Friday, 13 September 2019

Earlswood all-dayer - Autumn 2019

The Earlswood autumn all-day birdwatch took place earlier this month, on Saturday 7th, and the team recorded a total of 63 bird species over the course of the day. This was our joint-second highest autumn total, last year's result (when the habitat at the lakes and especially Engine Pool was excellent) being the highest to-date. Previous autumn species totals have been 69 in 2018, 63 in 2017, 57 in 2016 and 56 in 2015.

Despite the fairly high water levels and scarcity of terns at the lakes so far this year, we noted Oystercatcher, Green Sandpiper and Common Tern, which were amongst the most notable species found, along with a fly-over Yellow Wagtail. Also, 13 Shoveler at Engine Pool was a high count for the patch, the most I'd personally seen at the lakes since 13 way back in 2008! A new element of the all-dayer this time was the use of a nocmig recorder by John Oates to detect birds calling as they fly over the area, which might otherwise be missed by observers, particularly at night-time; this picked up Tawny Owl, which was also reported by Yvonne in the evening, but still it was worth a try and will hopefully be used in future all-dayers!

There were a few species which were likely around the patch but missed, including Pheasant, Kestrel, Kingfisher, Skylark, Mistle Thrush, Linnet and Reed Bunting. Unfortunately I had to throw in the towel mid-afternoon, as I got a bad headache; otherwise I'm sure the list would've gone up by a couple at least. ;)

Many thanks to Jon Chidwick, Yvonne Heward, Janet James, Mike Jeeves, John Oates, Tony and Barbara Philp, Jenny Renowden, John Sirrett and Jim Winsper for participating. Many thanks to John Sirrett also for collating the species recorded during the day, the full list was as follows:
  1. Mute Swan
  2. Greylag Goose
  3. Canada Goose
  4. Teal
  5. Mallard
  6. Shoveler
  7. Tufted Duck
  8. Little Grebe
  9. Great Crested Grebe
  10. Cormorant
  11. Grey Heron
  12. Sparrowhawk
  13. Buzzard
  14. Moorhen
  15. Coot
  16. Oystercatcher
  17. Green Sandpiper
  18. Black-headed Gull
  19. Lesser Black-backed Gull
  20. Herring Gull
  21. Common Tern
  22. Feral Pigeon
  23. Stock Dove
  24. Woodpigeon
  25. Collared Dove
  26. Tawny Owl
  27. Swift
  28. Green Woodpecker
  29. Great Spotted Woodpecker
  30. Sand Martin
  31. Swallow
  32. House Martin
  33. Meadow Pipit
  34. Yellow Wagtail
  35. Grey Wagtail
  36. Pied Watail
  37. Wren
  38. Dunnock
  39. Robin
  40. Blackbird
  41. Song Thrush
  42. Blackcap
  43. Chiffchaff
  44. Willow Warbler
  45. Goldcrest
  46. Long-tailed Tit
  47. Blue Tit
  48. Great Tit
  49. Coal Tit
  50. Marsh Tit
  51. Nuthatch
  52. Treecreeper
  53. Jay
  54. Magpie
  55. Jackdaw
  56. Carrion Crow
  57. Raven
  58. Starling
  59. House Sparrow
  60. Chaffinch
  61. Greenfinch
  62. Goldfinch
  63. Bullfinch
It was very nice to have a few drinks with John Sirrett, Jim Winsper and Mike Inskip in the Red Lion at midday, and I think we should make a pub meet a regular part of future all-dayers! :)

Within the West Midlands as a whole, a record-breaking 24 sites participated in the all-dayer on the same day, but Earlswood didn't fare so well from this perspective. Some of the patches are smaller than ours, and I can't help wondering how much better our total might be if our bits of farmland were better for wildlife (no Yellowhammer records so far this year!). Still, as they say, it's the taking part that counts! Well done to all who took part, and thanks to Phil Andrews who has collated the following results:

100 - Belvide Reservoir
  99 - Middleton Lakes
  95 - Branston GP
  92 - Ladywalk
  92 - Grimley
  88 - Sandwell Valley
  84 - Upton Warren
  81 - Chasewater
  77 - Bittell Reservoirs
  74 - Brandon Marsh
  74 - Dairy Farm NR
  73 - Marsh Lane
  72 - Venus Pool
  70 - Salford Priors GP
  69 - Alvecote Pools
  69 - Sutton Park
  66 - Doxey Marsh
  65 - Elmdon Park
  64 - Shustoke Reservoir
  64 - Morton Bagot
  63 - Earlswood
  63 - Whitemoor Haye
  60 - Saltwells / Fens Pool
  55 - Draycote Water

Till next year...