Well I’ve now completed my more formal bird surveys for the year to enable Warwickshire Wildlife Trust to build a data base but will continue to watch during my times in the Cutting.
Today had a few surprises including a couple of Muntjac deer, a stoat having a rabbit for breakfast, a shrew, a vole, a fox, and most surprising of all what I can only assume was an escapee hamster dashing across the path! Just shows what a rich wildlife environment there is – add lots of different butterflies and moths, frogs and toads and loads more insects and it really is a fascinating place to be. And of course the flora is very diverse this time of year especially on the grasslands the volunteers work so hard to maintain.
The survey list since April has:
Black headed Gull, Blue Tit, Blackbird, Blackcap, Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Crow, Collared Dove, Dunnock, Feral Pigeon, Garden Warbler, Goldfinch Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Tit, Green Finch, Green Woodpecker, Jackdaw, Jay, Kestrel, Linnet Long-tailed Tit, Magpie, Mallard, Moorhen,Robin, Rook, Song Thrush, Skylark, Sparrowhawk, Starling, Swallow, Swift, Treecreeper, Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Willow Tit, Woodpigeon, Wren, Yellowhammer – 40 different species with others seen during the year taking the total to 71 so far and as ever I’m sure some have not been recorded.
If you have any more sightings please let us know.
We now have re-opened substantial amounts of grassland – probably as much as we will be able to continue to manage in the foreseeable future. Although the larger species rich grasslands are south of Ashlawn Bridge there are other important areas in other parts of the reserve especially between Hillmorton Road and Pytchley Bridge. We need to keep the corridor between these grasslands reasonably open to promote movement of species and so recent widening and glade enlargement has been undertaken between Pytchley and Ashlawn. A concern is the quantity of the grasslands that we have got. A gradual change over the years has meant that we have lost quite large numbers of species, both plants and invertebrates due to enrichment Grassland has to be worked quite hard to prevent this and the consequent changes taking place. We are beginning to address the problems of re-invasion by scrub and brambles by using spot applications of herbicide. But more of this needs to be done. The task of raking off is not always completed.