Thursday, 29 March 2018

Friday March 16th to Thursday March 29th

2018 Spring BioBlitz

Friday May 4th to Sunday May 6th sees our third annual Spring BioBlitz. Please see the below poster for details. We hope to see you all there!
 

Quarry Life Awards

You can follow our progress in the Quarry Life Awards on our dedicated blog.


Reporting Breeding Schedule 1 Species

As we now approach breeding season, please remember that it is a criminal offence to intentionally disturb potentially breeding Schedule 1 Species on or near the nest.

From March 22nd, no more potentially breeding Schedule 1 Species should be reported publicly.

PLEASE do still report privately to us via email, Facebook message or Twitter direct message, so we can collate the records.

Our updated Bird Reporting Policy can be seen here.

These rules are in place for the interests of the birds.


Friday 16th March

Richard Seargent reported a (probable) Scaup, 30+ Wigeon, 9 Tufted Duck, 16 Gadwall and 5 Shoveler this afternoon.
(c) Richard Seargent - Siskin
(c) Richard Seargent - Siskin
(c) Daniel Cook - Chaffinch
(c) Daniel Cook - Chaffinch


Saturday 17th March

Richard Seargent reported a Little Ringed Plover, a Great-crested Grebe, 50+ Wigeon, 20+ Teal, 15+ Gadwall, 8 Shoveler, 15+ Tufted Duck, 3 Pochard, a Caspian Gull (2cy) and 4 Sand Martin this afternoon.

Caspian Gull is the 97th species of bird recorded in 2018.

This is only the 8th recorded sighting of Caspian Gull on site.

Our volunteers augered the holes in our new waymarker posts this morning, ready to erect along the route of our Biodiversity Trail.

(c) Steve Minhinnick - Hardcore Birding
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Not the Russian Front
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Wintery Meadow
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Steve Augering the Waymarker Posts


Sunday 18th March

Richard Seargent reported a Little Ringed Plover, 2 Green Sandpiper and 2 Snipe this morning.

In addition, Kevin Duncan reported a Goldeneye this afternoon.

Goldeneye is the 98th species of bird recorded in 2018.

This is only the 3rd recorded sighting of Goldeneye on site, and the 1st since 01/12/15.

(c) Richard Seargent - Cormorants
(c) Richard Seargent - Siskin
(c) Richard Seargent - Snowy Scene
(c) Richard Seargent - Snowy Scene
(c) Richard Seargent - Cattle
(c) Richard Seargent - Collared Dove
(c) Richard Seargent - Song Thrush


Monday 19th March

Leonard Winchcombe reported a Treecreeper this morning.

In addition, Richard Bavin reported a Little Egret this afternoon.

(c) Paul Mannering - Canada Goose
(c) Paul Mannering - Foxes
(c) Paul Mannering - Kestrel
(c) Paul Mannering - Meadow Pipit
(c) Paul Mannering - Red Kite
(c) Paul Mannering - Robin
(c) Paul Mannering - Stonechat
(c) Paul Mannering - Stonechat
(c) Amanda Jane Smith - Siskin
(c) Amanda Jane Smith - Snowy Scene
(c) Amanda Jane Smith - Snowy Scene
(c) Anthony George - Great Tit
(c) Anthony George - Green Woodpecker
(c) Anthony George - Greenfinches
(c) Anthony George - Siskin
(c) Anthony George - Sparrowhawk


Tuesday 20th March

No reports.


Wednesday 21st March

Richard Horton reported 2 Shelduck this afternoon.

Shelduck is the 99th species of bird recorded in 2018.

This is the first reported sighting of Shelduck on site since March 20th 2017.


Thursday 22nd March

Murray Nurse reported a Water Rail, 28 Gadwall, 17 Wigeon and 33 Shoveler today.

In addition, Jort Brough reported a Chiffchaff and 2 Red Kite this morning.

Our volunteers started work on the nest box for our Swift Tower today. The box will house 11 pairs of Swifts, be mounted on an 8m pole and form the centrepiece to our Quarry Life Award competition entry.

(c) Mark Elsoffer - The Raw Materials
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Swift Nesting Box Takes Shape
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Hold Tight Oli
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Steve's Chopper
(c) Mark Elsoffer - The Nesting Cups Ready for Chopping


Friday 23rd March

Trevor Birkett reported a Green Sandpiper this morning.

(c) Paul Mannering - Duelling Mallards
(c) Paul Mannering - Duelling Mallards
(c) Paul Mannering - Goldfinch & Siskin
(c) Paul Mannering - Chaffinch
(c) Paul Mannering - Mute Swan


Saturday 24th March

Richard Seargent reported a Green Sandpiper, 4 Snipe, a Little Egret, a Rook and a Brambling today.

In addition, Dave Baker reported a Chiffchaff today.

Rook is the 100th species of bird recorded in 2018.

This is only the 12th recorded sighting of Brambling on site, but the 2nd this year.

Dave Baker reported a new species for the site today: Spindle Smudge (Ypsolopha mucronella).

(c) Dave Baker - Spindle Smudge
13 dedicated volunteers spent the whole day on site working on our Quarry Life Award competition entry - the Tice's Meadow Biodiversity Trail. With a lot of help from Anthony George, and PC Landscapes (who kindly lent us their Avant), we managed to:
  • Rotavate the Bells Piece Wildflower Meadow.
  • Install 13 waymarkes posts along the trail.
  • Install 2 new oak benches.
  • Install 2 rustic log benches - carved by Dave Baker from logs donated by Advanced Tree Services.
  • Spread a large amount of woodchips along the footpath from the main entrance to the Low Lane entrance.
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Anthony Arriving
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Mooove Out of the Way
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Rotavating the Bells Piece Wildflower Meadow
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Bells Piece Wildflower Meadow

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Augering Hole for Waymarker Post
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Augering Hole for Bench
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Dave Carving a Rustic Log Bench
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Moving Around Site
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Log Bench Placed by Dragonfly Pond
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Dropping off the Waymarker Posts
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Finished Waymarker Post
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Unloading the Benches
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Silt Pond Bench Installed
(c) Mark Elsoffer - River Bench Installed
(c) Mark Elsoffer -Freshly Laid Woodchips
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Thank You Anthony & PC Landscapes

We also celebrated the 70th birthday of Lord Leonard Winchcombe today. Len is a real conservation hero. He spends more time on site working on habitat management tasks than any other person. He is always welcoming to new visitors, and is truly deserving of his new title.

(c) Mark Elsoffer - A Cake Fit For a Lord
(c) Mark Elsoffer - A Certified Lord
(c) Mark Elsoffer - The Birthday Boy


Sunday 25th March

Richard Seargent reported a Common Sandpiper, a Green Sandpiper, 3 Lapwing, a Ruddy Shelduck (probable escapee) and 3 Chiffchaff this morning.

In addition, Murray Nurse reported a Mediterranean Gull, 2 Sand Martin and 2 Red Kite today.

(c) Alex Potts - Green Woodpeckers
(c) Richard Seargent - Great Spotted Woodpecker
(c) Richard Seargent - Great Spotted Woodpecker


Monday 26th March

The first butterflies of the spring were reported today. Lyndsay Patterson reported a Brimstone. Murray Nurse reported 2 Brimstones, a Peacock and a probable Small Tortoiseshell.

Kevin Duncan read the ring on the resident female Mute Swan (resident since 2014) - W35984. Ringed on 13/04/13 as a 3 year old at Fleet Pond, Hampshire.


Tuesday 27th March

Kevin Duncan reported a Kittiwake (adult w/p) this afternoon.

In addition, Richard Horton reported 2 Green Sandpiper and a Shelduck this afternoon

In addition, Tony Cummins reported a Little Egret, a Chiffchaff and 2 Red Kite today.

Kittiwake is the 101st species of bird recorded in 2018.

This is only the 4th recorded sighting of Kittiwake on site, the first since 27/05/14

At least 25 frogs were seen spawning in the Dragonfly Pond today - a testament to all the hard work Lord Leonard Winchcombe has put in to opening up and rejuvenating the pond.

(c) Paul Mannering - Frog in the Dragonfly Pond
(c) Paul Mannering - Frogs in the Dragonfly Pond
(c) Paul Mannering - Frog in the Dragonfly Pond
(c) Paul Mannering - Frog in the Dragonfly Pond


Wednesday 28th March

No reports.


Thursday 29th March

A massive thank you to the c15 volunteers who worked on site today clearing bramble and scrub from around the reptile hibernaculars.

The work party was lead by Bobbie from the Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership and included a number of the Blackwater Valley Countryside Trust regular volunteers.

Clearing the bramble allows more light into the reptile areas, providing them with better opportunities for basking in the sun.

Roger Dickey & Mark Cutts inspected all the nest boxes as part of our new nest box monitoring scheme. A number of the boxes held fully built Blue Tit and Great Tit nests already.

Great work everyone!

(c) Mark Elsoffer - View from Horton's Mound
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Our Otter Wey Otter
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Volunteers at Work
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Cleared Reptile Habitat
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Volunteers at Work
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Jim Having Fun
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Roger & Mark Checking Nest Boxes


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