Newsletter – January 2016

The CVCG has won a Heritage Lottery Fund grant to improve and restore the grassland in the Reserve. The bid was made on our behalf through Gateshead Council. For more information visit our Flowers in the Vale page.

As part of the project, we will be updating the education pack for local schools and plan to survey visitors who use the Reserve. This new website has been created to satisfy one of the grant conditions, namely to make information about the Reserve more widely available. All the latest information about what is happening will be published here.

The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch is over the weekend 30th-31st January. If you participate in Clara Vale, please keep a copy of what you see and drop it off to Gordon at 1, Edington Gardens. The RSPB only publishes the results of the survey for the county. It would be interesting to see what is happening here if you can watch your own garden birds, but if you can’t the Hides in the Reserve will be watched on Sunday 31st from 10-11 am. Come along and help. Be there for 9.45 for a brief introduction to the Garden Birdwatch.

The mild weather has meant it has been quiet in the Reserve with very few of the winter birds we usually see but the feeding stations are still worth visiting. Deer have been seen regularly from them and a kingfisher continues to visit. A green woodpecker surprised a birdwatcher when it perched on one of the sticks in the pond meant for the kingfishers.

If you want to see a great winter wildlife spectacle, go down to Shibdon Pond in Blaydon where tens of thousands of starlings gather to roost in the reeds. If there’s not too much wind or rain, most nights they perform a murmuration, before roosting. It’s a sight not to be missed. Get there about 3.45 as the flock builds. They’re going to roost around 4.15-4-30.

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