Monday, 4 November 2013

What to monitor

Today I contemplated  next years nesting season. It might only be November but my season starts mid February, only 13 weeks away and I was bored at work! The season could be even earlier if it's mild allowing me to possibly get my first Collared Doves etc.

I don't have a single species study area, I record what I can, where I can, when I can. I started to think about what would be the most useful results for conservation so I began to think about the Red and Amber listed species. Starting off at Stithians there were no surprises. 4 Red listed species including Marsh Tit for which I am currently putting together a specific nest box scheme for, 2 species on the water are Amber listed and two in the bushes.

Stithians "at risk" species

Marsh Tit
Song Thrush
House Sparrow
Little Grebe
Willow Warbler

Far more worrying is the coastal site. Now, I know seabirds are in trouble, most of us do. Long lived, small clutches and high failure rate being some of the causes. I say worrying, out of all our seabirds only Cormorant is Green listed with Arctic Skua becoming the first bird to drop from Green straight to  Red. Those "seagulls" that sit on rooftops that certain individuals in the County want to cull sit there at the top- Red listed. All the other species below breed within 6 miles of my house. Is it now time I placed more effort into monitoring seabirds on the coast rather than Coot's etc on my own reserve at Stithians. I have a few weeks to think about it and the BTO are grateful for any nest records but I have  to admit - I find myself increasingly drawn to the noise of sea bird colonies.

Herring Gull
LBB Gull
GBB Gull
Oystercatcher and

For a full insight into the status of all British birds click on the link below

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