Sorry – no Open Day tomorrow

Our regular last Saturday of the month Open Days, from 13.00 to 16.00, which we have been running except in the winter for the last few years, depend on one or more of the Friends group being around.  But, a combination of long pre-arranged holidays and sudden family commitments means that this is not going to happen this month.  

We are really sorry about this, and two things we are taking from it:

  1. At least one of us will commit to being around for each month – so not assuming someone else will be able to be there, and
  2. We need more people in our Friends group – able to help on our Open Days and other work helping the wider community make use of this space.  If you are interested, please get in touch!

April Open Day this Saturday

This coming Saturday, from 1 pm to 4 pm, is the first opportunity in 2017 for everyone from the community to look round this local nature reserve, with its large pond, incorporating one of the last remnants of the Croydon Canal, and managed now for the benefit of frogs and other amphibians.

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It is also used regularly by groups such as the Secret Adventurers, who have left two “Hedgehog trails” for children aged 2 – 4 and 5 – 7 to follow, so this will be a nice visit for families with young children.  Entrance is free, and now better signed, thanks to work just completed on Honeyfield Mews,

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off Dacres Road, near the junction with Silverdale.

However, donations to the Friends of Dacres Wood, who support LB Lewisham in its management of this site, aiming to enhance the wider appreciation of the natural environment,

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even here in London.  This year we are also setting up moth traps on a regular basis, to start learning what species we have round here, and hope this Saturday to get our first results.

We are currently planning how to enhance the adjoining Field Studies centre, as well as the reserve, and offering opportunities for volunteers to help in our work.  Please ask about these on your visit, and let your friends know about what we are doing!

 

Photos and species list from Bird Walk

Parakeet - Steve

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Well, we didn’t see a sparrow hawk this year, but the weather was much better, and the mating nuthatches in Mayow Park were a bonus.  We’re now thinking about a trip to Norwood Country Park early May – should see load of white throats there.

Here’s the complete species list:

  • Blackbird
  • Wren
  • Robin
  • Mistle thrush
  • Greater spotted woodpecker
  • Green woodpecker
  • Parakeet
  • Nuthatch
  • Jay
  • Carrion crow
  • Magpie
  • Blue tit
  • Great tit
  • Chiffchaff
  • Chaffinch
  • Stock dove
  • Wood pigeon
  • Collared dove
  • Feral pigeon
  • Moorhen

and thanks to Ron and Steve for the photos

April 9th – Mayow Park and Dacres Wood Bird Walk

Just found a photo of that sparrowhawk in Dacres Wood from last year’s walk

SparrowHawk

The walk will start at 7.30 from Dacres Wood Nature reserve – at the end of Honeyfield Mews, which is off Dacres Road, Forest Hill, just past Catling Close on the right coming from Forest Hill, just before on the left if coming from Sydenham.  It will last between one and two hours, and most of it will be suitable for those with limited mobility – total distance walked will be about 1 km.

Just contacting those people who have left comments

Tim

Update – this year we will also be starting at 7.30

Early Sunday April 9th we’ll be meeting, with Friends of Mayow Park, at the Reserve for a combined bird walk round the reserve and then Mayow Park, coming back to the Field Studies centre for some tea and coffee.  

Last year we did this one very cold March morning, starting at 7.30.  At least we were rewarded with the sight of a chilly looking sparrowhawk, fluffing up its feathers high up in one of the Turkey Oaks, its eloquent body language saying it was too ****** cold to go hunting, and so what if those humans got a good site of me for once?

Seems like it was also too cold for me to get my camera out, so no sparrow hawk pictures, so here instead …

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This year, I’m thinking we might start earlier, but I’ve yet to arrange that with Paul, our birding expert, so watch this space.  I’ll be tweeting, so anyone following @dacreswood will get live updates on what we see, and where we are, so can come and join us if you miss an early start.  If you’re not on Twitter, contact me for my mobile number, and I can respond to texts from anyone wanting to join us.

Updates to follow, including a list of the species Paul thinks we’re likely to see.

 

Last Tuesday of February tomorrow means …

At 9.30, Caroline, I and maybe a few others, will be at the Reserve from 9.30 doing some conservation work.  There’s an unsightly bonfire site we’re thinking of covering over with some of the reeds we pulled from the pond last year, and still lots of brambles to be dug out from the south end of the pond.  I hope also to get round to measuring some of the tree girths.

Then, at 2.30, I and anyone else who want to will be going round taking photos of what we see growing, rotting, flying, swimming, creeping, crawling, maybe floating in the pond in the case of frogspawn.  Help us make a year round record of the Reserve.

It’s also a chance to learn about what we are doing and thinking of doing at Dacres Wood, and sharing any ideas which occur to you.

More photos from January’s “Last Tuesday”

Thanks to Tom for sending these through – not sure if it was you who tool them or Kayla.  In any case, it’s great to see what someone else sees to photograph

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Last Tuesday of January!

Morning – 9.30:

I’m going to be in Dacres Wood tomorrow, in the morning, starting 9.30, doing some conservation work.  Could be putting on waders and pulling out more reed sweet-grass, but if that’s too damp and cold, it could be the time to measure the girths of those big old Turkey Oaks.  Just how old are they?  This should give us a clue.  Nick Pond is also going to have a quick look round today, and get back to me with any other conservation tasks to be done.

Not strictly conservation, there’ll be things to do tidying up round the Field Studies centre, but I’m also thinking about putting together a whole list of things to do to make the place more welcoming, and organise a special volunteering day to work on this.  Below is how Iris at Grow Mayow has attached boards to some uninsulated walls, and started to wall paper them – the sort of thing I’m thinking about.

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Afternoon – 2.30

Then, in the afternoon, I’m going to be going round with my camera, photographing mainly plants, but anything else natural which catches my eye.  I’m expected at least three more people to turn up with cameras, maybe with more of an artistic eye.  We’ll we doing these walks / photo blogging sessions the last Tuesday afternoon of each month, and hoping to capture the changing moods, vegetation of the reserve.

Last Saturdays in 2017 – Open Days and moth / bug identification

From April, we will be resuming our regular Open Days on the last Saturday of each month, so

  • April 29th
  • May 27th
  • Jun 24th
  • July 29th
  • August 26th
  • September 30th

These will be from 1.00 pm to 4.00 pm, and an opportunity just to look around the reserve in your own time.  However, we hope also to organise special activities, appealing to young families, such as a Teddy Bears’ Picnic, and blackberrying combined with den building.  (The yields of blackberries were not great in 2016, but kids still had a lot of fun with their dens!)

We are also planning to set up moth traps the evening before, and have one of more volunteers come in to identify what there is fluttering around the reserve at the different times of the year.  We will be doing this to develop a record of the sites bio-diversity, but we hope also to be able to share some of what we find  with Open Day visitors.  Also, on the “last Saturday” mornings, from 11.00, volunteers who have done a “Curious entomologists” course with professional entomologist Richard Jones will also look for other insects.

All welcome – and a special welcome to those who like us are interested to know what insects we have!  We will be at the entrance for 11.00, but leave a message with the comments below if you want to come along, but are not sure if you will be there at 11.00!

Last Tuesdays in 2017 – conservation volunteering and plant identification walks

In 2017, from March, depending a bit on the weather, we’re going to have two regular sessions at the nature reserve on the last Tuesdays of each month – so

  • March 28th
  • April 25th
  • May 30th
  • June 27th
  • July 25th
  • August 29th
  • September 26th
  • October 24th

From 9.30, a group of conservation volunteers will spend a couple of hours doing whatever might be needed round the site to improve bio-diversity, conditions for our wildlife, people getting about.

Then, in the afternoon from 2.30 for an hour, another group will go round identifying plants, seeing what flowers are out, what leaves appearing, and taking photos which will be posted to the website and on Facebook as a record of the reserve through the seasons

For both, just turn up, although be ready to get muddy, or even wet, if doing conservation work in the pond, so dress sensibly.  And, you will be expected to accept some basic health and safety requirements.  For identifying plants, please bring cameras, and share photos!

If you want to check about any of these, post a comment below