Meeting Report – July 25th 2014

Our July meeting was opened by Ed Miller confirming that there were no new planning applications and we do not expect any planning application from Persimmon until Worthing Borough Council consider their options for sites for development. Chairman, David Bettiss announced the launch of our Group’s new website, although there is still some work to do. The address is: The highlight of the evening was an entertaining talk and flying demonstration from ‘Owls about Town’. This is a local organisation run by Andy and his wife, Zsi that aims to educate both children and adults about owls. They regularly visit Schools, Nursing and Residential Homes, Charity Events etc. It was explained that any more than one owl constitutes a parliament of owls and consequently Andy and Zsi have named many of their owls after politicians. Including Boris Johnson, Virginia Bottomley and Nigel Farage. On display was a Little Owl referred to as the original ‘Wise Owl’. This owl weighs around 6ozs and is particularly observant. In contrast the European Eagle Owl has a two metre wingspan, weighs 5lbs 8oz and in the wild feeds on pheasants and rats and has even been known to kill roe deer and foxes. Several Group members requested to hold the owls and were amazed at the calmness of the birds. After tea Michael Brown delivered the news that the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm has been approved and 175 wind turbines will be built 13kms off the coast between Newhaven and Worthing. This plan was approved despite the National Park Authority’s opposition to the visual impact and other environmental issues. The meeting concluded with Tricia Hall’s ever popular Nature Notes. Tricia informed us that four Water Voles were seen all at one time along the bank of the River Rife and this could indicate a resident family. Tricia had set an Egg Box Moth Trap and as conditions were ideal had managed to photograph a Drinker, an Elephant Hawk and a Swallow Tail moth amongst others. Tricia also commented on how well the wild flowers had grown this year in the beach and park areas.