The Wildlife group started in September 2017 since when we have had a number of interesting meetings. Some have been sharing our experience and expertise indoors and others visiting places of interest for wildlife. Please note that from January 2019 we will meet on the third Friday at 1 p.m. instead of 2 p.m.
If you would like to come please email Jane Williamson who is the current leader and can be contacted via the message box.
We try to share transport for visits, so attendance is still possible for non-drivers.
Our 17th May meeting will be at Upton Warren Nature Reserve. Parking is at the Sailing Centre, B61 7ET, map ref: SO936 677 and there is a charge of £3 for non-members of the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust. We will visit the various hides at the flash pools (salt water) and hope to see adult birds and their young. We will be walking some distance, but mostly on firm paths (though some, not all, hides are up steps). We can then drive on to the moor pool where more woodland birds can be seen.
On 21st June we are going to Baggeridge Country Park. It should be peak time to spot orchids as well as other wildflowers, butterflies and birds. Some of this area is boggy, so please wear suitable footwear.
In January Mick Poulton gave a talk on 'Basic Botany'. This was designed to help those of us who lack a scientific background in this area to understand the basics of how plants work - water, food, sun etc. His clear information with diagrams and photographs delighted and informed us in equal measure.
In February Pat and Peter Orme shared in words and photos something of the recent trip they made to the Galapagos Islands. Whilst many of us have heard from the likes of David Attenborough of the wonders of these islands, it was fascinating to hear directly from friends who had visited. They told stories of close encounters with animals and details of the strict rules laid down by the Ecuador government to preserve this unique habitat. A wonderful afternoon.
In April we visited the Falconry Centre at Webbs Garden Centre, Hagley. The flying display gave us the chance to see how different birds hunt and catch their food and the two keepers were hugely well informed and entertaining, so we learned a lot about these impressive birds. One of the interesting facts is that many large raptors only fly for a short time in the wild and often not every day. Some of us have concerns about animals being kept in captivity, so it was reassuring to hear that their current 'lifestyle' is not so different to that in their natural habitat. Indeed, when they are released to fly there is nothing to stop them taking off but most birds prefer the comfort of regular food and good care. The whole display lasts for two to three hours, depending on how the birds behave (some take the opportunity to have a fly around before returning for food), so it was definitely good value for money.
We are not a group of experts but share an interest in wildlife (viewed from many directions) and work together to enjoy and learn. Thanks to Mick, Peter and Pat for their contributions to our 2019 programme.
Any Stourbridge U3A member wishing to join us for just one or two of our sessions will be warmly welcomed.
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