Minutes of the Meeting of Scarborough Field Naturalists Held on 28th January 2014 at 7-30pm at the University of Hull Scarborough Campus.
The President, Robin Hopper, welcomed the 17 Members and Guests present.
New Members: Mandy Hillier. Luke Rothery had accepted the post of Student Representative on the Committee.
Minutes of the Meeting of 14th January: These were displayed, and signed as a correct record.
Correspondence: The latest edition of “The Naturalist” had been received from the YNU. The Yorkshire Geological society had sent their 2014 Programme and the latest Circular.
Records and Reports:
Robin Hopper reported on a newspaper article describing the finding of a Nathusias’s Pipistrelle bat from Bristol in Holland – a remarkable flight for such a tiny mammal. However, after the 370 mile flight, the bat expired. He had also brought Barn Owl pellets from Scalby Lodge Farm and gave them to Brian Walker for analysis.
Mick Carroll had seen four Common Buzzards, 20 Linnets, a Goshawk and five Grey Herons at Ellerburn on 9th January, and a Sparrowhawk at Thornton Le Dale. The day after, at the Bridestones he had seen a gathering of over 35 Carrion Crows, where there were also Chaffinch, Yellowhammer, Brambling and Common Crossbill. Lapwings had stayed all winter on Fylingdales Moor, and a male Hen Harrier had been seen at several sites around the district. A Peregrine was on Castle Headland, and Mistle Thrushes were already pairing up. Fieldfares were flying west, and a flock of Redwings were at Chafer Wood, Ebberston.
Cedric Gillings had noticed a pair of Carrion Crows at Peasholme Park which had become accustomed to feeding from scraps thrown by people. He commented on the apparent lack of Blackbirds. He had found a newt sp. in the Goldfish Ponds. Snowdrops and Winter Heliotrope were flowering.
Ian Glaves reported that Waxwings were about, with a flock of nine at the B and Q car park, and more at Curlew Drive, Crossgates.
Pauline Popely reported on the decline of the House Sparrow, having seen none in her garden – a finding re-iterated by Ian Glaves.
Melanie Earle, on the other hand, had plenty of House sparrows in her garden at North Moor.
After a short break, the speaker for the evening, Debbie Seymour, Chief Executive of Scarborough Museums Trust, gave an update on the Strategic Aims of the Trust. Debbie had been in post for one year, having come from Manchester Museum, with a background in Archeology. The Field Naturalists had originally met at the Rotunda Museum from 1891 to 1938, and there had been strong ties until recently. Her job was to look after the heritage of Scarborough, and share it with the people of Scarborough, both now and in the future. She would attempt to build a spirit of Community, and hoped to develop an extensive volunteer community including Society Members. Other aims were to have all collections “on-line” by 2018, and have open access to the stored collections. Volunteers were needed to sort out collections such as eggs, birds, mammals, entomology, molluscs, the herbarium and the books.
A general question and answer session followed, which included discussions about help with the collections. The President gave a vote of thanks, and the meeting closed at 8-50pm.