Swift Awareness Week 2023

This week is Swift Awareness Week and at Wild Marlow we love these amazing birds ๐Ÿ’š
We are lucky enough to have a few popular areas for swifts around Marlow – our resident expert will be leading a guided walk on Wednesday evening if you’d like to know where they are – https://www.wildmarlow.org.uk/events.php
However their numbers are in dramatic decline and they desperately need our help to find suitable breeding spots, when they travel all the way from Africa in spring, to arrive home in Marlow. If you think you have a building that could house a swift box, please do get in touch with us or Bisham Nest Box Group – https://www.bnbg.org.uk/
You may have seen some boxes already up around Marlow, on domestic properties as well as Rebellion Brewery, St John the Baptist Church, Little Marlow, The Royal Oak
For more information on this incredible species, check out our blogs and the RSPB website ๐Ÿ’š
And if you spot some when you look up, report your sightings so we can gather data providing population and trend information – https://www.rspb.org.uk/…/safeguarding…/swiftmapper/

Beautiful Butterflies Event

On Sunday 25th June, we had perfect hot sunny weather for butterfly spotting at our event in Homefield Wood. Wild Marlow and Butterfly Conservation Volunteer Martin, was on hand to help with the identification and share his knowledge of these beautifu creatures ๐Ÿฆ‹
Here’s a list of what we saw in just a couple of hours. We were especially delighted with a pair of white admiral, seen courting or jousting in the trees ๐Ÿ’š
Small/Essex skipper, small skipper, large white, red admiral, white admiral, comma, sliver-washed fritillary, speckled wood, marbled white, meadow brown, ringlet and small heath.
ย  All-focus

Bat Emergence Surveying at Little Marlow Church

Lots of batty volunteers supporting us with a soprano pipistrelle maternity roost survey at Little Marlow Church this evening ๐Ÿฆ‡
Around 170 individuals spotted emerging. Weโ€™ll be back in a few weeks once the pups start flying to do a recount ๐Ÿ’š

Bugs Matter is Back

๐Ÿชฐ๐๐ฎ๐ ๐ฌ ๐Œ๐š๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐๐š๐œ๐ค!๐Ÿชฐfrom Buglife – The Invertebrate Conservation Trust ๐Ÿ’š
๐Ÿ“… June 1 sees the start of the ๐ต๐‘ข๐‘”๐‘  ๐‘€๐‘Ž๐‘ก๐‘ก๐‘’๐‘Ÿ survey season. Where Citizen Scientists across the UK make their car journeys count. And, this year it’s even easier to take part!ย https://www.buglife.org.uk/…/virtual-splatometer-makes…/
๐Ÿง Have you noticed a lack of buzzing and flapping in your gardens? Maybe you’re not experiencing a silent spring but are still concerned about our insect populations? This is the survey for you!ย https://www.buglife.org.uk/get-involved/surveys/bugs-matter/
๐ˆ๐Ÿ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐š ๐’๐ฆ๐š๐ซ๐ญ๐ฉ๐ก๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐š๐ง๐ ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ญ๐ซ๐š๐ฏ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐ค ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž๐š๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ž, ๐ฐ๐ก๐ฒ ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐ญ๐š๐ค๐ž ๐ฉ๐š๐ซ๐ญ? ๐˜๐จ๐ฎ ๐œ๐š๐ง ๐๐จ ๐ฌ๐จ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ฅ๐ฅ๐จ๐ฐ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฌ๐ž ๐ž๐š๐ฌ๐ฒ ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ฉ๐ฌ:
๐Ÿชฐ Download the app which is available free in both IOS and Android.
๐Ÿชฐ Create an account to sign up.
๐Ÿชฐ Start surveying on any journey you make in a vehicle between 1 June to 31 August.
The more journeys you conduct the survey on, the better โ€“ and counts of zero bugs are just as important to submit.
๐Ÿš— ๐Œ๐š๐ค๐ž ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ ๐œ๐š๐ซ ๐ฃ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ง๐ž๐ฒ ๐œ๐จ๐ฎ๐ง๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ฆ๐ฆ๐ž๐ซ
๐Ÿ“ท Mourning bee by Graham Parkinson

Wild Orchid Hunt

A wonderful sunny morning spent at Marlowโ€™s SSSI Homefield Wood, on our annual orchid hunt event ๐Ÿ’š
As ever a huge thanks to BBOWTโ€™s Chris and Phil for sharing their expert knowledge on this wonderful site and the 13 different species of orchids that flower there during the year. Today we found 8 orchid species:
๐Ÿ’œMilitary orchid (star of the show as only found on 3 sites in the UK)
Fly orchid, White helleborine, Broadleaf helleborine, Birdโ€™s nest orchid, Common spotted orchid, Common twayblade, Early purple orchid
We weโ€™re also lucky enough to spot two slow worms, ย a glow worm larvae, holly blues, adderโ€™s tongue fern and a fire crest ๐Ÿ’š
What a great time at this amazing site. Highly recommend a visit!

World Bee Day 2023

Saturday 20th May is World Bee Day ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ’š
Did you know there are over 250 different species of bee in the UK? 1 honey bee, 24 types of bumblebee and the rest are solitary bees which come in all shapes, colours and sizes!
Wild Marlow love all our wild bees and work hard to support them as best we can through our Bee Town Marlow project ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ’š
So this Saturday please show some love for this incredibly important creature, who we rely on so heavily for 1 in every 3 mouthfuls of our food ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ’š
๐Ÿplant pollinator friendly plants in your garden or outside space
๐Ÿleave out a saucer of water for them to drink
๐Ÿlet your lawn grow and bloom to provide food and shelter
๐Ÿmake your own solitary bee hotel or bumblebee nest
๐Ÿput Sat 15th July in your diary to come to the Wild Marlow Bee Festival to learn all about these amazing creatures and what we can all do to help them ๐Ÿ’š
๐Ÿlearn some fun facts about bumblebees from our blog page https://www.wildmarlow.org.uk/blog.php
๐Ÿsupport organisations such as Wild Marlow Bumblebee Conservation Trust and Buglife, who do great work for our precious pollinators ๐Ÿ’š

Water Vole Project Team Training

Fantastic morning for the Wild Marlow Water Vole Project volunteers, being trained to survey in the field by BBOWTโ€™s Mammal Project Manager Julia, along with the WildCookham team ๐Ÿ’š
The River Chess stretch came up trumps with multiple water vole feeding signs and latrines, with some otter spraint thrown in for good measure ๐Ÿ‘ Great to be able to get out and see signs in the field, so we understand what to look for when back home.

Native or Spanish Bluebells?

Hurray! May has arrived which means it’s time to liberate your lawns ๐Ÿ’š
Plantlife’s No Mow May campaign encourages us to leave areas uncut and free the wildflowers in our lawns, so they can grow wild and provide a feast for pollinators, tackle pollution, and lock away atmospheric carbon below ground ๐Ÿ
Weโ€™ve lost nearly 97% of flower rich meadows since the 1970โ€™s and with them gone are vital food needed by pollinators like bees.
A healthy lawn with some long grass and wildflowers benefits wildlife and best of all, to reap the benefits all you have to do is not mow your lawn in May!
With over 20 million gardens in the UK, even the smallest grassy patches add up to a significant proportion of our land which, if managed properly, can deliver enormous gains for nature, communities and the climate.
Sign up, let Plantlife: saving wild plants know and watch the wildlife thrive ๐Ÿ’š
ย ย 

Woodland Dawn Chorus Walk

The weather really came up trumps for our Wild Marlow Woodland Dawn Chorus Walk on Sunday morning ๐Ÿ’š
Robins took top place as the early birds: they were already in full voice when we gathered at 4.50 a.m. โ€“ still almost night at that time. Within a few minutes, blackbirds joined in. We sat and
listened while the growing light took on quite a pink tinge above the horizon โ€“ just perfect after the rather dull weather weโ€™ve been having lately, and then other species joined in.
Blue tits and great tits always come across as bright, busy and full of energy, so no surprises that they very soon added their songs, with wood pigeons and a pheasant filling in the tenor line. Not
to be outdone, the first wren of our day with its disproportionately big voice came in next over the others, with flourishes and trills like a star soprano soloist.
We enjoyed sitting and listening until after sunrise (5.38 a.m.), then it was time to get up and join the activity in a leisurely walk around Marlow Common as dunnocks and blackcaps got into full voice. It is always a magical moment when the sun sends its first rays through the trees โ€“ and the dawn delighted us with that. Chiffchaffs obviously like a sleep-in, as they only started singing when it was properly light.
Our other highlights were seeing (and hearing) a jay, catching the fleetest glimpse of what the consensus agreed was an owl that flew low across the road ahead of us, and seeing and hearing the drum section of the bird chorus supplied by a great spotted woodpecker! We heard a chaffinch, and saw a beautiful pair of thrushes feeding close together in a grassy patch, though they were too busy to be bothered with singing.
All in all, a morning that rewarded us for getting up very early!
Photos: Catherine Day & Jon Perry