Minutes of the Scarborough Field Naturalists Meeting Held at 7-30pm on 14th January 2014 at the University of Hull Scarborough Campus.
The President, Robin Hopper, welcomed the 13 Members present, and wished all a happy New Year.
New Member: Robert Clark.
Minutes of the Meeting of 12th November 2013: These were displayed and signed as a correct record.
Correspondence: The Treasurer, Brian Walker, had not heard from National Savings and Investments whether the Naturalist’s account with them had been closed, but the money had now been transferred to the new NatWest account. There was no other correspondence.
Records and Reports: Subscriptions for 2014 were now due, at the revised prices agreed at the AGM. The 2014 Programme was finalised, with one amended date.
Stephen Bushell had noted the absence of the Barn Owl at Surgate, Allerston, suggesting it may have been a road casualty. He had seen other Barn Owls at Chafer Wood and Hackness Grange. Three Common Buzzards were at Surgate on 10th January, and a flock of over 60 Siskin were at Blanket Rigg.
Robin Hopper reported seeing a Painted Lady butterfly at Eastfield on Christmas Day.
John Hume reported seeing Peacock butterfly on 29th December, and a Small Tortoiseshell on 9th January.
Melanie Earle commented on the good numbers of Bullfinches, and had seen a gathering of six males on Troutsdale Moor. Around 100 Turnstones were at the Harbour.
Pauline Popely noted her Goldfinches had deserted the Niger seeds in favour of Sunflower Hearts, probably because it was more energy efficient.
Ian Glaves reported that there was a long-staying Great Northern Diver in the Harbour, two Water Rails at the Open Air Theatre, and a Firecrest at Seamer Road Mere.
After a short break, some Members gave summaries of the interesting records from 2013.
Philip Winter reported on some of the less common moths he had caught. The Spring had been poor due to the cold weather. He caught two Grey Shoulder Knot females and kept them in the hope of attracting a male so eggs could be laid. They escaped just as a male turned up. Other species included Four-spotted and Scarce Footman, Dusky Lemon and Barred Sallow, and Beautiful Hook-tip – new for the Society. The micro-moth, Etiella zinckenella, which feeds on legumes, was the second record for Yorkshire.
Ian Glaves gave a summary of interesting bird sightings for the year. It had been a good year for the district, although the long cold Spring had confused some migrants. Some of the more unusual species included Slavonian and Black-necked Grebe, Common Crane, Stone Curlew, Alpine Swift, Greenish Warbler (Spring and Autumn records), Pallas’s Warbler, Bittern and Siberian Stonechat and Chiffchaff. Some impressive sea-passages were recorded, especially of Common Eider, Common Scoter, Great Skua and Manx and Sooty Shearwater. A huge “fall” of Blackbirds along the coast on 11th of November was particularly remarkable.
Melanie Earle had recorded over 70 species of Fungi on an area in the north-east of Wykeham Forest. These included many common species such as The Blusher, Cep, Orange Birch Bolete, and Mottled,Velvet, and Sticky Bolete. Other species included Goblet Wax Cap, Blue-edged Pinkgill, Mountain Brownie, and Parasola Hercules, of which there were only six previous records. Elaphocordyceps ophioglossoides was found growing on False Truffle, Geoglossum fallax on Troutsdale Moor, Geoglossum glutinosum on North Moor and Holly Parachute at Littlebeck. Melanie also gave a short account of monitoring of Sphagnum growth in Wykeham Forest.
Brian Walker reported that Muntjac deer had been confirmed in the district from a photograph taken at Long Nab, and that his quest to confirm Pine Marten in the district continued. A record of one in Forge Valley 30 years ago had emerged, and Brian was convinced these secretive and rare mammals were in the local forests.
Finally, Ian Glaves showed a short video of footage from a home-made nest camera of a pair of Blue Tits attempting to raise six young, but failing due to the long cold Spring.
The meeting closed at 9-10pm.