While human society has come to a standstill, birds are in a frenzy, defending territories, finding mates, building nests and feeding young! It’s a good time to watch birds wherever you live and people spending a lot of time at home might be interested in joining the British Trust for Ornithology’s Garden Birdwatch. This is a year round project unlike the RSPB’s annual Big Garden Birdwatch in January. The BTO has lots of excellent bird identification videos – calls and song as well as film – for those wanting to improve their knowledge.
There is plenty of scope too for people to take photographs and let other residents what birds are around and what they are doing.
During the lockdown, many of us are looking to our gardens to enjoy nature and be outdoors, to learn, and to improve our well-being. BTO Garden BirdWatch offers a great opportunity to learn more about garden birds and other wildlife, and to contribute directly to BTO’s important scientific research on the value of gardens for wildlife.
By understanding more about how wildlife uses our gardens, we’ll be able to make our cities, towns, villages and individual gardens better for nature.
To take part you simply keep a list of the birds you see visiting your garden over the course of a week, then enter this into our online recording system. If you want, you can also record other garden wildlife, such as butterflies and mammals.
Your sightings will help us to understand how and why populations of garden birds and other wildlife are changing, and how we can all help them.
This free offer includes access to our online recording system, a regular Garden BirdWatch e-newsletter with information on recording and identifying garden wildlife, and access to our team of wildlife experts to answer your questions on garden wildlife.
We look forward to welcoming you to the Garden BirdWatch community.
The impact of the lockdown on local businesses around Strathbungo has been considerable, with pubs and cafes being forced to close. Our smaller local corner shops are now, however, also facing a crisis. Newspaper sales across the country, for example, have plummeted and it appears that people have stopped going to local shops for other purposes and are going to the local supermarkets instead. I was in one shop today, buying a paper, and they said their business has almost collapsed through lack of custom. They say they have checked and they don’t think they will qualify for the UK Government’s scheme to help the self-employed and other businesses because they have not been forced to shut down.
Since neither the UK nor the Scottish Government have shut down cornershops, there is no reason for people not to go there. Indeed, having witnessed what is going on in the supermarkets, as a lay person I would say that its safer to go to a corner shop than a supermarket, as they are so much less crowded. Many people regretted the closure of Susie’s last year, so please give a thought to what other local businesses are going through right now and consider patronising them when you can.
For anyone that doesn’t know a group called the Glasgow Southside Self-Isolation Support Group https://www.southsidesis.co.uk/ has been set up to bring “people together to help and support one another through self-isolation or quarantine as a result of COVID-19 throughout the southside of Glasgow. If you’re self-isolating, or are able to help someone who is with basic supplies or even just a friendly phone call, we’re here to help connect people together.” They have a Facebook Page where a lot of information about local services etc is shared.
Meantime on Queen Square, two residents, Lorna and Graeme McKerracher, circulated a flyer round the street inviting people to join a Queen Square support group. A great initiative! There are now 62 participants. It operates mainly as a WhatsApp Group – though its possible for residents to phone a number direct – and it has spawned a further social group, the idea being to try and keep the support group focussed on people providing practical help to each other.
The Strathbungo Society Committee doesn’t wish to duplicate either initiative and hopes that other streets might consider setting up their own practical support networks. If anyone wants to do this for their street and wants help with preparing or printing a flyer, we’d be happy to support. If so, you can contact me in the first instance (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Southside Self Isolation Support Group is also asking for local street contacts throughout the southside and it might make sense for anyone volunteering to take on that role to also consider setting up a WhatsApp group for their street.
The people most likely to need support are probably not on WhatsApp or any other form of social media. Due to staff going into isolation, Glasgow City Council earlier this week had to cut care at home services for all but Priority 1 cases. So, if there was someone getting services near you and isn’t now or who you think might appreciate some support, please make contact with them.
If interested but unable to go to the drop-in you can access the online consultation here
The proposed route extends the current South West City Way from the Shields Rd/St Andrew’s Drive junction along St Andrew’s Drive to Pollok Park.
The proposed route bypasses the main centres of population in East Pollokshields and Strathbungo. Were it instead to continue up Shields Rd to Nithsdale Rd, then on to Terregles Ave joining St Andrew’s Drive after Maxwell Park, it would be almost the same distance and much more helpful to any local resident wanting to use a dedicated cycle lane to get to Pollok Park or into the city centre by the South West Cycle route. The Strathbungo Society could then work on the missing link between the Darnley/Nithsdale and Shields/Nithsdale junctions!
What do people think?
2018-19 Strathbungo Society Annual Report and Accounts were approved at the AGM and have now been submitted to the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator.
Fieldfare feasting on rowan berries Queen Square today
The last two weeks or so has seen Strathbungo’s greatest annual wildlife spectacle. Hundreds of birds, most obviously fieldfare from Scandinavia, have come in to feast on bungo’s berries. The spectacle seems to be later than in previous years and to have gone on longer. This is probably a consequence perhaps of this year’s excellent berry crop. I saw hundreds of fieldfare up in Kintail in October but with so much food they have been able to idle their way south and will stay as long as the food source lasts.
Fieldfare on the large willow on the back lane between Queen and Marywood Square
Overflowing bins Nithsdale Rd 20th October
Representatives from the Strathbungo Society had a very helpful and productive meetings with officers from the new super department at the Council, Neighbourhoods and Sustainability, which is responsible for bin and litter collections, on Wednesday. We reported a wide range of issues including missed bin collections (see here for example) and overflowing public litter and recycling bins.
There have been specific issues with the collection of the purple (glass) and brown (garden and organic waste) bins which have been partly caused by staff shortages. These are being addressed and, as many residents will have noted, the glass collections have been brought back in-house. The Council Officers also explained that they are currently working on collection schedules for the new larger public litter bins (which appear to be filling up quicker than anticipated). We raised a number of specific issues .e.g about reporting of contaminated bins (wrong type of rubbish in bin), reporting of bulk waste, repair to broken bins etc which the Council have agreed to look into and get back to us. We will then meet again with a view to putting out updated information for local residents and updating our web page “https://bungoblog.com/got-a-problem/raise-it-with-the-council/
Meantime, we have also decided to try and collect information on problems locally. So, if you report a problem to the Council (eg missed bin collection) and its not satisfactorily resolved please let us know at email@example.com (photos are very helpful).
The Trustees of the Strathbungo Society have today published our draft annual report 2018-2019 Trustees-Report-(final draft AGM) and accounts Receipts and Payments 2018 to 2019 – Final 21st Oct for our Annual General Meeting next Tuesday (see Notice of Strathbungo Society AGM). The meeting is asked to consider and then approve the Annual Report and Accounts before they are submitted to the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator.
The Annual Report gives an indication of what the Society has been doing and achieved over the last year. We hope local residents will take a couple of minutes to read it and it will inspire more people to get involved in whatever way they can.
If you have questions on either the Annual Report or the Accounts and are unable to attend the AGM do please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday 29th October 2018 7.30-8.30pm
Queen’s Park Church Hall 170 Queen’s Drive
- Welcome, introductions and apologies
- Minute of last year’s AGM Monday 29th October 2018
- Matters Arising: Chair
- Network rail vegetation management
- Future of Crossmyloof Resource Centre site on Titwood Rd
- Other topical issues: bin collections (please notify email@example.com of others before meeting)
- Trustees Report
- Election of Officer Bearers/Trustees
- Chair; Vice-chair; Secretary; Treasurer;
- Election of Committee (up to 15 places)
Tea and coffee from 7pm and refreshments afterwards
Background and update
After the Strathbungo Society heard that Network Rail proposed to clear all vegetation along Moray Place, we wrote to them copying in our local elected political representatives and politicians to express our concern. Ten days ago Network Rail responded to us 20 Sept Strathbungo Society NR Response. The Strathbungo Society has carefully considered this and believes that it raises far more questions than it answers so on Friday we responded to them. Set out below are what we believe are the substantive issues at stake. We would welcome comments either on social media or to firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope local residents, and other people living along the Glasgow -E.Kilbride Line who will be affected by the proposed works, find it helpful and that it helps with further lobbying/campaigning.