On Friday I had a day off and planned to go to a conference (of sorts) at the Natural History Museum in London, hosted by the Wildlife Gardening Forum (http://www.wlgf.org/). It wasn’t as garden focused as one might think, it focused in depth at citizen science (getting everyone, no matter of age or experience recording the nature around them). We had talks from the RSPB about their Big Garden Birdwatch and more in depth studies from the Natural History Museum on the Garden Moth Scheme and the BTO on migration patterns of wintering Blackcaps. It was fantastic to hear about all this scientific data that had been collected by members of the public and important conclusions found as a result.
After the last talk I even had chance for a quick walk around. As you would expect the exhibits are fantastic but I couldn’t help but be more wowed by the architecture of the stunning building.
After the hustle and bustle of London it was rather a delight to get a nature fix today slightly closer to the Solent. We planned to ring some of the Gulls around the Cockle Ponds of Gosport. Not all went to plan as the gulls seemed unsettled by our nets’ presence, and as a result I went home without ringing a single bird. Not all was lost though as I managed to get a good look at the Ring-billed Gull which has been in the area for a number of weeks.
I could also get my eye in on a few more gull species. To be honest its a group I haven’t really spent a lot of time looking at in great detail other than being able to ID a Med gull call, so I was grateful to have the experts on hand to point out the key features between them.In amongst the Black-headed gulls there were Common gulls.
To round the day off I headed to Blashford Lakes, to see if the Starlings would put on a murmuration spectacle in the stunning sunset. The sunset certainly put on a show but the Starlings were playing hard to get, only getting a brief glimpse of a small group above the trees looking out west over Ibsley Water. Hopefully I’ll have better luck next time.