There are two meetings next week. On Monday 18th we continue our project at Denaby Ings, meet at 2pm in the car park, leader Colin Howes.

The second meeting is on Wednesday 20th to St Aidans RSPB reserve. Joyce has asked me to forward this information about the meeting as well as a revised programme for May:

We visited this RSPB reserve last September and were treated to lots of raptors, including several Hobbies (not likely so early in the year. This visit is to enjoy the spectacle of  breeding birds. On this date last year Paul and I watched several Black-necked Grebes carrying their babies on their backs. There are likely to be Spoonbills around too, which breed at Fairburn, but feed here.

St. Aidans has been an RSPB reserve for several years now. It was an opencast coal site, excavated by an enormous machine which is still present, though now it is behind a fence. The excavation left a massive depression which has been fashioned into several lakes with footpaths between them and around the whole site. It is now quite mature and attracts hundreds, if not thousands of breeding birds.
Apart from descending into the bowl, all the paths are level, and should be dry, although after rain can be muddy.
The route I propose is probably a couple of miles long, and should include dragonflies and other insects on the remaining summer flowers.
Meet  in the RSPB car park at 10.30.. Some people do park on the road outside as there is a parking charge for non-members.
To get there:
From Doncaster take the A1 north, leave at the A1246, which is the old A1. Turn off into Fairburn and drive through the village and on, past the RSPB Fairburn reserve. Keep going and at the lights go straight on in Allerton Bywater. At a roundabout  go right. Straight forward so far. The road goes up a hill, nearing the top, look out for Leeds Road, a left turn. After about a mile the RSPB car park is on the left. You will see the enormous mining machine looming ahead as you approach.

Margaret

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