Bird Survey Season - by Monitoring Officer Jonathan Groom

Tuesday 13th March 2018

Despite all the snow in early March, Spring is here and this means that the birds are getting active. We have significant bird interest across our reserves with nearly 40 breeding species of UK Red or Amber-listed birds. This includes such charismatic species as cuckoo, curlew and lapwing.

So this April, Monitoring Officer Jonathan Groom and lots of enthusiastic volunteers will be heading out into the field to collect vital data on the breeding birds on our reserves. This will vary from general surveys looking at the variety of species and what areas they are using, to specific targeted surveys for particular species such Willow tit and wading birds which are already underway.

We have a huge variety of sites from the extensive wetlands of Doxey with a fantastic network of volunteers and recorders that have been supplying us with records for many years now, to the remote upland woodlands of Castern Wood, where we have little data due to its remoteness.

One our newer reserves is Gentleshaw Common, an important lowland heath site, which was kindly surveyed by the West Midlands Bird Club in 2017 as part of the wider Cannock Chase Bird Survey (you can read more about this here http://www.westmidlandbirdclub.org.uk). The Trust is very grateful for this work and it has given us a great baseline of data. We now aim to follow this up with continued annual surveys of the key species of this wonderful habitat.

Another reserve that is of huge importance to a number of rare birds is Tucklesholme, a former quarry now undergoing the first stages of its redevelopment into a nature reserve. It will be really interesting to see how this site progresses over the next few years.

Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter to hear more about upcoming sightings and progress with all of these exciting surveys!