Sunday, 30 January 2011

Big Garden Birdwatch

Did the Garden Birdwatch from the new birdhide today, the hardest bit was counting as there were so many birds, mainly tits but a few other interesting ones too. For 1 hour you count the maximum number of birds of the same species seen at any one time, the results are;
Great Tit-6
Blue Tit-5
Blackbird-3
Coal Tit-2
Chaffinch-2
Nuthatch-2
Great Spotted Woodpecker-1
Marsh Tit-1
Robin-1
Long Tailed Tit-1
Treecreeper-1
Brambling-1

I am really pleased with the results as the hide/feeding station has only been in place for a couple of weeks.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Car trial

Tha annual Clee Hill Trial took place today on the Edge. Its one day a year on which road cars, with road tyres attempt to climb some of the steeper tracks in the woods. It was a cold day but generally the weather was pretty good, a little overnight rain made the hills a little greasy offering a good challenge.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Bird Hide

The bird hide can be found by parking at the Presthope car park and following the waymarked 'limekiln' walk, after passing the limekilns the hide is situated 20 metres further on, on the right hand side of the footpath.



Nordic Walking

The two Nordic Walking sessions being held on 12th February are now full, the response to these events has been brilliant. There still seem to be plenty of people who are interested in trying out this great excercise activity so we are holding another couple of sessions on Saturday 5th March. There are just 3 places left on the 10am session but the afternoon session beginning at 1pm has plenty of places available.  The cost remains at just £6 and pole hire is included. Booking is essential and can be done either by ringing Chris on 07948072075 or e-mailing chris.dunkerley@nationaltrust.org.uk.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Nearly there!

With the help of Shrewsbury Schools Ornithology Group we got the sides on the bird hide, Radio Shropshires Kate Tebby came to record the event. We used offcuts from some recent sawmilling to clad the hide, it is satisfying using up what would otherwise be wasted. All the hammering and chainsawing didn't deter the birds that have already found the feeding station, Nuthatch and a large Tit flock were present for most of the afternoon and a Sparrowhawk and Great Spotted Woodpecker were heard nearby.
The recording will be played on Radio Shropshire on Saturday morning between 8am and 9am.
We just need to get the roof on tomorrow and then it can be used by everyone from dedicated bird watchers to casual observers who are out for a walk.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

We can feed but we can't hide

With the help of our regular volunteers we made good progress on the bird hide today.




We dug holes for the bench, fitted a shelf so that people can put their binoculars, flask or sandwiches down.







We also dug a hole for the feeding pole through very rocky ground, once the pole was in position the feeders were put up. These ones hold peanuts and black sunflower seed. Within an hour birds were starting to visit, among the first were Nuthatch, Marsh Tit and Blue Tit. A Nyjer seed feeder will be put up shortly, this will hopefully attract Finches.







So the birds are happy, now we just need to make the hide waterproof so that people can enjoy watching them, its not always as sunny as today was on Wenlock Edge.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Bird ringing

Had a great day on Saturday, Stuart and Linda from Chelmarsh Bird Ringers came up on the Edge to do some ringing.
Mist nets were erected near to some feeders, birds then whilst arriving at, or departing the feeders fly into the nets as they can not see them. The nets are specially designed and cause no harm to the birds, every few minutes the birds that had been caught were carefully extracted from the net.
Nuthatch with ring clearly visible.



Birds were then weighed to find out what condition they were in, their wings were measured to find out if they were male or female and a ring was attached to their legs.
All data was recorded, the rings have a unique number and so allows their movements to be tracked, if they are caught again somewhere else the ringer will be able to find out where and when it was ringed. This helps us to understand their movements better.
Some of the birds caught on Saturday had been ringed here about 6 weeks ago and strangely many of the birds have put weight on since then. This came as a surprise considering the bad weather we have experienced.




Male Great Spotted Woodpecker
 A couple of the birds were previously ringed on Wenlock Edge before they had fledged from some of our nestboxes, its lovely to see proof that some of these birds have definately survived.


There were 55 birds ringed in total, species included;
Nuthatch,
Great Spotted Woodpecker,
Marsh Tit,
Great Tit,
Blue Tit,
Robin,
Blackbird.





When i get round to finishing the bird hide and feeding station, i hope that this activity will be done so that members of the public can see it, its great for adults as well as kids.
The bird hide may be completed in the next few weeks, watch this space!














Another Male Great Spotted Woodpecker
Marsh Tit