Butterfly Conservation

An Invitation to CBWPS members from Cornwall Butterfly Conservation

Many active birders have a keen interest in butterflies and moths. Cornwall Butterfly Conservation invites you to its AGM and Members Day on Saturday March 12th at Trispen Community Centre (opposite Rowes Honda dealership). The day starts at 10 am with a coffee and sign-in plus the chance to ‘mingle’ and meet old friends. The AGM starts at 10.30 but doesn’t last long. There are two main speakers for the day, starting with a new young wildlife photographer, Ben Porter, in the morning and Professor Jeremy Thomas on ‘Blue Butterflies, Ants and Parasitoids’in the afternoon. Professor Thomas is a leading expert on lepidoptera and is a real star speaker whom we are lucky to get down here in Cornwall.

Entry on the door is £7 but you get fed for this too! Pasties, cakes, savouries and biscuits, as well as tea and coffee, all provided. These events are always very much enjoyed and it would be great to see some people from the birding world coming along. Hope to see you there.

Roger Hooper

Stephen Moss at Falmouth Poly

Stephen Moss is coming to Falmouth Poly
There are very few people from the world of television who are regarded as ‘real’ birders. Two stand out. Bill Oddie is one. The other is the producer of ‘Birding with Bill Oddie’ and ‘Bill Oddie goes Wild’, Stephen Moss.
The RSPB Cornwall Local Group are presenting ‘An Evening with Stephen Moss’ at Falmouth Poly on Thursday December 3rd and welcome members of CBWPS to this major indoor event.
Stephen is an award winning producer of Natural History programmes for television. He was the original producer for BBC’s ‘Springwatch’, a programme that has enthused millions of people about nature and conservation and worked on the programme from its first broadcast in 2005. Spin-offs from the programme now include ‘Autumnwatch’ and occasional specials such as ‘Winterwatch’ Other major works include ‘Big Cat Diary’ and ‘The Nature of Britain’ with Alan Titchmarsh. He also produced ‘Birds Britannia’ about the relationship between the British people and the birds that live around them.
A regular broadcaster on BBC Radio4, a columnist on birds and nature for ‘The Guardian’ and author of many books on birds and wildlife, Stephen uses all these mediums to enthuse as big an audience as possible about the wonderful nature of Britain and the wider world.
‘An Evening with Stephen Moss’ is at The Falmouth Poly, Church Street, Falmouth on Thursday, December 3rd at 7.30 pm. Booking is essential and tickets can be bought and reserved, to be picked up on the night, by ringing the Box Office on 01326 319461. Tickets can be purchased online at ‘thepoly.org’ and then clicking on ‘talks’. Tickets are £10 and £8 for students.
Roger Hooper



You may have seen recent publicity about the review of and potential threat to the EU Birds and Habitats Directives arising  from a review of their operation led by the European Commission. The RSPB and other members of Wildlife Link organisations are seeking to protect and promote these EU Nature Directives.  The Directives provide essential protection to our rarest and most threatened species, and safeguard the best habitats for supporting a diversity of life in the UK and across much of Europe. They drive the fundamental aspects of conservation in the most important places – from managing sites and protecting them from development, to protecting species from human persecution. That’s why we need a massive demonstration of public support for the Directives during the European Commission’s public consultation on the future of the Directives. The more people act, the easier it will be to convince EU leaders that the general public really care about nature and won’t tolerate a weakening of its protection.

We would really appreciate the help of you and your members to add their voices to this call. We are asking that everybody takes about 20 minutes to submit a detailed response https://ec.europa.eu/eusurvey/runner/EUNatureDirectives  directly to the European Commission. The more detailed responses they get, the better. The whole survey is multiple choice with one free text question at the end, so taking part is still quite quick and easy. There is an option to complete just Part 1 of the survey which is less detailed but covers the essential points. The attached briefing should help people to answer the questionnaire.

If people do not feel confident to complete the full consultation or do not have time to do so then please take 2 minutes for the one-click action of support which can be accessed through the RSPB website <http://www.rspb.org.uk/joinandhelp/campaignwithus/defendnature/> .  However, please don’t do this as well as completing the full consultation.  Obviously completing the full EU questionnaire directly will be the most effective but either will be fantastic.

Please forward the content of this email as you see fit to members, friends or family. If you prefer information can also be accessed and followed by sharing our social media campaign <https://twitter.com/search?q=%23defendnature&src=typd <https://twitter.com/search?q=%23defendnature&src=typd> >  (#defendnature)


Paul St Pierre (RSPB Conservation Officer)

Balearic Shearwater Survey

Balearic Shearwater synchronised survey  –  seawatchers needed on 18 Aug 2015

A coordinated MARINElife/RSPB regional Balearic shearwater survey, at sea and from land is taking place between Portland and Ilfracombe on 18th August.  The aim of the survey is to arrive at a population estimate for Balearics using the seas around the SW.

If you are either an experienced seawatcher and could help as part of the land based team, or are ESAS qualified and could help as part of the boat based team we would be very grateful if you could spare us some seawatching hours on the 18th.  There are lots of variables that we have no control over with such a one day survey but we are going to give it a try.

In Cornwall we hope to have enough watchers to cover Rame, Lizard, Gwennap, Pendeen, Trevose, and for North Devon,  Hartland.  There will be two shifts of 6 hours between dawn and dusk (shorter shifts are ok too) –  full details can be forwarded if you are interested so please do get in touch.

For land based surveys contact SWseabird-surveys@rspb.org.uk

For boat based surveys contact Rachel.davies@marine-life.org.uk


Stithians Reservoir

I am very sorry to announce that Simon Taylor has stepped down as Stithians Warden.  Simon has stepped down for many reasons including vandalism at the hides. 

We are very grateful to Simon for his dedication and commitment to the Stithians Reserve.    He has held the office of Stithians Warden since 2007, and during that time he has worked tirelessly (and, sadly, without a great deal of support from fellow members) to manage and promote the site.  As well as collating the information about sightings at Stithians, and writing the quarterly reports for Palores, he has done an exceptional amount of “hands-on” management.  

This includes regularly clearing the area in front of the Stuart Hutchings hide, and the value of the Southern cut-off hide in particular has been transformed by his efforts.   Each Autumn he has cleared the succession growth of willow from in front of the hide and around the feeders.  If left unchecked, this would have cut off, almost completely, views of open water from the Southern cut-off hide.  He also promoted a scheme to dig out channels, scrapes and pools to retain open water in front of the Southern cut-off hide. While this has not yet been implemented it has not been abandoned, and South West Lakes Trust (“SWLT”) have recently agreed to revisit the possibility of getting funding for contractors to carry out this work. 

Another of Simon’s initiatives was “A Day for Nature” where he approached the CBWPS committee and SWLT for approval to host an Open Day at Stithians, the intention being a gathering of the County’s top conservation groups to promote awareness and generate further interest in conservation after the event. 

Simon instigated the feeders near the hide which have proved such an attraction for several Winters, and brought in sightings and photo-opportunities of Marsh Tits, Bramblings, Water Rail and large numbers of commoner species.   The Society were approached by Simon in 2009 to sponsor him for £100 to start a nest box scheme at Stithians. The CBWPS gave him the money, the first boxes were put up with Simon funding once again out of his own pocket any replacement boxes needed through Woodpecker damage. Although not connected to Stithians this further led Simon to pay for the construction of another 90 boxes nearer to home. He funded the materials from his own pocket to set up and concrete in the feeder frames, supplied the feeders themselves (only the seed and nuts being funded by the Society) and kept the feeders filled through successive Winters.   Many members will not realise what an undertaking this has been.   The feeders require filling every other day during the Winter, and daily during spells of hard weather, and to date no support has been forthcoming from members of the Society to share that burden. 

Owing to Simon’s standing down, that situation has to change. 

We are fortunate that some hands-on management will now be provided by South West Lakes Trust.   Their local Reserve Warden, Chris Hardman, has a team of volunteers who have recently carried out this Autumn’s willow clearance and are in principle willing to undertake other tasks.  Unfortunately, there has been a succession of incidents of trespass and mindless vandalism in and around the hides, and there is now a good deal of repair work, which we hope will be carried out by the SWLT volunteers with the Society funding the cost of materials. Chris and his volunteers have already removed the graffiti from the Southern cut-off hide, and are willing to do so from the Stuart Hutchings hide unless the suspected culprits are willing to remove it themselves by way of “restorative justice”. The SWLT team will also renew the woodstain and repair the roof, the Society having provided the cost of materials. 

There is, however, an urgent need for volunteers for the following roles:- 

1.         For the role of Stithians Warden. This will not now involve the maintenance work, which will now be undertaken by SWLT, but will still involve collecting and disseminating information about the reserve, including the quarterly reports in Palores, and also fielding any enquiries from members or others regarding the Stithians Reserve.   

2.            Volunteers – at least 2 in number – to fill the feeders at Stithians.  Currently we have 2 volunteers (willing to cover Mondays and Fridays) but the feeders need filling every couple of days, and daily in hard weather.  Chris Hardman of SWLT is one of those volunteers. However, two volunteers are not enough, and unless more volunteers come forward willing to fill the feeders on one or more days each week this facility (which has not only provided such an attraction but also sustained a population of birds which might otherwise have struggled to get through the hard Winter months) will unfortunately come to an end. 

Will anyone willing to assist in either role please contact board member Greg Adams on 01326 572951 (work) or 07770 638443 (mobile).

Bioblitz at Bell Lake Marsh

24hr BioBlitz at Bell Lake Marsh
From 12.00 noon Saturday 28th June
12.00 noon Sunday 29th June 2014
This event will cover Bell Lake Marsh & Bell Lake, two important, adjoining wildlife sites, along Red River Valley Local Nature Reserve near Camborne, (SW621428). 
Event flyer attached.

For the last 2 years we have been working hard to restore the diversity of habitat in this rather unique wetland area. Great strides have been made in removing gorse and willow which were rapidly colonising previously open areas which in the past had supported colonies of Scarce blue-tail damselflies and Marsh Fritillary butterflies and it is felt by the co-ordinators of the group and Cornwall Council, who own the land, that the time is perfect for a Bioblitz to catalogue as much of the flora and fauna as possible as a benchmark for the future.
Come along and help us record! You don’t need to be an expert, (but if you are that would be fantastic!), just bring along your enthusiasm. Many eyes will see more and help to build up a truly comprehensive catalogue of all the wonderful inhabitants of our beautiful reserve. 
Everyone is welcome!

You can come along at any stage during the 24 hours of the BioBlitz and stay for as little, or long, as you like, all we ask is that if you do come along could please sign in on site and let us have your records before you leave.
Parking is at the bottom of Cuttings Hill near Coombe at SW629422. From there follow the signs across the river & along the track down to the marsh where you will find our team of volunteers ready to greet you. Please note that is a pleasant 10 to 15 minute walk down to the marsh from the parking area, (which will be unmanned).
Organised by Steve Jones, Jo Poland, Gary Barlow, Laura Fox & Kevin Gill 
You can register your interest by contacting Laura Fox, the Red River Rescuers group recorder – email: redriverrecorder@gmail.com, or call: 07958524428. Or you can simply turn up at any time on Saturday afternoon/evening or Sunday morning. 
Be sure to bring wellington boots as you will need them to access the site! Don’t forget your suncream for the afternoon/morning sessions & a torch if you are intending to stay late on the Saturday.
Directions: Leave the A30 dual carriageway at the Camborne West exit (Treswithian).
If you are travelling in a westerly direction turn left at the end of the slip road and go all the way around the roundabout and back along the same road to cross over the A30 before turning left on to a minor road heading for Reskadinnick. After a quarter of a mile you will pass Camborne/Treswithian Downs Crematorium on your right and shortly after that you should turn right (which in effect is straight on) heading for Bell Lake/Coombe, (do not take the turning for Reskadinnick). Follow this road for half a mile, it will then drop down a steep hill, park at
 the bottom along the entrance to the track on the right or just after the river bridge.
If you are travelling in an easterly direction turn left at the end of the slip road & immediately left again on toa minor road heading for Reskadinnick. After a quarter of a mile you will pass Camborne/Treswithian Downs Crematorium on your right and shortly after that you should turn right (which in effect is straight on) heading for Bell Lake/Coombe, (do not take the turning for Reskadinnick). Follow this road for half a mile, it will then drop down a steep hill, park at the bottom along the entrance to the track on the right or just after 
the river bridge.

Please park sensibly and do not obstruct vehicular access along the 
 Steve Jones

Day Trip to Lundy

Day Trip to LUNDY   Sunday 18th May 2014
Boarding at Bideford from 8.00am    Sailing from Bideford at 8.30am  Returning to Bideford c 8.30pm
Bar and buffet available on board
Everyone is welcome, birdwatchers or those who would just like a peaceful day on this beautiful IslandWe also hope to include a sail around the Island to see the seabirds and seals
full name and gender of all passengers is a steamship requirement, please give details when purchasing
Adults £29, Children (under 16) £16
Please let Mark Humfrey know if you are interested as soon as possible as the 24th April is the last date of purchase to make this trip viable.
Tickets available from:  through the Devon Birds Shop now (www.devonbirds.org)
  Mark Humfrey, Morada, St John’s Lane, Barnstaple  EX32 9DD              Tel. No. 01271344556
All applications must be clearly marked ‘Lundy Trip’ and must include a SAE please. Cheques should be made payable to Devon Birds.