Tuesday, 2 June 2015

L.O.S.Y.B.C. will be at the Lilford Park Celebrations on Saturday 6 June

On Saturday 6 June Leigh Ornithological Society will be taking part in the Centenary Celebrations at Lilford Park in Leigh.  Lilford Park is an important greenspace resource for the community in terms of wildlife and recreation and a lot of work has been done by the Friends of Lilford Park (FOLP) in recent years. There will be many stalls and attractions there as well as a small fair.

The L.O.S. will have a stall there all day manned by L.O.S. Committee members and from which we will giving out information about the Society and the work we do, as well as taking guided tours around Lilford Woods to see if we can find any birds there.

Our Young Birders' Team will be there with something for the younger visitors too including making a 'Bird ID Dial' and several quizzes. We'll also have a couple of Botany specialists with us for finding about about trees and wild flowers in the Woods.

We do hope you will come along from 9am onwards and have a chat with us and perhaps put a few faces to names that you have seen on our website and Facebook pages.  See you there!

For more information visit the Friends of Lilford Park websites here:

  • http://folp-leigh.co.uk/folp-leigh.co.uk/Welcome.html
  • http://folp-leigh.co.uk/folp-leigh.co.uk/Centenary_News/Centenary_News.html
  • https://www.facebook.com/friendsoflilfordpark

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Our Second Visit to St. George's Primary School

The L.O.S. Young Birders' Club team had an absolutely fabulous morning today at St. George's Primary School in Tyldesley. This was our second visit to school and we were really looking forward to it following our first visit earlier this month. The Year 3 class we saw today were really keen and interested in our presentation and their behaviour was impeccable - all credit must go to the school and class teacher.
We told the pupils about different types of birds and how they are suited to the habitats in which they live. We also showed them how to make a bird ID dial and the pupils used it to do two quizzes about garden and woodland birds. The pupils were enthralled by the videos we showed of a Barn Owl and Kestrel hunting in different ways and the mating dance of the Great Crested Grebes. What a great school, we can't wait to go back.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Recent L.O.S Young Birder's Club Vists

St, George's Primary School, Tyldesley

St. Thomas' C.E. Primary School, Leigh

St. Richard's R.C. Primary School, Atherton

Bedford Hall Methodist Primary School, Leigh

Friday, 3 October 2014

The New Season Kicks Off at Gilded Hollins Primary

We began our 2014-2015 series of presentations at Gilded Hollins Primary School in Leigh today.  It was the turn of Mr. Bansel's Year 4 class to learn about how to identify birds as well as a little about feeding them.

After our normal introductions, George began the presentation by describing the main features used in bird identification.  He used this diagram to explain the different parts of a typical garden or woodland bird.

At the end of this section, the pupils were given a blank bird outline to label themselves and they seemed to enjoy this.  The pupils were very good at writing and spelling and finished the task quite quickly.

Next Tony, Martyn and George each took it in turn to describe two birds commonly found in gardens, parks and school grounds.  These were: Blackbird, Magpie, Robin, Blue Tit, Goldfinch, Woodpigeon. There was a slide for each bird together with some information about it a recording of their song.  At the end of this section the pupils were asked to write down the names of all the birds which had been described from memory.  Many of them got all six correct.

By now it was time for the main activity, which was making a Bird Identification dial and using it to answer some quiz questions. The pupils watched a short demonstration and listened carefully to the instructions about how to make the dial.  Then, in pairs, they started to make their own.

When they had finished, Martyn showed them how to use the Bird ID dial to identify birds.  Once that was done the pupils were given some photographs of birds which they had to identify and write their answers on a quiz sheet. 

Some of the pupils were so good they got on to a second harder quiz where the photographs only showed some parts of the birds.  At the end of this section the pupils marked each other's answers and the results were very good.

Our presentation was finished off with Tony telling the pupils why it is important to feed the birds in the winter time and the sorts of food they eat. He showed them three different types of feeder and explained that they could be bought very cheaply at local stores.  The class was then allowed to choose one of the feeders to put in the trees outside their own classroom.

A video of the Great Crested Grebes' courtship 'weed' dance was shown to complete our presentation.  Unfortunately we didn't have time today to demonstrate the use of binoculars and a spotting scope, but hopefully we'll come back and do that at a future date.

So ended another successful LOSYBC presentation.  The children were all brilliant and we hope to do some further work and perhaps a fieldtrip with them next year.

Monday, 22 September 2014

LOSYBC at Leigh Rotary Club

Martyn and George were both very proud and very honoured to be invited to give a talk about the work of our Young Birder's Club to the Leigh Rotary Club today.  Unfortunately Tony was in Crete and Brian was still in France, so they couldn't make it.

After having lunch and completing some Rotarian business, George began the presentation with an explanation of how Leigh Ornithological Society was formed in 1971, largely as a result of the work going on at Pennington Flash at the time.  A photo of our founder members and a map of the Flash were used to illustrate the talk.

After this Martyn explained the aims of our Young Birders' Club and described the work we have been doing with local primary schools and youth groups over the last 18 to 24 months.  Lots of photos were shown of children engaged in outdoor activities including guided walks, wildflower planting and birdwatching.  Here's a short video showing some of the best photos:

The talk was finished off with this slideshow entitled 'The Beauty of Birds', which consisted of a number of photographs taken mainly in the L.O.S. recording area by our chairman David Shallcross and Martyn Jones.

The presentation seemed to be very well received by the Rotarians and they generously donated £50 to our Young Birders' Club to help continue the work we do. Thank-you.

Friday, 25 July 2014

LOSYBC Win Two Wigan Greenheart Awards

The L.O.S. Young Birders' Club Team won two awards at the Wigan Greenheart 'Big Thank You 2014' event held at St. Peter's Pavilion in Hindley on Friday 27 June. Various presentations were given by a number of local volunteer groups and other organisations such as Natural England and the GM Ecology Unit.

Martyn Jones, Tony Bishop, George Pike and Brian Fawcett were presented with the 'Overall Winners' award for the work they and the extended team which includes Joan Disley, Jeff Hurst, Roy Rhodes and Dave Wilson have been doing with young people in the Wigan and Leigh area over the last 18 months - his came as quite a surprise to us.

George Pike, Martyn Jones and Tony Bishop receiving their Greenheart awards for the LOSYBC
Unfortunately Brian couldn't be present at the award presentation as he is on his annual summer migration in France, but he was emailed the details and photos from the ceremony.

Martyn Jones also received a Wigan Greenheart 'Community Champion' Award following a nomination by the other members of the LOSYBC for the work he has done in helping organise 27 events involving around 900 young people in local primary schools, Cubs, Beavers and Boys' Brigade packs. Here's a short video slideshow showing some of the things we have done.

These Greenheart awards reward the hard work that has been done by all the LOSYBC team members and give us the inspiration to continue our work with more young people in the future.  To read about the sort of work we've been doing with LOSYBC visit our website: www.losybc.blogspot.com


Sunday, 27 April 2014

Planting in St. Catherine of Siena's Wildlife Garden

Today some members of the LOS Young Birders' Club Team went back to St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Primary School in Lowton to do some wild flower planting in their wonderful wildlife garden with Mr. Clegg's Year 3 class. LOS Conservation Officer Roy Rhodes very kindly donated many plants from his own garden to boost the stock here with the aim of increasing the biodiversity in this excellent school resource.

Roy Rhodes demonstrating how to plant the wildflowers

In our previous visit here we had carried out a short bird survey as part of the RSPB's Big Schools' Birdwatch with Year 4 pupils.

Today it was the turn of Year 3 pupils and the aim was to increase the number of plants which would attract insects, spiders, moths and butterflies in the summer months when we hope to be back to do another 'bioblitz' day.

Getting 'stuck in'
The pupils came out well-prepared with their wellies in three separate groups of ten, each time accompanied by a member of St. Catherine's staff and they quickly got kitted up with gloves and trowels ready to start work.

Roy gave each group a short talk about why we are doing this activity followed by a demonstration of how to plant the wild flowers in the holes which we'd prepared earlier in the day.

All the pupils were very enthusiastic and keen to 'get their hands (well gloves) dirty' on the job. The LOS members worked with them in groups of three or four showing the pupils where to put the plants and talking to them about nature and wildlife in general.

Roy selected these plants from his garden because, fingers crossed, he thinks that they should do well in the soil conditions here.

We explained that some of the plants should grow and have flowers this summer, some will flower next year and many should self seed and produce even more plants for the garden.

The plants will attract insects and in turn we hope that these will attract more birds into the garden.  This is what is meant by increasing the biodiversity of an area.

Jeff showing an interested pupil what to do
Here's a list of what we planted:
The pupils were very keen to answer questions
  • St John's Wort
  • Wild Garlic
  • Vipers Bugloss
  • Foxglove
  • Mullein
  • Yellow Archangel
  • Dame's Violet
  • Red Campion
  • Jack-by-the hedge
  • Feverfew
  • Forget-me-not
The LOS Young Birders' Club Team hope to be back sometime in July with Roy's Moth Mobile to do another mothing session and to see what else the new plantings have brought to the garden.
Year 3 Pupils from St. Catherine's holding the wildflowers before planting them
It was a great couple of hours and everyone worked well together. Thanks must go out the LOS members who volunteered for this session - Jeff HurstGeorge Pike and Martyn Jones as well as our Conservation Officer Roy Rhodes who planned and lead the group today.
More Year 3 pupils from St. Catherine's in their Wildlife Garden
All photographs (c) Martyn Jones 2014
You can click on any of the photographs to enlarge them