• Welcome, Guest. Please login.
 
August 08, 2022, 06:31:31 am

Show posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Topics - SteveB

1
Attached herewith

Steve, Group Organiser
2
We were rained off in June, nothing daunted we shall visit Llangloffan Fen in July. The dragon and damselflies for which the site is noted should be even more on show at the height of the season.

The two Llangloffan Fen Nature Reserves are less than a mile apart and depending on how time goes we hope to visit both. After which our Group member Jennifer has very kindly invited us back to her house in Castle Morris, about 10 minutes' walk from the second site, for a cup of tea/coffee and a slice of fruit cake.

We shall start at the western reserve, where there is a pond near the car park with abundant dragon- and damsel- flies - bring binoculars. The rest of the reserve footpath tends to be muddy, though it is flat, so stout footwear is advised. There is a bird hide there. After exploring this site, if time allows we shall drive up the road and round the corner to the second, eastern reserve, in a motorcade led by me.

We visited the eastern reserve in November 2020, so if we have time it will be interesting to see it at the height of summer. It is basically a boardwalk through wetland and woods, very easy going. I have myself seen adders basking there and there are many interesting birds.

There is car parking at both sites. Thence a walk or drive up the hill to enjoy Jennifer's refreshments!

The first, Western reserve is this one:
https://www.welshwildlife.org/nature-reserves/llangloffan-fen
The second, Eastern, reserve is:
https://www.first-nature.com/waleswildlife/sw-nnr-llangloffan.php

Maps, where (1) is the first reserve, where we shall meet in the car park at 2pm, (2) is the 2nd reserve and (3) is Jennifer's house, where refreshments will be available in the garden afterwards.
Llangloffan Map.jpg

More detailed map:

Llangloffan Fen map 2.jpg

The car park for the first reserve (1) is through a gate on the North side of the B4331. I shall stand there so you can see it from the road.

As usual, I will issue a final go/no go e-mail on the eve of the walk, lest bad weather stop play.

LIFTS/CAR SHARING

Some of our members have told me that they would be very grateful for lifts or sharing a  car to our walks. Normally I am happy to offer this myself, but this time I live almost in walking distance of the site so I can't. But anyone who can, let me know with where you are coming from. I will share that info with the members and see if we can help one another.

See you on the 26th, I hope!                 
Steve
Steve Brady, Natural History Group Leader
4
This is a change of plan. We had intended to visit the Welsh Wildlife Centre at Cilgerran in June, but sadly their very worthwhile Visitor Centre is closed from 20th to 28th June. We shall therefore go there in July and swap the July venue to June.

So this month we shall be visiting two, very nearby, sites, the two Llangloffan Fen Nature Reserves, less than a mile apart, after which our Group member Jennifer has very kindly invited us back to her house in Castle Morris, about 10 minutes' walk from the second site, for a cup of tea/coffee and a slice of fruit cake.

We visited the eastern reserve in November 2020, so it will be interesting to see it at the height of summer. It is basically a boardwalk through wetland and woods, very easy going. I have myself seen adders basking there and there are many interesting birds. Also Triffids (though I have not seen them move, still less sting!)

We shall start at the western reserve, where there is a pond near the car park with abundant dragon- and damsel- flies - bring binoculars. The rest of the reserve footpath tends to be muddy, though it is flat, so stout footwear is advised. There is a bird hide there. After exploring we shall drive up the road and round the corner to the second, eastern reserve, in a motorcade led by me. There is car parking at both sites. Thence a walk ofr drive up the hill to enjoy Jennifer's refreshments!


The first, Western reserve is this one:
https://www.welshwildlife.org/nature-reserves/llangloffan-fen
The second, Eastern, reserve is:
https://www.first-nature.com/waleswildlife/sw-nnr-llangloffan.php

Maps, where (1) is the first reserve, where we shall meet in the car park at 2pm, (2) is the 2nd reserve and (3) is Jennifer's house, where refreshments will be available in the garden afterwards.
 Llangloffan Map.jpg

More detailed map:
Llangloffan Fen map 2.jpg
The car park for the first reserve (1) is through a gate on the North side of the B4331. I shall stand there so you can see it from the road.

As usual, I will issue a final go/no go e-mail on the eve of the walk, lest bad weather stop play.

LIFTS/CAR SHARING

Some of our members have told me that they would be very grateful for lifts or sharing a  car to our walks. Normally I am happy to offer this myself, but this time I live almost in walking distance of the site so I can't. But anyone who can, let me know with where you are coming from. I will share that info with the members and see if we can help one another.

See you on the 28th, I hope!                 
Steve
Steve Brady, Natural History Group Leader
5
Here it is!

Steve, Group Leader
6
Our next outdoor activity was planned to be a look at the Nature Reserve at Pembroke Upper Mill Pond. However, because vandals started a fire last autumn which restricted direct access to that site, we shall look at it as we explore the neighbouring Holyland Wood, meeting at 2pm on Tuesday May 31st.

Unlike the challenging upland hike last month at Treffgarne Gorge, this is an easy stroll, not too long, (about an hour), mostly on boardwalks, through mostly wet woodland and a reed bed. There are a few muddy bits so stout footwear is advised, but even the less athletic amongst us should find this easy to cope with. There are interesting marsh flowers, damsel- and dragon-flies, and lots of birds. Bring binoculars if you have them. There are also badgers and otters, but it would be truly remarkable if we saw any!

How to get there.jpg

Meet at the free car park off the A4075 Holyland Road from Pembroke to St Clear. Leaving Pembroke, this car park is on the left immediately before the 50 mph Speed Limit signs. Coming the other way, it is just after the sign announcing the edge of the town of Pembroke and concomitant 30 mph limit signs., Map ref. SM 996 016, postcode SA71 4BD, location on Earth's surface 51° 40' 39" N, 4° 53' 57" W. There is some overspill parking across the road.

Here is some information on Holyland Wood

https://foundryhousepembroke.org.uk/?page_id=1456

https://foundryhousepembroke.org.uk/?page_id=884

and here on Pembroke Upper Mill Pond

https://www.welshwildlife.org/nature-reserves/pembroke-upper-mill-pond

https://www.welshwildlife.org/sites/default/files/2022-03/Pembroke-Upper-Mill-Pond.pdf

If anyone knows any way of actually getting on to the Upper Mill Pond Reserve other than from Holyland Wood and where access is not too difficult and worthwhile in terms of seeing anything, please let me know and we can try to incorporate that into the day's activity.

As usual, I will issue a final go/no go e-mail on the eve of the walk, lest bad weather stop play.

See you on the 31st, I hope!                 

Steve

Steve Brady, Natural History Group Leader
7
Here it is. Maps for the April activity included

Steve
Group Leader202204 Newsletter U3A PEMBROKESHIRE NATURAL HISTORY GROUP.doc
8
Our first outdoor activity of 2022 will be at Treffgarne Gorge, off the A40 between Haverfordwest and Fishguard, at 2pm (note new time - we will be an afternoon activity from now on) on the last Tuesday of the month, April 26th.
Treffgarne Map big.jpgTreffgarne Map.jpg

Meet at the free car park of Salem Chapel, near Spittal Cross, off the A40. Map reference SM 96234 23258 (6 figure SM962232), postcode SA62 5RG, location on planetary surface 51°52′14″N , 004°57′41″W, What 3 Words such.crowbar.messy.

If driving North along the A40 from Haverfordwest to Fishguard it is the 2nd turn off on the right that is signposted Spittal. It is the turnoff after the one with the Corner Piece Inn on it. From the North, it is the first turn off on the left after the turn on the right for Treffgarne village. See maps.

Having turned off the A40, take the left fork after going under the railway tunnel and the car park is about 40 yards on your left.

Our walk is through springtime woods rich in birds and flowers. There are fine views of the stumps of billion-year-old Antarctic volcanoes on the other side of the gorge. There is a bit of climbing and we will walk along the edge of a steep valley. The Coast Path is more demanding, but stout footwear is strongly advised. Also bring binoculars if you have them. The second half of the walk is mostly gentle going on country lanes. We should be gone about two hours.

Our route is described here:
https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/walking-pembrokeshire/treffgarne-gorge

As usual, I will issue a final go/no go e-mail on the eve of the walk, lest bad weather stop play.

See you on the 26th, I hope!                 
Steve
Steve Brady, Natural History Group Leader
9
Hello everyone

Our next meeting, and the last indoor meeting of the season, will be on Tuesday 29th March at 2pm at the Hall in Tier's Cross. 

https://pembrokeshirehalls.org.uk/the-school-room-tiers-cross/

The best way to get there is to go to the southernmost of the two roundabouts in Johnston on the A4076 (the second if coming from Haverfordwest and turn west AWAY FROM NEYLAND on the A477 (right if coming from Haverfordwest).  Turn right at the crossroads into Tier's Cross. The hall is next to a United Reform Church opposite Stoddart's Tyres. Note that the road from Haverfordwest forking off at Merlin's Bridge, although it seems the most direct from there, is narrow, windy and best avoided!

As usual, Geoff will tell us what is in the Night Sky this month. Last month Geoff promised he would also be showing us the Stellarium software, which enables you to display the night sky on your smartphone or PC from anywhere in the world and for a long time in the past and future.

I will then reveal our outdoor walks programme for the rest of this year, in as far as I can do so at this stage.

Then I propose to throw open the floor to any member who would like to take a few minutes to share with us something of Natural History relevance. It could be something you have seen, or found out, or think is interesting, or a book you have read. 

If you have any photos, bring them on a memory stick and we can display them on the Big Screen. If you can let me know beforehand what you have to share with us it would be helpful in organising a running order.

Afterwards we will be enjoying our usual social chat over tea, coffee and biscuits. I promise to remember the biscuits this time! 

To cover these and hall fees, which we now have to pay, there will be a small charge of £2 a head.

CoVID-19: as this wretched virus is still about can I ask everyone please to do a Lateral Flow Test before coming? This is to protect those of us who are vulnerable. Obviously, we won't need to do this on the outdoor walks.

I look forward to seeing you all on the 29th.

Regards

Steve

Steve Brady, Group Leader, Pembs U3A Natural History Group
10
Astronomy / Preseli Astronomy Group needs support
February 07, 2022, 06:10:22 pm
The following message has been put out by Preseli Astronomy Group

"The covid pandemic has devastated the Preseli Astronomy Group. The meetings we did manage to hold since 2019 had such a poor turnout they did not even cover the cost of hiring the hall. It is obvious that we cannot carry on like this.

"It has been decided to try and restart the group from scratch, so we will be holding a meeting at Letterston Village Hall at 19.00 on Tuesday 5th April to assess the future of the group and elect a new committee. If there is not enough interest the group will be dissolved and its assets and equipment will be offered to other astronomy clubs.

"Please try to attend this meeting even if you do not attend meetings regularly, as the future of the group depends on it."

Given that the U3A Astronomy Group is not currently active, I think we should do what we can to keep this local Astronomy group going. PAG has a number of quite large telescopes which ought to be kept local and available to amateurs if possible.

Please join me on 5th April at Letterston Village Hall and keep our local astronomy club alive.

Thanks

Steve Brady
11
Thank you to those who battled through cyberspace to attend our January meeting on Zoom.

Our February Meeting will be indoors, at the Hall in Tier's Cross:
https://pembrokeshirehalls.org.uk/the-school-room-tiers-cross/

The best way to get there is to go to the southernmost of the two roundabouts in Johnston on the A4076 (the second if coming from Haverfordwest and turn west AWAY FROM NEYLAND on the A477 (right if coming from Haverfordwest).  Turn right at the crossroads into Tier's Cross. The hall is next to a United Reform Church opposite Stoddart's Tyres. Note that the road from Haverfordwest forking off at Merlin's Bridge, although it seems the most direct from there, is narrow, windy and best avoided!

The meeting will be at 2pm on Tuesday 22nd February. There will be a speaker - I am in the process of confirming one, and if he cannot make it I shall step in, subject TBA. As usual, Geoff Winterman will start the meeting with a presentation on The Night Sky in March.

Tea, coffee and biscuits will bne available. There will be a collection to cover these and hall expenses.

See you there

Steve Brady

Pembrokeshire U3A Natural History Group Leader
12
Natural History / Areas of Expertise
February 04, 2022, 03:15:19 pm
It has been suggested that members share their areas ofexpertise in Natural History, so members know who can help them about what (e.g. identifying things)

Mine is entomology, and invertebrates more generally. My knowledge of birds is average and of plants very sketchy.

Anyone else care to share their areas of knowledge?

Steve
13
Natural History / Bird walk in Haverfordwest
February 04, 2022, 03:12:24 pm
Group member Jan Moss reports that walking by Morrison's in Haverfordwest via the new bridge Little Egrets and Kingfishers are often to be seen.

Any other interesting walk and sites anyone would like to share?
14
Here is the talk from this afternoon. It is in three parts because Zoom kept throwing everyone off after 40 minutes.

Natural History of Rocky Shores Talk Part 1.mp4

https://www.dropbox.com/s/95nun7bdvlrnwsp/Natural%20History%20of%20Rocky%20Shores%20Talk%20Part%201.mp4?dl=0


Natural History of Rocky Shores Talk Part 2.mp4

https://www.dropbox.com/s/y2sy2iin6fmeeh1/Natural%20History%20of%20Rocky%20Shores%20Talk%20Part%202.mp4?dl=0

   
Natural History of Rocky Shores Talk Part 3.mp4

https://www.dropbox.com/s/3iigh04yjitxeji/Natural%20History%20of%20Rocky%20Shores%20Talk%20Part%203.mp4?dl=0


   
15
The next meeting of the Natural History Group will be held next Tuesday, 25th January, at 2pm via Zoom.

I will give an illustrated talk on The Natural History of Rocky Shores, something I promised those who attended our foray in such an environment at West Angle Bay in August I would do.  Before that Geoff Winterman will give a short presentation on The Night Sky in February.

There are two Zoom links, at the bottom of this mail. The first meeting will expire after 40 minutes so we will move to the second.

I look forward to meeting you next Tuesday afternoon. It appears that restrictions may be lifted so that we can hold our February meeting, on Tuesday 22nd February, in person at the Hall in Tiers Cross. Speaker very much TBA!

Regards

Steve, Group Leader

   Steve Brady is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Pembs U3A Natural History Group Part 1
Time: Jan 25, 2022 02:00 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us05web.zoom.us/j/81623868357?pwd=cjBVTlR2TkpnQWhSYTZaRFZxak9zQT09

Meeting ID: 816 2386 8357
Passcode: 1fhLVM

Steve Brady is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Pembs U3A Natural History Group Part 2
Time: Jan 25, 2022 02:30 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us05web.zoom.us/j/81759694032?pwd=RUh3aFJVM0tPVTdBWnR2ZS9YcC8vZz09


Meeting ID: 817 5969 4032
Passcode: NP6CVh

16
Here it is. Contains map showing location of the November Indoor Meeting

Steve
17
Our November Meeting will be indoors, at the Hall in Tier's Cross:
https://pembrokeshirehalls.org.uk/the-school-room-tiers-cross/

The best way to get there is to go to the southernmost of the two roundabouts in Johnston on the A4076 (the second if coming from Haverfordwest and turn west AWAY FROM NEYLAND on the A477 (right if coming from Haverfordwest).  Turn right at the crossroads into Tier's Cross. The hall is next to a United Reform Church opposite Stoddart's Tyres. Note that the road from Haverfordwest forking off at Merlin's Bridge, although it seems the most direct from there, is narrow, windy and best avoided!

Because it is the only time available, it will be IN THE AFTERNOON on a TUESDAY, 30th November at 2pm.

This meeting will be a largely social affair, with a discussion looking back on our last season and sharing ideas for where we might like to go and what we might like to do in 2022. I will arrange speakers for subsequent indoor meetings. Tea, coffee and biscuits will be available, but for obvious health reasons in present circumstances, can people please bring their own cups, mugs or other drinking receptacles? Given that the venue is indoors, it would be considerate of all attendees if they gave themselves a CoVID-19 Lateral Flow Test (available free from chemists) the day before, as I have done before every Group meeting thus far. Please also wear a face covering when moving about the hall, although obviously this can be removed when seated to talk and to consume comestibles.

Could I ask everyone attending to put £1, one pound, in the kitty towards hall hire and refreshments?

There will be no meeting in December (it would fall on Boxing Day!) , so this will also be our Christmas Social.

There will be a meeting in January, also at Tier's Cross Hall, at 2pm on Tuesday 25th January. As I promised when we went to West Angle Bay in August, I shall give an illustrated talk on the natural history of rocky shores. Details of the February meeting will be revealed in due course. One thing we will discuss at the November meeting is when we wish to emerge from hibernation, in March or April, so there may or may not be a March indoor meeting.

It would be appreciated if people told me they were coming, but you can just turn up on the day. I shall send out a reminder nearer the date, but as it is an indoor meeting, short of a climatic catastrophe the weather on the day should not frustrate us, so there won't be the usual eve of meeting go/no go e-mail. Obviously, if restrictions are imposed preventing us having the meeting, I shall update everyone accordingly, but let us hope not. I have done my bit and had my booster!

I look forward to seeing everyone on the 30th.
Steve

Steve Brady
Pembrokeshire U3A Natural History Group Leader
18
Enjoy!

Steve Brady, Group Leader
19
Autumn is a good time to spot migratory shorebirds, and one of the best places to spot them is The Gann, an estuary near St. Ishmaels, which is itself near Dale. S

To avoid high tide impeding our walk we shall meet an hour later than usual at 11.15 for 11.30 a.m. at the car park by the path to Monk's Haven. 

We shall walk along the Coast path from Monk's Haven to the south bank of the Gann Estuary, then along the Estuary and back. If conditions permit, we may venture along the boardwalk to look at the other side of the bay toward Dale. 

The Coast Path is very three-dimensional - it goes up and down a lot. It is also muddy. The latter is true also of the Gann estuary path, whilst some of the walk is along a stony beach. Those preferring an easier pace can go direct to the Gann estuary from where we are meeting. I shall give directions if required. Stout and mud-resistant walking footwear is called for. Also BRING BINOCULARS if you have them (I will bring a spare pair or two).

We shall meet at 11.15 for 11.30 (note time!) at the FREE car park at Monk Haven. Head for St Ishmael's off the B4327 Haverfordwest-Dale road. Follow the route in green on the map below, which avoids St Ishmael's Village. Follow the signpost to Monk Haven. This leads down a steep lane. At the bottom is the entrance signposted "PRIVATE ROAD - Footpath only" to Monk Haven) - turn sharp right before passing between the concrete posts and you are in the Free Car Park. No toilets.

 This Car Park is also marked on the Walk Map below. The route in orange is the one we shall follow. Those wishing to avoid the Coast Path section can go from the car park against the direction of the arrows to the Shortcut in blue, which they follow to await the rest of us. We shall walk along the Estuary and back. We may then cross the river, if possible, for a look on the Dale side.

After the walk we can repair to St Ishmael's renowned Nursery, marked "Coffee Here Afterwards" where coffee, cakes and other refreshments are available, as well as a selection of interesting plants and other gardening impedimenta.   And Toilets!

In order to have an idea of numbers, participants, and for Health and Safety reasons, please let me know by midday Tuesday 26th October if you are planning on coming, if you have not already done so. I will need your e-mail address and a contact phone number, in case we have to postpone due to weather or other last minute issues.  I shall issue a final go/no go email to those who have registered by 5pm Tuesday 26th. 

See you on the 27th, I hope!                 

Steve

Steve Brady, Natural History Group Leader

P.S. I expect this will be our last outdoor walk of the season. Information about our indoor meetings during the Winter will be available shortly.
20
Enjoy!

Steve Brady

Natural History Group Leader