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Adel Dam Nature Reserve

Final 2017 Rotary Meeting (19th December).

As the previous meal had celebrated Christmas, it was decided to pay homage to the Jewish Festival of Lights –  Chanukah. Martin Berger said a Hebrew Grace, followed by an English interpretation. It is not often that this traditional Grace said on Friday nights is followed by a pork chop meal!

The superbly illustrated talk afterwards on Adel Dam Nature Reserve was given by David Johnson, a volunteer at the Reserve. As we walked into the common room the image we saw was of a kingfisher on a branch protruding from a pond – almost an identical image had been seen the previous evening on the One Show and he recommended those who missed it to view the sequence. One is almost guaranteed to find a kingfisher on a visit to the dam as the food chain in the pond – from tiny life forms (hydra etc) to fish (sticklebacks) is abundant. As many as five have been seen at one time and a film is on u-tube, so visitors are attracted to visit from all over Britain.

The talk started with the historic background – Golden Acre Dam was initially used to control water for the Mills downstream on the Adel/Meanwood/Lady Beck. But a surge washed away the dam and so a replacement was built plus Adel Dam as an additional security measure. Today its 19 acres, owned by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust are a nature reserve, with a circular path, two hides and a reception building for visitors. 15 volunteers help look after it.

We were shown examples of the fungi, pond inhabitants from hydra, to mussels, to fish (including the freshwater crayfish) the birds, (kingfisher, ducks (mandarin and others), woodpeckers, garden birds attracted by the feeders e.g. from tiny wrens (the commonest there), robins, tits, finches, nuthatch, jays, magpie up to large birds of prey) the bats, mammals (including deer and now an otter (which had seen off the mink which in turn obliterated the rat population). It was suggested that March and April were good months to visit, as if lucky one could see a combination of Winter and early Summer visitors. The feeders get topped up on Tuesday and Friday mornings so sightings are almost guaranteed. On the third Sunday of every month is “Guide in the Hide” day to help with identification.

Alan Griggs gave the vote of thanks for what had been a most enjoyable and visually stunning presentation.

AL

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