Coquetdale, Wildlife Society

View of Breamish and Ingram Valley in the Northumberland National Park.'Picture by Jane Coltman
View of Breamish and Ingram Valley in the Northumberland National Park.'Picture by Jane Coltman

The Coquetdale branch of the Wildlife Trust ended its successful series of illustrated talks with a wonderful talk on a trip that Phil and Alison Hanmer made from Newcastle in South Africa to the Limpopo in Botswana.

They were invited to take part in an annual research project involving the ringing of raptors to try to find out more about their lives.

They looked for birds of prey perched on posts beside the road, then using live traps, the bird would be enticed down and caught. The mouse used in the trap was never hurt and was later released.

Once caught the bird was identified, measured, weighed, aged and ringed, before being set free.

Another method was for huge nets to be set up to catch the birds.

The same places were visited as in previous years so that a proper record could be made.

In South Africa there are many different raptors, including red footed falcons, African crowned eagles, African hawk eagles and steppe buzzards. They inhabit many diverse landscapes, from the rolling plains to the highlands.

They saw a huge number of birds and mammals, including kingfishers, owls and African buffalo.

Our next meeting will be at 7.30pm, on September 4, when Shaun Hackett will talk about Spiders On Your Doorstep.