Garden BirdWatch may be perfect for you. If you would like a free information pack about the scheme, contact Jean at jpbirds@outlook.com or visit www.bto.org/gbw