Worcestershire Record No. 2 April 1997 p. 10
Harry GreenBreeding Bird Survey
To date Worcestershire has 46 squares to cover and I list them below together with years covered so far. A few more have been added each year since the start of the survey! So far most squares have been covered, although at the end of March 1997 I still await the 1996 paperwork from a few observers!
10k Squ Square name 1994 1995 1996 1997 SO93 SO9837 Mart no yes yes + SO86 SO9861 Shep yes yes -yes + SO96 SO9467 Brow Yes yes yes + SO85 SO8152 Step yes yes yes + SO97 SO9878 no no no vac SO66 SO6665 Grun yes yes yes + SO93 SO9735 Whe yes yes yes + SO93 SO9334 Whe yes yes yes + SO66 SO6067 Coat yes yes yes + SO86 SO8469 Hum yes yes yes + SO87 SO8470 Hum yes yes yes + SP04 SP0746 Cott yes yes yes + SO93 SO9630 Pepl yes no -yes +How SO93 SO9237 Will yes yes yes + SP04 SP0243 Hodg yes yes yes + SO97 SO9476 Yeg no yes yes + SO85 SO8354 Jone yes yes yes + SO74 SO7444 Birk yes yes yes + SP04 SP0042 Hodg yes yes yes + SO77 SO7475 Tayl yes yes yes + SO84 SO8745 Hods yes yes yes + SO86 SO8462 Gane yes yes yes + SO77 SO7374 Tayl yes yes yes + SO84 SO8642 Lowe yes yes yes + SO77 SO7472 Evan no yes yes + SO77 SO7074 Robe yes yes yes + SO84 SO8549 Step yes yes yes + SO66 SO6566 Grun - yes no + SO97 SO9877 - no no vac SO94 SO9844 Mant - yes yes +Pep SO86 SO8865 Mick - yes yes + SO95 SO9454 Farm - yes yes + SO94 SO9647 Pepl - - -yes + SO97 SO9971 Watt - - no +Hut SO97 SO9278 Harr - - -yes + SO95 SO9057 Week - - yes + SO94 SO9840 Lenn - - yes + SO84 SO8249 Mitt - - yes + SO94 SO9848 Rat - - - + SO75 SO7653 Dunc - - - + SO66 SO6160 Mick - - - + SO76 SO7461 Mile - - - + SO66 SO6061 Mick - - - + SP04 SO0347 Cott - - - + S087 SO8976 Summ - - - + SO84 SO8947 Hero - - - +Key:
|'Yes' mean survey done.
||'No' means the opposite.
||'-' means not in the survey for a particular year.
||'-yes' means I haven't received the paperwork yet.
||Under 1997 '+' means I have a surveyor for the year, I hope!
||'vac' under 1997 means I can't find an observer.
There are two problem squares in Rubery and Frankley (South Birmingham) which nobody wants to survey - I wonder why. If anyone would like to have a go please let me know as soon as possible.
It is quite a task to find observers for this survey. If anyone would like to take part in future years please let me know. There will almost always be vacant squares. BTO are likely to add more squares next year, and observers may be unable to continue surveying their present square.
To determine exactly what is happening to UK skylark populations the BTO is organising important surveys of both wintering and breeding birds.
These surveys are based on randomly selected 1x1 km squares of the national grid. In Worcestershire SO6167, SO8134, SO8332, SO9258, SO9966 are being covered for both winter and summer surveys. SP0142 and SP0646 are covered by the winter survey only.
The summer survey is based on mapping singing birds together with collecting habitat information on field use and size, and on boundaries. The winter survey is of feeding flocks and similar habitat data. Analysis of the survey data should give a much clearer picture of skylark numbers and on the habitat structure and quality in preferred areas.
The preferred breeding habitats are where there is open broken soil (the birds form a deep nesting cup on the ground) with a scattering of trees. The BTO 1986 survey showed that most territories contained bare soil or very short grazed grass, exceeding 5% of the territory area in most cases. Canopy cover is usually sparse, and shrub cover rarely more than 20%. Although typically birds of open heathland Woodlarks often breed on managed land. Nowadays they are often found in forestry plantations where the tree height is 2 metres or less. In plantations they can be found along rides or on other areas of open space. They do use other open habitats and there are records from cultivated cereal fields, horse paddocks, on set-aside land, and small-holdings of plant nurseries. Some observers think that a patch of soil with correct root-free friable structure is a most important feature within a territory as it permits the bird to form a deep nest cup.
The Woodlark's song is lilting and beautiful (nothing like skylark song but perhaps reminiscent of a tree pipit) and they have a soaring song flight. The main song period is from February through to mid-May and searches of suitable habitat are most likely to reveal the birds during this period.
Please look at suitable habitat in your area. If you think you have found a breeding woodlark please contact me as soon as possible so the survey forms can be completed. At present I am assuming there are no breeding woodlarks in Worcestershire.
Ideally, for the survey, we need to know whether the birds were definitely present or absent during 1995 and 1996, and whether they are present or absent during the 1997 breeding season. If present did breeding definitely occur (nests, young seen, courtship displays) or were the birds simply "present".
Records for all these years should be sent to me by end May 1997 if possible. PLEASE GET IN TOUCH WITH IF YOU find sawbills this year or if you found them in previous years. All records of sites will be kept confidential.
Unfortunately fishermen often regard sawbills as unwanted competitors and licences for shooting them may be sought. In this context it is most important that we keep a records of our population and are on the look-out for illegal "control" measures being applied.
I badly need a heronry counter - volunteer? The aim is to record the number of occupied heron's nests at as many sites as possible every year. Herons breed early and the nests can be seen before the leaves come out on the trees. A best estimate of number of nests is added to the data base. The results of the counts are recorded on a special card issued by BTO.
If you would like to become Worcestershire's official heronry counter please get in touch with me as soon as possible.
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