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Normal Topic Twite Project - Help Wanted (Read 692 times)
Alf
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Twite Project - Help Wanted
08/08/17 at 15:09:22
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From the RSPB:

Dear all,

As you are probably aware, the Twite Recovery Project has been working with farmers to increase food availability for Twite during the breeding season, mainly through restoring hay meadows with key Twite food plants including Dandelion, Common Sorrel and Autumn Hawkbit.  Autumn Hawkbit is an important food source for Twite late in the breeding season, however, botanical surveys last year showed that this species hasn’t taken particularly well in some of the reseeded meadows.  Natural England have therefore approved a grant to buy some Autumn Hawkbit plug plants, which we hope will do better than the seed.  We are looking for volunteers to help us to plant these plug plants in September at farms near to Ripponden, Rishworth and Marsden.  If anyone would like to help out, please let me know which dates you could make from the list below:

Monday 18th September
Tuesday 19th September
Monday 25th September
Tuesday 26th September

Any time you could give would be very much appreciated, we have over 3000 plug plants to plant!

Many thanks,
Katie Aspin
Twite Project Officer (working days Monday - Wednesday)

The RSPB, Northern England Region, Westleigh Mews, Wakefield Road, Denby Dale, Huddersfield, HD8 8QD
Tel 01484 868431
Mobile 07736722177

rspb.org.uk

Anyone who is interested in helping please contact the RSPB directly as above.
  

Alf
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Alf
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Re: Twite Project - Help Wanted
Reply #1 - 02/11/19 at 16:17:09
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A recent plea for help from the RSPB - any volunteers would be gratefully accepted; contact them directly, please.

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Dear all,

I am emailing to ask whether any of you will have some time to spare to help us with the Twite Recovery Project this Spring?  The opportunities are as follows:

Feeding Stations
Previous research has shown that there is very little for twite to eat when they return from their wintering grounds in mid/late March.  This year we are setting up a number of feeding stations in key twite areas in the South Pennines to provide twite with a supplementary food source (nyjer seed) until the natural food sources are present.  Volunteers will take on the running and monitoring of one or more feeding stations, which will likely involve visits twice a week from the 25th March to the 13th May (this timescale not set in stone as yet, we’re still working out the detail).  At each visit, volunteers will put the seed out then spend an hour or so observing the area from a suitable vantage point and recording any twite or other birds seen feeding.  It will also be very important to either clean the feeding surface, or move the feeding station location slightly to reduce the risk of disease spread between birds.  Full training will be provided.  The key skill for this project will be good twite ID skills.  If you would only have time for weekly visits you could share a site with another volunteer.  Also, if you can’t make one of the visits, I could sort out cover.

Heavy grazing trial
The second opportunity is to help with the monitoring of the heavy grazing trial.  At various farms in the South Pennines, control and treatment plots will be set up, with control plots having no grazing and treatment plots having heavy grazing.  We’re trying to find out whether dandelion (the key early season twite food plant) is likely to colonise areas of land that have a short sward and are more heavily disturbed than plots that have no disturbance.  This will involve 3 monitoring visits at each site (one in mid-March, one at the end of April and one in mid-May) to do simple counts of the number of dandelions growing in each of the plots.  Full training will again be provided.  You will not need to identify all plants, just dandelions.

If you would like to take part in either of these projects, please do get in touch and I will send you the full project plans and maps of possible locations for you to be having a look at.  I will then organise training days.

(Apologies if I have already contacted you about this).

Many thanks and I hope you are all well,

Katie Aspin
Twite Project Officer (working days Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning)

The RSPB, Northern England Region, Westleigh Mews, Wakefield Road, Denby Dale, Huddersfield, HD8 8QD
Tel 01484 868431
Mobile 07736722177

rspb.org.uk

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Alf
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