Passing Through and Settling

Launch Report

by Holly Rumble

The community project has got off to a flying start, thanks to a number of groups and individuals. It began on Saturday 3rd May, with Girton Garden Society’s hugely popular plant sale. They had designated a stall for self-seeding plants: the types of plants that pass through a garden on the wind, and settle. We also launched the sunflower trail, with a jar of Russian Giant sunflower seeds to give to visitors. To my delight a number of people said they had already started their sunflowers off at home, and were looking forward to taking part in the trail.

The next morning, at 4.30am, and intrepid group of over 20 people met at Town End Close Nature Reserve to listen to the dawn chorus. Some of us spotted a barn owl, a green woodpecker and a kestrel. We headed back to the GTC offices for a light breakfast, and local physicist and educator James de Winter gave us a wonderful talk about using birdsong recordings to teach sound and physics to schoolchildren. A number of people had never seen a sonogram before, and were amazed to see birdsong visually represented so accurately. I don’t think any of us had ever been to a lecture at 6am before either!

On Monday 5th May I led ten One Minute Birdwatching sessions around the village. 20-30 people joined me at each location, with some following the entire 3-hour trail! The final session was punctuated beautifully by the arrival of four swallows: enough to make a summer, I think. Over the two launch events we spotted 23 different species.

The Women’s Institute hosted an open planning meeting on Wednesday 14th May to begin the process of turning the list of bird species into a wall hanging. This will eventually be displayed in the new Wellbrook Way Community Centre. If you would like to join in, you are welcome to come to the first making session on 11th June at Orchard Close Community Centre. Many of the birds have already been allocated, but there is always room for smaller contributions of bees, insects, or floating seeds, in the form of patches. Please get in touch if you would like to know more about any of these events, or if you have an idea for something else you would like to host. Visit our website for videos, photographs, sound recordings, and of course updates on events over the summer.

Twitter: @passingsettling