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.
The Annual Public meeting on 17th February 2020 heard the results of 2019 surveys, which indicated breeding Lapwing and Curlew numbers continue to decline.
The surveys will be continued in 2020 (to be involved see details of the bird group meeting at the top of this page, or contact Leo Smith – details below).
The Bird Group may be contacted by e-mailing UOWG@shropscwgs.org.uk.
Curlew & 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.
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 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.
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.
Submit Your Sightings
Our formal surveys have had to be suspended due to Coronavirus restrictions but Curlew sightings are still needed to allow us to continue developing our understanding of the Curlew population in Shropshire. If you do see a Curlew please use the form below to send us this important information.
Nest Box Schemes
The Bird Group runs 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.
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 boxes for small woodland birds if you have suitable locations in which to site them.
News & Activities
The Upper Onny Community Wildlife Group received 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