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Butterflies at Wigwell

It was a warm though overcast morning on 3 August when sixteen of us gathered to look for butterflies on the Wychwood Forest Trust’s Wigwell reserve at Charlbury. We were led by Roger Newman who gave each of us an identification sheet to use and keep, plus a brief demonstration of how to use the I-Record Butterflies site.

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Flying the Flag at the Forest Fair

The Club had its usual publicity table at this year’s Wychwood Forest Fair, held at Foxburrow Wood, Hailey on 31 July. It’s always a good day out, with plenty of family fun and lots of opportunities to see what other organisations are doing.

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Aston Rowant NNR

Visit to Aston Rowant NNR, Sunday 3 July 2022

When Dr Tim King, our leader, started his reseach at Aston Rowant national nature reserve, he found the continuous loud singing of many skylarks for hour after hour a little trying.  A few years later, the reserve was divided in two by the dramatic cutting for the new M40 motorway at the top of Stokenchurch hill, and these days in parts of the reserve the skylarks are drowned out by the roar of traffic – but it’s still a glorious place.

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A Visit to the Windrush Valley

A Visit to the Valley – 17 July 2022

On the very sunny morning of Sunday 17 July, a small group of Field Club members set off to explore the flowers and wildlife of the Windrush River Valley. We started at the top of Tower Hill in Witney and headed very slowly in the direction of Crawley looking for plants and admiring the many Swifts overhead.

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Somerset May 2022

Somerset. We got there in the end. This club visit to Somerset was originally arranged for May 2020 but we all know what happened; things were still uncertain a year later but third time lucky.

Eighteen of us, with Peter Creed as leader and expert, stayed from Sunday 29 to Tuesday 31 May in the Grange Hotel at Brent Knoll, just east of Burnham and south of Weston Super Mare (or ‘Aggie on horseback’, as a sailor might refer to it).

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Chimney Meadows NNR

Sadly, our proposed tour of the newly opened Wetlands Restoration Project at Duxford, part of Chimney Meadows National Nature Reserve, had to be postponed at short notice due to illness. We decided, however, to meet anyway, and ten of us enjoyed a two and a half hour walk in glorious sunshine on the morning of 20 June, 2022.

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Long Mead Meadow, Swinford

This was a joint walk for the Club and the local branch of the Green Party on the evening of 10 June 2022. It was led by Catriona Bass, the owner of Long Mead, who gave a very informative talk about her meadow and the Thames Valley Wildflower Meadow Restoration Project that she has set up with the Floodplain Meadow Partnership (based at the Open University) and BBOWT.

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Bird Song Walk

This was advertised as ‘a quiet walk to enjoy and identify the songs of common birds and summer migrants’ and to some extent the birds took us at our word! However, we did hear a some star performers without too much background ‘clutter’ from other species, and saw several other interesting things during the mile or two circular walk from Rushy Common to Hardwick.

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Southill Solar Farm

Without wishing to tempt providence, our walks this spring have all been in sunshine and our visit to Southill Solar Farm on Saturday 14 May was similarly glorious.

Nineteen people gathered to meet ecologist Dr Anne Miller who talked about the history of the biodiversity project, before walking around the 16-hectare area.

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Dawn Chorus 1 May 2022

Five brave individuals turned up at 4 am on the first of May for the club’s annual dawn chorus walk – a rather low turnout – but some people may have been deterred by the forecast of rain later in the morning. As it turned out though, the weather held and we had a good, albeit chilly walk. [But not as cold as it can be!]