Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Caversham Heights Society

THE last of our series of lectures for the season was held on April 6

THE last of our series of lectures for the season was held on April 6 when Carl Feltham, of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, gave a very interesting and informative talk on the birds of Berkshire.

His talk was made all the more interesting because of the enthusiasm and knowledge of the speaker and because his photographs, as well as enthralling sound effects of different birds singing, brought everything to life.

Carl provided an informative discussion about different birds, reasons for their decline and/or increase, their habitats and the knowledge gleaned from catching and ringing different bird species so that a greater understanding of their flight paths and movements could be gleaned.

Changing climates and strong winds are bringing new and different birds to our shores.

However, certain birds are in decline because of man- made actions. These include replacing wooden fascias and soffits on our houses, paving and concreting over gravel drives and digging up or denuding our hedgerows, all things that could be reversed if we were concerned about preserving our wildlife. Carl also talked about camouflage that birds used to avoid predators and went through a  24-hour day in the life and behaviour of different bird species.

The audience was encouraged to leave parts of their gardens natural with piles of logs in places for use by certain insects and slugs and snails as well as hedgehogs, to put up nesting boxes and to clean and disinfect bird trays, tables, bird feeders and the like to avoid the spread of infection, which is killing off several of our small birds.

The audience was enthralled and felt that this was a fitting end to the season.

The following day saw a coachload of society members travel to Beech Court Gardens in Challock, near Ashford in Kent.

Unfortunately, the weather could have been kinder and the spring flowers and blossoms could have been further on but the trip was made by some excellent ploughman’s lunches.

There was a fascinating visit to the medieval church at Challock, now isolated because in the 17th century the Turnpike Acts meant that the main road was diverted, leaving the villagers no option but to gradually move to a more accessible spot in what is now the village.

Even so the church is well used and the unusual Millennium Murals, recognised and praised by Prince Charles, are well worth the visit.

The next season begins in mid-September. For more information or to enquire about membership, call Jill Hodges on 0118 959 5307 or send her an email at irishjill@southcote.net

We look forward to welcoming you.

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