Thursday, 1 January 2009

News for 2009

WeBS counts
I have recently taken over the responsibility of conducting monthly WeBS counts at Earlswood Lakes, and am due to start later this month - this means that I should be posting to this blog at least once a month from now on, though I hope to be able to visit the lakes at least a few times per month.

WMBC Field Meeting
The Solihull Branch of the West Midland Bird Club have organised a field trip to Earlswood this year on Sunday 22nd March, as follows:
Earlswood Lakes and Clowes Wood (SP109739) Meet in the Malthouse Lane car park at 10:00 am. A mixture of broad-leaved woodland and common water species, perhaps early Chiffchaff.
Further information about Solihull Branch field trips can be found here. Birders who are not members of the WMBC are also welcome to attend this trip, I believe.

As you can see, the Birds of Earlswood website has just one page devoted mainly to a systematic list at present. However, I'm hoping to expand the website sometime soon. My plan is to add Earlswood bird photos to the list, add a map showing the boundaries of the Earlswood area, and add a page for birders' Earlswood patch lists.

For some time now I've been considering producing a "Birds of Earlswood" article, partly because one such article in the West Midland Bird Report for 1956 doesn't appear to have been updated. One problem that I'm having at present though is defining the boundaries of Earlswood. In their 1956 "The birds of Earlswood" article, A. Winspear Cundall and John N. Sears mentioned that "the area covered lies about eight miles south of Birmingham and consists of three pools covering 85 acres, about 200 acres of mixed woodland and surrounding farmland and houses". They noted that a considerable amount of detail in their privately produced "A survey of the birds of Earlswood" had to be omitted from the article. I believe this survey will be the key to the success of any future Birds of Earlswood article produced, and I'm hoping that it contains details about the area covered. Sadly, however, the survey seems to be rare and I've found no copies of it in the libraries I've checked, so if anyone knows of the whereabouts of a copy, or could loan or sell me one, I would be very, very grateful to hear from you. My email is

Good 2009 birding,

M.P. Griffiths

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