Late substitution leads to Asia

A SCARBOROUGH conservation group had to make a last minute substitution this week when the scheduled speaker fell ill.

The Scarborough Field Naturalists’ Society held an open meeting at the central library on Tuesday and Dr John R Mather was due to talk about the wildlife of Costa Rica but was unable to attend.

Ian Glaves, the group secretary said: “At very short notice, Andrew Lassey, well known local ornithologist and prominent member of The Ornithological Society of the Middle East, saved the event by delivering an illustrated talk entitled A Journey Through Mongolia.”

He added that Mr Lassey used many photographs to describe a 6000 mile ornithological trip covering many of the varied habitats in this remote and still little known country.

The journey covered the steppes in the east, the mountains in the north, and the rocky and often mountainous Gobi Desert in the south. Mr Glaves added: “Many bird species were encountered, some of which were familiar to birdwatchers in the UK, but showed eastern plumage variations.

“Birds of prey such as black, Himalayan and bearded vultures, saker and amur falcon, and golden, Steppe and booted eagles were observed, as well as a variety of crane species including the rare and threatened Siberian white crane.

“Smaller species included the brown shrike, Mongolian lark, Pallas’s reed bunting, thick-billed warbler and Taiga flycatcher were notable. Some of the birds were caught, measured and ringed in order to assist with future identification of sub-species.”

He added that the event was supported by the Scarborough Museums Trust.

The group’s next meeting will be at the usual venue – The Friends Meeting House in Woodlands Drive – on Tuesday, March 22, with a talk on Wildlife Crime by Mark Rasebeary.

All are welcome and for further information visit: www.sfns.org.uk.