YBDSA Bulletin - Issue 03 - ABYA Members update

Published: 27 April 20


As we receive information that is pertinent to our Members we are adding it to the Website. Below are the latest updates and some other items to help you through these tough times.

The Dawn Chorus piece at the end is from a friend of mine who is a keen naturalist and plantsman.  I hope you find it useful – the bird song is fantastic this year.  Not sure if that is due to less pollution or if there is just less noise, so we can hear them better.  Enjoy!

Jane Gentry - CEO of YBDSA
(Click here to send me an email)


Peter Norris, the ABYA Chairman, is diligently tweeting a different member’s boat each day. Has he tweeted yours yet?! We need you to support his efforts on your behalf by following ABYA on Twitter and adding the ABYA tag to your own Tweets. Don’t forget that we now have the new-look ABYA Website – so put a link and a logo on your website. Be proud of your membership and help us to spread the word! #ABYA_UK


On May 1st Peter Norris will be hosting a Zoom meeting which is open to all members. he will be giving an outline of what the Associations are doing during the lockdown and then open the discussion up to other Members if they want to share any helpful hints and tips. More details will follow, as well as some pointers for online meeting etiquette. A link will be e-mailed to you nearer the time so that you can join the Zoom.


There is still work going on including buying without viewing, conclusion of ongoing sales that were in the melting pot before this started, and some people expressing interest on boats that they want to look at when restrictions are lifted. The President reports he is able to load boats onto ships – so there is still some movement within boat sales. Do use this opportunity to do those jobs you always meant to do – get your systems more streamlined so you can be more efficient in the future. Check your website – could you improve some areas? New photos? New words? New information? (and what about those spelling mistakes – yes I have spotted quite a lot over the years!!!)


Martin Lewis has provided some advice for those whose income has dropped below £50,000 due to the current Covid-19 situation and how to obtain Child Benefit - loads of information from Martin on this link including the Child Benefit info – keep scrolling – it’s right at the end!


There are a number of options being provided by the Government including furlough of employees, the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) if you receive Small Business Rates Relief, and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant fund (RHLGF). Your Local Authority should have contacted you by now about the RHLGF and you can fill in the form online to apply. It is based on the rateable value of your property (office). This applies to yacht brokers as you work in the leisure industry, so get your application in ASAP! You will need your Rates invoice to hand as it has your reference and the exact name of your company as they have it on their list (and you need to reproduce that, spelling mistakes included).


The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) supports small and medium-sized businesses, with an annual turnover of up to £45 million, to access loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million for up to 6 years.

The government will also make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees. This means smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.

YBDSA Accountants advise that those with a strong relationships with their bank should be able to access this the most easily, so do look at the opportunity and see if it can help support your business.



Here at the YBDSA we have furloughed several of our staff just to ensure we can keep going into the autumn with everyone onboard. You can still call us on the usual numbers as we have been set up to pick up calls from home, or email as usual. We will do what we can to help you. Please use the generic emails such as ca@ or tonnage@ to ensure that the emails are responded to promptly.

STAY SAFE AND WELL EVERYONE - follow the Government guidance and don’t put yourself in harms way – the NHS has enough to do at the moment and you don’t really want to be using up precious resources or to be in hospital. We will look back at this at Christmas and think – ‘That was a strange year’….

The Dawn Chorus - Sights & Sounds to look out for

[With HUGE THANKS to Phil Jeffs for putting this together for us. Enjoy!]
This is intended as a guide to help identify some of the bird calls and song which will be more in our morning thoughts as the next few weeks unfold. Sometimes the birdsong is a real cacophony of jumbled noise, occasionally too early for those who prefer a gentler start to the day! If you are of a mind to try to identify the various birds which contribute to the waking up chorus, then the best way, I’m afraid, is to start early and single out the first few so you can become familiar with them. The good thing about such an early start (and I mean about 5.30 a.m. in early April) is that breakfast becomes a wonderful meal and sets you up for the rest of the day!
In order, therefore, I shall list a few of the birds and give a description of their calls and song as best I can in words. Of course, there are a few sites on the internet which do have birdsong recordings against which you can compare your own memories of what you have heard. One thing to note is that birds have their preferred singing positions, some bold enough to stand up and be counted, other species less sure of their safety and preferring to remain partly hidden. Some sing as they move about bushes and trees, others have a favourite spot. These characteristics all add to the easier identification of the bird.
[Sounds and Images from RSPB – click/tap on each bird to hear their song]

Invariably the first to be singing, often before it’s fully light. A melodic, fluting song comprised of short phrases, the whole song lasting about 3 – 5 seconds. It is then repeated, sometimes with minor variations.

The male blackbird will sit in a prominent position, a rooftop corner, the top of a tree, a lamp post top, from which he can deliver his strong territory proclaiming song. A few houses away, across the street, or in a tree some distance away, will be another male, ‘competing’ with his own song, similar sounding, but with its own phrases.

Song thrush

Usually a little later than the blackbird, the song thrush male’s song is loud, bold, even a bit strident. It is made up of very short phrases, sometimes just two notes, often not tuneful, but then massed together to make a powerful staccato song, shouted out from a favoured perch, perhaps a branch on the side of a tree, or from a lamp post.

Its main identifying features are its power and clarity and, of course, if you can see the bird, that’s a confirming point! I used to hear them singing all night in towns and on industrial estates where the street lights cast strong light. They must have been tired out.


Sings on and off all day and often the last bird to sing in the evening. The song varies through the year, becoming more melancholy in the autumn. It is upbeat in spring, a melodic mix of rather gentle, ‘dribbling’ notes, very fluid and easy on the ear.
Often sung from a small tree or in a bush, it can take some time to spot the author of the notes, although once seen, easily recognised, of course. Breaks are taken to drive off rival males, then the bird will return to its perch to resume the song. Robins are renowned for their aggressive territorial behaviour and I have caught and picked up two fighting birds before now, so intent on their scrap that they didn’t see me approach.

An incessant song, almost identical from bird to bird, certainly very similarly structured.

A hurried group of notes, cascading downwards then finishing with an even more hurried flourish, sung from the edge of a tree, often about 4 – 5 meters up.


The song is a burst of notes, often sung from low in shrubbery so you can’t see the bird.

Quite loud, reliably repeated for ease of identification, always the same song and finishing with a ‘churring’ note.

An amazing song for such a small bird.

Great tit

This bird is the one about which I am asked most. Its most common call is likened to the sound of a squeaky wheelbarrow wheel, or ‘teacher, teacher’, repeated and repeated and repeated . . . .

The Great tit does have other calls and will often confuse people with the various sounds it can make, a variety of high-pitched notes that often lead you to think it is something else, so be aware.

As the name says, ‘Chiff chaff, chiff chaff’ and, once it gets into its flow, it’s a non-stop sound through April and May.

Unlike the great tit, it is a higher pitched, less noisy two-note call, slightly lilting.

The bird, neat and slim, pale underneath with olive greenish-brown upperparts, calls as it flits about trees.

Old oak trees are a favoured haunt. It has a few distinctive calls, the most obvious being a bubbling ‘ring-tone of a call.

There is also a repeated ascending note, almost a loud whistled ‘whee whee, whee’. Look for the bird high up in a tree, often beak downwards, as it scouts the bark for food. It does come to bird feeders, favouring the peanuts, pink underneath, slate-grey on top, a smart bird.
Great spotted woodpecker

The drumming can be heard for several hundred metres, as the male finds a suitable branch on which to hammer out a short rattling beat.

The call is a loud ‘tchick’, used as the bird hops up a tree trunk, as a contact call with its mate.

Green woodpecker

A series of loud, ringing notes, slightly falling in pitch and quickening towards the end of the call, announces this lovely bird.

No other bird ‘laughs’ like it. If it’s disturbed, it flies with an obvious bouncing flight.
Those are a few of the commoner ones to start with.

Flora to look out for...

Plants to look out for in the next few weeks, as you walk along the lanes and in the woods
Wood anemone, or wind flower. Dainty white flowers 2.5 – 3cm across, on 10cm stems, the petals just flushed pink on the reverse.
Stitchwort. White flowers, smaller than anemone, narrower petals, on weak fresh green stems with narrow leaves. Often in hedgerows, on roadside banks, with bluebells, violets and primroses.

Moschatel, Town hall clock. A low-growing, often missed little perennial of the shady woodland floor. The tiny pale green flowers are in a small cluster of five, four set to form a ‘cube’, the fifth on the top.

Wood spurge. A euphorbia species of woodland, this one has the archetypal acid green flowers on a 50 cm stem. The leaves are slightly softly hairy, darker than the flowers and sometimes flushed reddish on the midrib. Mind the sap, an irritant, plus mildly poisonous.

Lords and Ladies, Wild arum. Broad soft, shiny leaves, sometimes marbled with cream veining. The pale green spathes will be coming up soon, furled tight round but soon opening to reveal the spadix which is often a rich purple colour. Can be somewhat difficult to remove from shady places in the garden as the bulbs are often quite deep. Don’t be tempted to taste the bulbs, your tongue will go numb! The orange berries which will be formed by autumn are poisonous, too.

Blackthorn blossom in the hedgerows will be over soon, but hawthorn follows and that carries a gentle scent, more noticeable downwind on a warm day in early May.

Guelder rose and its close relative, Wayfaring tree, will be out from early May, both flowering white. Wayfaring tree flowers attract flies and moths as pollinators and the scent is a clue, not what you would want your soap to smell of!
Elder, too, smells a little odd, but there’s no denying its pleasant flavour as a cordial base.

Phil Jeffs


Have you read a good book you would like to share with others? – Normally you don’t get time to read much! John Rodriquez has recently really enjoyed Nathaniel’s Nutmeg.

Famous Online Bookstore Preview
The tiny island of Run is an insignificant speck in the middle of the Indonesian archipelago--remote, tranquil, and now largely ignored. At the beginning of the seventeenth century, however, Run's harvest of nutmeg turned it into the most lucrative of the Spice Islands, precipitating a fierce and bloody battle between the all-powerful Dutch East India Company and a small band of ragtag British adventurers led by the intrepid Nathaniel Courthope.

The outcome of the fighting was one of the most spectacular deals in history: Britain ceded Run to Holland, but in return was given another small island, Manhattan.

A brilliant adventure story of unthinkable hardship and savagery, the navigation of uncharted waters, and the exploitation of new worlds, Nathaniel's Nutmeg is a remarkable chapter in the history of the colonial powers.

Nutmeg Trivia

The fights over nutmeg were the source of the rhyme – “I had a little nut tree, nothing would it bear …” here's an interesting bit of of background: 

"The characters in the nursery rhyme 'I had a little nut tree' are believed to refer to the visit of the Royal House of Spain to King Henry VII's English court in 1506. The 'King of Spain's daughter' refers to the daughter of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain. There were two daughters, Princess Juana and her sister Katherine of Aragon.

The princess in the nursery rhyme is probably Katherine of Aragon who was betrothed to Prince Arthur, the heir to the throne of England. Arthur died and Katherine eventually married King Henry VIII. It was sad that "So fair a princess" had such a difficult life with Henry as she was the first of Henry's six wives and discarded by the King to make way for Anne Boleyn.

Queen Katherine was much loved by the British people who hated her replacement, who they called 'The Great Whore'. The young, beautiful princess relates to the young Katherine, as a princess and is immortalised in this old nursery rhyme."

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