Bird Survey as of 15th January 2021 by Trevor Morgan
We have been conducting a bird survey, mostly weekly, since 19th April 2018. We have been counting the number of birds of the species that we have seen. Three areas have been surveyed – Darrick Wood and Meadow, Newstead Wood and Meadow and Darrick Wood Hornbeam area/Broadwater Wood.
It should be noted that this is not a scientific survey and bird numbers cannot be accurate as birds are very mobile. We have only recorded species which we can positively identify by sight. But in the case of the Tawny Owl we are identifying it by the sound of its call.
We have been continuing just as monthly surveys from last year and this will continue.
During the last quarter of 2020 we have not seen or heard any new species. However, we are seeing Jay’s more often and sometimes in company of one another. We, therefore, conclude that Jays are definitely resident in the woods.
2020 along with 2016 was the warmest years in official records and some of the months were our driest. By early August, the large pond near Lovibonds Avenue had completely dried out.
This winter has been exceptionally wet so far and the ponds are now full to the brim.
The few cold spells that we have had have seen the arrival of Redwings and we observed a flock of them in December. We have also been hearing Green Woodpeckers but not seeing them. This year we have not seen any Fieldfare but another cold spell could see them arriving.
Every time my wife and I have walked through the reserve after dusk we have heard Tawny owls, so I think it is safe to say they are resident.
A list of bird species seen or heard and recorded on the official monthly survey is shown below (40+ Species):
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Long Tailed Tit
House/ Tree Sparrow (difficult to distinguish between the two species from a distance)
Ring Necked Parakeet
Common Redstart (06 November)
A Warbler species not a Blackcap (06 November) possibly a Chiffchaff
Goldcrest (20 November 2018)
Collared Dove (20 November 2018)
Common Gull (26 November 2018)
Domestic Pigeon (26 November 2018) pure white): this is the same species as the feral pigeon.
Feral Pigeon (same species as the domestic pigeon)
Chaffinch (26 November 2018)
Black Headed Gull
Tawny Owl (heard only)
Goldfinch (15 Feb 2019)
Coal Tit (20 Feb 2019)
Birds heard on survey but not positively identified by sight (2)
Black caps – can easily be confused by song with the garden warbler.
Chiffchaff – warbler family
Other birds reported as seen or heard by members but not recorded on survey (7 Species).
NB, some members are better at identifying birds by call rather than sight. Also, some bird species such as starlings and jackdaws are capable of mimicking other bird species to the confusion of humans and the mimicked species.
Buzzard – Photo Member’s article in News Letter
Black Caps – heard
Possible sighting of Black Cap on Darrick Wood meadow during survey – too fast for positive identification.
Grey Wagtail – 03October 2020
Not seen on Bird Survey but expected (3 species)