Well, the week got off to a simply magical start when finally, after over a year of forms, mediation, and bureaucracy, the Coastal Conservation Group were at last given the funds from the National Lottery for the project at the Whitburn Point Nature Reserve. It was a truly joyous feeling when Dougie delivered the good news and also a great sense of relief to finally get the green light on something we've had planned for so long. And now, we have the hard work of turning our plans into reality. This time next year the Nature Reserve will be the home of two brand new wildlife ponds and a fabulous bird feeding station with a lovely stone viewing screen thrown in for good measure. Exciting times ahead!
On Thursday evening I attended an excellent talk by Clare Rawcliffe on British Bats at Souter Lighthouse. They are absolutely fascinating creatures, and the 90 minutes seemed to just fly by. South Tyneside has had 6 different species recorded in the area but unfortunately only 1 of those species is a regular sight, the Common Pipistrelle. We all got the chance to see a Pipistrelle really close up as Clare had brought a young one in with her. They are simply one of the cutest creatures I've ever seen! Clare kindly offered to take the Group out next year to see a few more species in the wild. I cant wait!
This morning myself, John, Andy and Dave did some much needed maintenance work on the Ringing Mound at the Coastal Park. In bad weather the bank leading up to the netting area can get extremely perilous so we decided we would put some concrete steps in to make it easier to get up and down. We dug out 18 grooves and slotted in the concrete before hammering in some pins to keep them in place. It was 3 hours of hard work but come the spring it will be extremely worth it. This pretty much brings the Ringing season to an end on the Mound. We may do the odd couple of hours every once in a while but as a whole we will be concentrating on different things over the Winter.