THE NOAK BRIDGE NATURE RESERVE SOCIETY
Betty Haynes, Chair
We have been busy during the winter months, with help from volunteers from Wat Tyler Country Park. Regular Walkers will have noticed the footpaths are much easier to walk through. The only trouble we now have is getting rid of everything that has been cut down, such as trees, branches and bushes that have been cut right back. I must say it is a great improvement but now we need to have the use of a shredder. The other good news is that all five ponds are now full, ready for the wildlife again. The moorhens never leave the area.
I must say I am one of those who loved the snow! I went out early the on the first morning when the snow was still fresh and there were no footprints in the reserve. Camera ready, no-one else around, I had a great time, loved it all.
Now the season has moved on, the birds are starting to nest, hedgerows are coming into leaf and blossom appearing on the trees. We have already seen a brimstone butterfly, peacock and red admiral butterflies and also bumble bees, so the year has started quite well.
More good news! The proposed plan for building new homes in Eastfield Road has been turned down; one reason being there is mature hedge that contains lots of birds such as the bullfinch, and there are also great-crested newts in the area.
A final note: so much dog fouling all through the reserve. There are two bins provided for the removal of this unsightly mess. Please take care and clean up after your dogs. Thank you.
Membership Secretary, Weed
As we approach the end of our membership year we have 88 fully paid-up household members. For those who enjoy counting in tens this is still some way short of 100, a target that was mentioned at our AGM three years ago. If you have friends or neighbours who you think may be interested in becoming members please encourage them to join. Subscriptions for new members received during March and April run through 31st May of the following year (2010). If you would like some spare membership forms to pass on to others, then please phone 01268-289577.
So far, no-one has taken up the option of receiving their newsletters in electronic format; if you wish to be the first please e-mail your
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Web Site http://www.nbnrs.org.uk
A section for 2009 has now been started on our 'wildlife' page, which keeps a record of animals and flowering plants seen in the reserve throughout the year. If you spot any species which is not already on the list please let us know. We are particularly interested in first sightings of frogspawn, butterflies and migrant birds. The next gallery update will include some more photographs of invertebrates taken by our ranger, Mark Williams, who is a keen amateur photographer. Details of work parties and Society activities are announced on our forum at Noakbridge.net – please take the time to have a browse.
Every third Wednesday in the month, 1pm – 3pm.
Permission has again been denied for the proposed building of about 14 new homes in Eastfield Road near our Reserve.
Mark Williams, Countryside Services
Winter at first glance is a quite time for watching wildlife with many birds we associate with spring & summer spending the winter months in southern Europe and Africa while those that remain seem to be keeping a low profile until spring when the need arises again too defend a territory & raise a family.
Walking through the reserve in winter however proves there is still plenty to see with this season actually being advantageous for seeing wintering flocks of birds that otherwise during the spring and summer would remain hidden within the greenery. Flocks of Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits fly in short bursts from twig to twig through the reserve's wooded canopy looking for hidden insects amongst the oak, blackthorn and hawthorn branches to feed upon, with the Long-Tailed tits typically announcing the arrival of the flock with their distinctive trilling calls.
As we approach spring the onset of warmer weather will usher in a wealth of emerging wildlife that includes a diversity of insect species that will provide the staple diet of many of the next generation of residential and migratory birds that can be found (or at least heard) during the spring and early summer at the Noak Bridge Nature Reserve.
Our 10th Annual General Meeting!
NBNRS Anual General Meeting
Thursday, 9 July 2009
Village Hall 7.30pm
Cheese & Wine, Birthday Cake!
If you have been frightened or threatened by unleashed dogs in the reserve please report the date, time and details of the incident to the dog warden at 01268-294280 or to Betty Haynes at 01268-531365.
What have you seen? Any questions? Please contact Betty Haynes or Weed at 01268-289577, or on the web-site - http://www.nbnrs.org.uk
* EVENTS in the Reserve
Guided Bird Walk - Sunday, 12 April 2009 - 10.30am–12.30pm
Guided Walk - Crickets and Dragonflies - Sunday, 28 June 2009 - 2.00pm–4.00pm
FROG LIFE CYCLE
Isn't it nice to see the ponds full of water again; perhaps we will have frog spawn this year.
The overall frog population is in decline due to the loss of habitats. In the UK 75% of our ponds have been lost over the past 50 years which in turn has lead to excessive inbreeding. Even a tiny pond in a garden can provide the habitat required for them to successfully breed, an old sink or container will do quite nicely.
Frogs are amphibians, invertebrate (has a backbone) and are cold blooded. This means they have a variable blood temperature depending on the air or water temperature. They live most of their life out of water but all British species have to return to water to breed, so adults meet up in fresh water ponds and lakes in the early Spring (late February to March) where mating takes place. As the female lays her eggs the male fertilizes them.
The female lays about 2000 eggs in shallow water, and the embryos are encased in balls of jelly which floats on or just below the surface, i.e. the frog spawn with which we are familiar at this time of year. Huge numbers are laid because there are many dangers for the tadpoles which hatch out of the eggs. Very few actually reach adulthood. They make a tasty meal for other creatures or succumb to disease.
The embryos turn into tadpoles and feed on the jelly surrounding them. One day after hatching the tadpole absorbs oxygen through the skin and feeds on the remaining jelly in its abdomen. Two to three days later the mouth opens and external gills start to work. These gills however start to shrivel after about six days.
Between seven to ten days, as their eyes develop, they begin to swim and feed on algae.
Three to four weeks after hatching the external gills become covered and the tadpole breathes using internal gills. Its tail widens as it grows larger which assists its swimming ability.
Hind legs start to form.
By now the hind legs are fully developed and the front limbs begin to form. Lungs also develop and they lose their internal gills. Their gut is well formed and their diet changes from eating plant material to small insects and larvae.
Front limbs emerge - elbows first!
The tail shortens, mouth broadens and eyes become more prominent.
They are now about 20mm long. Their tail disappears and they now resemble very tiny frogs.
About now, they leave the water for the very first time to explore the surrounding land. They will now spend most of their time out of water, but if more food is available to them in the water they will return to the pond to feed. Young frogs will remain in the vicinity of their birth for some time before venturing further a field.
Adult frogs eat slugs, worms and small invertebrates and are ready to breed at 2-3 years of age.
Researched by Joan Fynn
email contact - firstname.lastname@example.org
last updated - 11 May 2010
URL - http://www.nbnrs.org.uk/news0904/index.html