We are very pleased to resume our field meetings, albeit with certain restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 situation. Assuming no changes in Government direction, the events shown on our Field Meetings page will go ahead with the following temporary limitations.
> Members only may attend - visitors will not be permitted at present
> Advance booking essential, at least 7 days in advance
> Social distancing to be observed
> Face coverings and hand gel to be used
Each month, we summarise some of the most interesting news from our Facebook account. Click here for details.
It is with great sadness that we advise of the death of Mike Haynes, our Society’s Treasurer for more than 14 years. Mike died peacefully at home following a short illness. He had given conscientious and invaluable service to the Society.
SOCIETY TREASURER ROLE - CAN YOU HELP?
The sudden sad loss of Mike Haynes means we now seek to appoint a new Treasurer.
We need someone who is comfortable with internet banking and spreadsheets to take on this vital role. This mainly consists of processing members' subscriptions (many are paid by Standing Order or bank transfer), paying occasional bills and reporting to the quarterly meetings of the Committee.
If you are interested in helping and would like to have a chat about this, please e-mail Margaret Hibbard (Chair).
Of course, later, Full Terms of Reference would be provided.
BAT APPEAL LAUNCHED
Some of our members will have heard that the only greater horseshoe bat roost in the south-east of England was discovered not far from Petworth in 2019, suggesting a possible return of this rare species to Sussex.
To assist this, a national appeal has just been launched by Vincent Wildlife Trust, seeking funds for the purchase and renovation of the site to save it from redevelopment. Click here to view their video introduced by naturalist and author Stephen Moss.
A recommendation is being made to Parliament that wild life protection is removed from all species in Schedules 5 and 8 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act unless they are 'in danger of extinction'.
This would mean many of our well-loved species, such as red squirrels, would be unprotected and thus lawfully subject to persecution.
The committee of the society feels very strongly about this, and has written to our local Member of Parliament to ask for action to stop these changes. Click here to view.
If members agree, we urge you to write or e-mail your MP to seek support in opposing such a drastic reduction in wildlife protection.
MUSEUM WATERCOLOUR FOR SALE
“A Coot Before Dark” by John Reaney £295
This watercolour of a Marsh Harrier alarming a flock of Coots at dusk is offered for sale at the same price the late Penny Hollow paid for it in 1996. John sadly passed away in 2019 and many of you may be familiar with his work. As a member of the prestigious Society of Wildlife Artists he exhibited at the Mall Gallery in London, at the Museum and as one of the earliest members of the Sussex Ornithological Society his work often appeared in the Bird Report and most notably he undertook all of the artwork in the 1996 Avifauna “Birds of Sussex” (which is in the Museum Library). Owned originally by Penny, who was a great fan of John’s, it is being offered for sale with the proceeds going to the Haslemere Educational Museum.
Any person interested please contact me by email email@example.com or by telephone 01798 344417.
A number of HNHS Science Papers have been produced over the years. Most published papers are available as digital copies. Originals may also be viewed in the library of Haslemere Educational Museum. Click here for details.
All are out-of print, except that printed copies of Ponsonby (1978) may be available on request to Andy Swan (free of charge).
OF BIODIVERSITY: THE DASGUPTA REVIEW
This report is now available on-line, including abridged versions.
IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE
Dave Burges, who for many years sent in bird sightings on Black Down, has now moved to live in France. To our members he says that if anyone is passing through the Orb Valley, near Montpellier, in future they are welcome to get in touch by e-mail. He could give them some top tips on birding hotspots in the area and, Covid-19 permitting, possible offer of accommodation too.
PLANT EXTINCTION AROUND HASLEMERE
Andy Swan has produced a list of plants now thought to have disappeared from the area. Any new information on these species would be very welcome – please e-mail us if you can help.
AREA BIRD E-MAIL GROUP
Ed Stubbs tells us of this group, covering a loose area down to Haslemere. They post sightings and chat about wildlife. If you're interested e-mail us, and we'll pass on your details to Ed.
The British Trust for Ornithology is always interested to hear of uncommon bird sightings. See their web site for details of the various recording and survey schemes they run to see if you can help.