Lichfield RSPB Local Group April Newsletter

ROYAL MAIL STAMPS The Royal Mail is celebrating the magnificence of migratory birds this spring with a new set of stamps featuring some of our most iconic summer visitors. The set of ten first class stamps showcase the rich variety of the migratory birds, from the familiar swifts and swallows to arctic terns, nightjars and yellow wagtails. Each bird was chosen in consultation with the RSPB’s Professor Richard Gregory, head of monitoring conservation science, who wrote the accompanying text. The stamps feature intricate new illustrations of each species, by renowned Irish ornithologist Killian Mullarney. Richard said: “It is fantastic to see the Royal Mail celebrating these wonderful birds who every year make miraculous journeys to the UK to raise their young. Many of the birds featured are priority species for the RSPB, meaning they have suffered real declines in the last few years. We hope that the stamps will help highlight the diversity of our summer visitors, the troubles they are facing and encourage people to find out more about their amazing journeys to get here. ”The featured birds are the Arctic skua, Montagu’s harrier, pied flycatcher, swallow, turtle dove, Arctic tern, nightjar, stone-curlew, swift and yellow wagtail.

REFRESHMENTS We have not had any tea or coffee during the break since we restarted our meetings after Covid. You are all welcome to bring your own drinks along to the meetings. If sufficient members would like to have tea/ coffee and biscuits provided during the break, we can restart this in September but we will need volunteers to serve the drinks etc. We will continue to use disposable cups. We also need someone to manage a rota and bring the coffee, tea, milk and biscuits to the meetings. Please let me know if you would like to help.

RSPB & BTO BREEDING WADERS SURVEY In 2021, BTO and RSPB jointly organised a survey of breeding waders of wet grassland across England. The aim of the survey is to assess how populations of species like lapwing, redshank, curlew and snipe are faring on this crucial habitat, and to determine whether agri-environment measures are beneficial. Last year approximately 2000 sites were surveyed and this year they’re hoping to plug even more gaps. If you’re interested in whether you might be able to help out in your area, visit the BTO website. ( There are a number of sites available for surveying in the Lichfield area (see map on BTO website)The survey will require three daytime visits, with at least one week separating each, and a single dusk visit for Snipe during May – only if present at the site. An April visit should be made to detect Lapwing, and morning survey visits are preferable. Surveyors will need to be able to identify common wader species and be familiar with display and territorial behaviour.

The Jaguar Kingdom (Birds and Mammals of the Mato Grosso) – Presented by
John Medlock

John Medlock is a new speaker for our group. Brought up on the Romney Marsh in Kent John is an
amateur naturalist and photographer who feels very lucky in having been able to travel widely and
visit many of the world’s wildlife hot spots. These include trekking in Borneo’s remote jungles, an
island where he and his wife Susanne have made four extended visits, sleeping under the stars in
the Namib desert, walking though the bush in South Africa’s Hluhulwe-Imfolozi reserve and doing
the same in India’s Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary.
In this talk John will take us to the Pantanal, the world’s greatest wetland, looking at the wide variety
of birds and mammals to be found there, including some dramatic footage of a unique jaguar hunt.
The second half moves north to the savannah lands of the high Cerrado and in particular the wildlife
to be found in the little known Chapada dos Guimaraes national park.

Attenborough Nature Reserve
This is a new venue for our group. A large reserve run by the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. A
complex of flooded former gravel pits and islands next to the River Trent, providing exceptional
habitat for a wide range of wildlife. Entrance is free. There is a good visitor centre with a café and
I suggest we plan to have a 3 hour visit rather than the usual 2 hours as it is a large reserve and a
bit further than normal to travel to.
Meet at the reserve car park at 10am. Car park charge is £3.
The Nature Centre and reserve are situated just off the A6005 (post code NG9 6DY) between
Beeston and Long Eaton. Turn onto Barton Lane at the traffic lights at Chilwell Retail Park
(Mcdonalds and Porcelanosa). Follow Barton Lane with the Village Hotel on your left, over the
railway crossing and the car park is at the bottom.

Cannock Chase – Seven Springs
Our May local birdwatching walk is at Seven Springs car park on Cannock Chase.
We will be meeting at Seven Springs car park (postcode ST17 0WT) off the A513 about 1 mile west
of Wolseley Bridge at 10am for an approximate 2 hour visit.
Please come along if you can and share your birdwatching skills with us.