April events with the Eastbourne Local Members Group
By David Beer
Eastbourne Local Members Group
Thursday 20 April: Glow Worms
There was an excellent turn out for Alan Stewart’s talk on Glow Worms. He gave a comprehensive and entertaining account of the research that he and his colleagues at Sussex University are carrying out to see if light pollution is having a detrimental effect on populations of these fascinating insects. Artificial light is not a form of pollution that many of us would have thought about but Alan explained how it can have a negative effect on the behaviour and physiology of many nocturnal and crepuscular species. Intriguing field investigations have shown that the light from LED lamps in particular can reduce the chances of male Glow Worms detecting the bioluminescence produced by the females. This leads to reduced rates of reproduction and a fall in population size. We all departed at the end of the evening much the wiser and eagerly anticipating seeing the glowing females on a warm evening later in the year.
Monday 24 April: A walk around Arlington Reservoir
Twenty one members met in the car park for our annual spring walk around the reservoir. The coppiced woodland was full of birdsong with Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps, Song Thrushes and Chaffinches in full flow. Some of us heard a solitary Willow Warbler and others may well have heard a Garden Warbler. As we approached the dam a family of Mallards including six ducklings provided much entertainment as the adults shadowed the ducklings across the reservoir. There was a good display of Celandines and Bluebells but in general the cool spring weather was inhibiting flowering in many species. As we approached the end of the circuit we were treated to a fantastic aerial display by a pair of Kestrels. In the background a Whitethroat and Reed Warbler kept reminding us with their insistent songs that that there is more to the bird world than raptors!