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Holt Island Quiz, Saturday November 23rd, St Ives Corn Exchange

Quiz Night 2019We are delighted to invite you to the 2019 Holt Island Quiz! As you will see on the invitation to the quiz, it will be held on November 23rd at St Ives Corn Exchange, and your £10 ticket will include a delicious fish and chip supper.

This year we are asking you to bring your own cutlery and condiments with you, and help us play our part in working to reduce plastic pollution. According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) eight million tonnes of plastic ends up in our oceans every year, and cutting out single use plastic items like cutlery is one way we can reduce our plastic footprint.

Once again, our host and quizmaster will be Daniel Rowe, so we can be sure of a challenging and entertaining evening!

 

Tickets sold out quickly last year, so please book your places early!

 

Bats released on Holt Island!

Recently we released four bats on Holt Island. They were found grounded and dehydrated in St Ives, but the place they were found was not safe for release once they had been rehabilitated. As Holt Island was almost certainly in their hunting area it was decided to release them there. This video which was filmed originally in red light, shows the release (it is clearer in this black and white version). The noise you can hear right at the end as the bat takes off is the sound of the bat echolocating which was captured using a bat detector. Bats use echolocation to find their way around and find food in the dark. To echolocate, bats send out sound waves from the mouth or nose. When the sound waves hit an object they produce echoes. The echo bounces off the object and returns to the bats' ears. You can watch the VIDEO HERE.

 

 

We’ve been bringing you regular updates from our swans' nest, and we're delighted to report that eight cygnets hatched on the 7th May!

Nigel Sprowell reports: “I have been monitoring our swans' nest since the end of March. It does take time to lay a clutch of eight very large eggs and she does have to leave the nest from time to time and when she does so, the eggs are covered in nesting material, making it difficult to be sure how many there are.

Once all the eggs have been laid, she sits tight to brood them as ideally they all need to hatch at the same time. This, on average, can take up to 34 days. During that time she can appear very lethargic and lonely, as her mate tends to stay away, which can give the impression she has been deserted. He does take turns to brood from time to time allowing her a break but in the main he keeps his distance. Recently this led to a member of the public expressing concern for the health our swan. However, regular monitoring and use of 24 hour surveillance cameras allayed any fears. In fact the male has been seen patrolling the end of the Waits by the main river. It is wonderful that people take so much interest in what is happening on our Island.

I am delighted to say that all 8 eggs hatched on 7th May, in line with the average incubation time. Despite being drenched the very next day, all the cygnets look very well and are now giving lots of enjoyment to the public as the proud mum, and occasionally dad, parade them up and down the river, retiring periodically to the nest for a rest and more photos!

I’m sure we all wish them well”

Please note that the grassy path is now open again.  Thank you all for letting our swan family "nest in peace"!

Did you know? It takes 2-3 weeks to build a mute swan nest, which is a huge mound of material, normally dried grasses and assorted vegetation, sticks and rushes, constructed at the water's edge. The nest is built by the female, while the male supplies the materials.  It takes around six weeks’ incubation (sitting on the eggs) before the cygnets (young swans) hatch, and the cygnets stay with their parents for 4 - 5 months.

swan on the nest with chicks   swan and cygnets
 © Nigel Sprowell    © Les Goodey

 
cygnets on the nest

© Nigel Sprowell