Saturday, 29 December 2012

2012 bird review

Well 2012 was a poor year for breeding birds across the country and Wenlock Edge was no different. All through Spring we had a couple of days of mild weather followed by cool wet weather, this left many young birds on the verge of fledging, cold and in a lot of cases dead, also many eggs didn't even hatch.  About 150 nest boxes are regularly checked throughout the breeeding season and the young birds are fitted with a unique leg ring so that if found in the future we can find out about their movements around the country and beyond.
The results from this year are as follows.
Nest boxes used            62
Eggs laid                       431
Eggs hatched                342
Birds fledged                293

The majority of the boxes were used by Great Tits and Blue Tits but there were some notable exceptions, the numbers below are all for fledged birds.
19 Pied Flycatcher (up from 5 last year)
6 Redstart
6 Nuthatch

There would also have been a brood of Marsh Tits but a Grey Squirrel predated the nest box just before they fledged.
We are hoping for better weather next year for many reasons.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Protect Wenlock Edge

The National Trust has taken the exceptional step of campaigning against a retrospective planning application for timber storage and wood chip production at Lea Quarry North because of the importance of the quarry to Wenlock Edge and the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
 
Please help protect a special part of Shropshire countryside on Wenlock Edge. Sign our petition > http://bit.ly/savewenlock

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

December bird sightings

The feeders at the bird hide are very busy at the moment with the recent cold weather bringing more birds in for an easy meal. Regular visitors at the moment are;
Marsh Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch, Robin, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Blackbird, Dunnock, Wren, Sparrowhawk also visit for a quick meal from time to time.

Male Great Spotted Woopecker.

Other birds being seen elsewhere on the Edge are;
Buzzard, Jay, Treecreeper, Fieldfare, Redwing, Carrion Crow, Kestrel, Magpie, Wood Pigeon, Goldfinch.

Eurasian Treecreeper
Treecreeper

A Red Kite was also spotted today passing the Wenlock Edge Inn.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

railway cut backs

If you have been along the dismantled railway line in Easthope wood recently you may have noticed that it is looking a little different. We have been coppicing along the edges and felling trees to allow more light in, this will benefit both wildlife and recreational users. The bridleway is now much lighter and therefore more pleasant to travel along, this will also prove beneficial to butterflies next summer (if we get one). The job is also producing some firewood and hedgelaying stakes. There is a bit of tidying up to do including burning the brash, this may keep the volunteers busy for a few weeks!

 
A view has also been created, looking towards Caer Caradoc hill, this is how it looked as the sun set this afternoon.