2010 Chairman’s Report
At the end of my second year as Chairman of Waveney Bird Club I feel very proud of the achievements that our club has made in such a short space of time. Over the two years we have now been up and running we have maintained a growing membership reaching 132 by the end of 2010.
We remain focussed on our key principles of offering something for everyone - people of all ages, all abilities and needs, and people looking for fun or friendship through birds. We believe that Waveney Bird Club is unique in a variety of ways, firstly and most importantly we promote active conservation measures to support the birds within our area. Secondly we have geared our activities to supporting members from all walks of life. Finally, we want to give everyone the opportunity to learn more about birds both locally and from around the world through high quality talks, walks and visits.
Our project work during 2010 includes the original Tree Sparrow project where we have now colour ringed 23 birds at two local sites. In the autumn of this year we began an exciting new project that we hope will lead the way in decision making for environmentalists - Foraging ranges and favoured food of four farmland bird species (Tree Sparrow, Linnet, Yellowhammer and Reed Bunting) that winter on Suffolk Farms. This extensive project involves ringing target species and maintaining an extensive data base tracking movements and feeding habits. This project is being run in conjunction with Suffolk Wildlife Trust. We are also working closely with SWT in monitoring population changes and migration at Carlton Marshes and during 2010 a total of 42 visits were made and over 1,000 birds were trapped. We have also successfully set up the Spotted Flycatcher Nest Box Project which aims to erect at least one nest box within a Waveney Valley churchyard for every club member ready for the Spotted Flycatcher’s arrival in late spring 2011. The club will also be responsible for monitoring and reporting on the success of these boxes.
Our indoor meeting schedule started off very well with a talk by Steve Piotrowski on the Birds of Poland. Over the year we also heard about the Arctic and Antarctic, Fair Isle and Mexico. The first outdoor meeting took place on 2nd April with a well attended Dawn Chorus. Although the conditions were less than ideal for bird song the range of species seen went a long way towards making this an excellent trip. A memorable highlight was surely the hovering Kingfisher on Outney Common. During the year we also visited Minsmere, Dunwich, Dingle Marshes, Breydon Water, Redgrave Fen, Pembrokeshire, Orfordness and Dunwich Heath to see and hear a wide range of birds and also mammals including Red Deer. The highlight of our trips must be the visit that 15 members enjoyed to Eastern Poland during May. An amazing trip total of 168 birds, 11 mammals including Elk, Beaver and Bison and a good variety of reptiles and butterflies were logged during the 8 day trip. Many thanks to Steve and Kathy for organising and leading this adventurous trip.
Like me, you will be surprised to learn that during 2010 we saw an amazing 211 Bird species on our organised field trips and our ringers managed to trap over 8448 birds of 68 species.
The twelve committee members have met 7 times to keep everything running smoothly and my sincere thanks go to them for their commitment and hard work and to all WBC members for another successful year.
Our thanks must also go to the team of helpers who support the club at every meeting – whether this has been cooking hot cross buns, making tea and coffee and manning the raffle at indoor meetings.
We are increasingly pleased to see our website grow in quality and note the increasing number of hits the site receives – over 5,700 during the year representing 48 countries including Sri Lanka, Venezuela and Libya! We are now embracing the world of social networking sites and so members who use Facebook can join Waveney Bird Club discussion group.
Our indoor and outdoor programme is one that the club is justifiably proud of and you will be pleased to know that we believe that for 2011 we have put together an even better range of events including North Norfolk, the Farne Islands and Estonia and indoor talks including China, a historic look at the Waveney Valley and Sri Lanka.