UOWG Bird Group

Bird Group Meeting

The  next meeting of the Bird Group is on 12th March 2018 (7.30 p.m., The Crown, Wentnor) and will primarily concern plans for the 2018 Curlew and Lapwing surveys; full details of the meeting can be found here  UOWG Bird Group Meeting 12 March 2018 More details of the surveys are given below.

Members of the Group also contribute to surveys of Red Grouse, Red Kite, House Martins and Swifts in the Upper Onny Wildlife Group area. For details of any of these please contact the Group via e-mail UOWG@shropscwgs.org.uk

Bird Walk 2018

The 2018 heathland bird walk is on 6th May; meet at the Stiperstones NNR car park at 9.30 a.m. A poster for the event can be found here; please print off and place on suitable noticeboards. Scroll down for a report on the 2017 walk.

Upper Onny Wildlife Group Bird Group

Long-eared owl photographed by Pat Holbourn during her curlew and lapwing survey April 2014

Tawny owl photographed by Pat Holbourn during her curlew and lapwing survey April 2014

The Bird Group of the Upper Onny Wildlife Group has been working to record and protect the birds of the area since 2003 and has focused on Lapwing and Curlew as nationally declining species with local populations (see separate page on Project Results for details).

The Annual Public meeting on 20th  February 2018 heard the results of 2017 surveys, which indicated breeding Lapwing and Curlew numbers continue to decline. Full results for 2017 and previous years are on the Project Results page. The surveys will be continued in 2018 (to be involved see details of the bird group meeting at the top of this page, or contact Leo Smith – details below).

To continue this important work an appeal has been launched by UOWG – see the Curlew Appeal Page.

The Bird Group may be contacted by e-mailing UOWG@shropscwgs.org.uk

Curlew and Lapwing Surveys

Bird surveys are co-ordinated by Leo Smith. If you would like to become involved contact Leo on 01694 720296 or e-mail UOWG@shropscwgs.org.uk. Surveyors choose or are allocated a tetrad (2km by 2km grid square) that is visited for at least 45 minutes on three  occasions during the spring. Records of seen or heard Curlew and Lapwing are marked on a provided map. Other species of interest, such as Skylark, Red Kite and Kestrel can also be recorded.

Nesting Lapwing can be difficult to spot without disturbing the birds. The Lapwing in the centre of the photograph is sitting on a nest; two days later two chicks hatched. Photograph copyright Mike Sillence.

Nesting Lapwing can be difficult to spot without disturbing the birds. The Lapwing in the centre of the photograph is sitting on a nest; two days later two chicks hatched. Photograph copyright Mike Sillence.

You will need binoculars (or telescope) to spot nesting birds without disturbing them – test your ability to spot a nesting lapwing in the photograph!

The two photographs below are of a curlew nest found by Jon Kean in April 2014. UOWG emphasises that this nest was discovered fortuitously, and we do not encourage recorders to approach nests in case the birds are disturbed and to avoid trampling crops (including grass) on private land.

Curlew nest April 2014. Image copyright Jon Kean.

Curlew nest April 2014. Image copyright Jon Kean.

Curlew eggs April 2014 Image copyright Jon Kean.

Curlew eggs April 2014 Image copyright Jon Kean.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are also trying to note (from a distance) fields with Curlew nests to assess breeding success (e.g. eggs laid, young hatched, etc.) or the reasons for any losses. If you know of a field with a Curlew nest in the 2017 breeding season please contact the Bird Group via the e-mail UOWG@shropscwgs.org.uk

Bird Walk 2017

A report of the 2017 walk on The Stiperstones led by Leo Smith (UOWG) and Simon Cooter (Natural England) is available here. In summary, 32 bird species were seen: Blackbird, Blue tit, Buzzard, Carrion crow, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Coal tit, Cuckoo, Dunnock, Goldcrest, Green woodpecker, Jackdaw, Kestrel, Linnet, Meadow Pipit, Mistle thrush, Pheasant, Pied wagtail, Raven, Red grouse, Red kite, Reed bunting, Robin, Skylark, Stock dove, Stonechat, Swallow, Tree pipit, Wheatear, Whitethroat, Willow warbler and Wren.

The 2018 heathland bird walk is on 6th May; meet at the Stiperstones NNR car park at 9.30 a.m. A poster is available here.

Nest Box Schemes

The Bird Group run nest box schemes for several target species such as Dipper and Barn Owl, as well as small woodland birds. Dipper boxes need to be near suitable streams and rivers; Barn Owl boxes need to be in or on suitable farm buildings or isolated trees, with rough grassland for their prey (mainly voles) nearby. Results of the nest box schemes to date are on the separate Project Results page.

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Great Tit in nest box provided by UOWG. Image copyright Tom Perkins

If you have suitable sites for nest boxes, or would like advice on construction, siting etc. please e-mail UOWG@shropscwgs.org.uk which can provide up to ten free boxes for small woodland birds if you have suitable locations in which to site them.

 

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Pied Flycatcher at nest box provided by UOWG. Image copyright Tom Perkins.

 Bird Group visit to the Wirral

A short report on the 2015 bird-watching trip to the Wirral, when 58 species were seen, can be found here. The two photographs from the trip were taken by Geoff Taylor.

Burton Mere. Photograph copyright Geoff Taylor (www,geofftaylorphotography.com)

Burton Mere. Photograph copyright Geoff Taylor (www,geofftaylorphotography.com)

Sunset from Parkgate. Photograph copyright Geoff Taylor (www.geofftaylorphotography.com)

Sunset from Parkgate. Photograph copyright Geoff Taylor (www.geofftaylorphotography.com)

 

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The Upper Onny Wildlife Group receives financial support from the Stiperstones & Corndon Hill Country Landscape Partnership Scheme, which is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The lead organisation for the Scheme is the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership, and the Scheme is hosted by Shropshire Council. Please see www.stiperstonesandcorndon.co.uk

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Page updated: 22/02/2018 by RWS