Category Archives: survey

New birds on the reserve

Five new species of birds were seen on the Etton Maxey Reserve during 2019, according to a fascinating survey report completed by Langdyke’s Bob Titman.

They included Great (white) Egret, a Purple Heron, Hen Harrier, Common Stonechat and a Common Raven.

Purple Heron. Photo: Brian Lawrence

According to Bob’s records none of them have been spotted at the reserve before.

He recorded a total of 122 different species during his visits in the year.

Other notable sightings included:

  • A starling murmuration of around 3,000 birds
  • 114 mallard spotted on one occasion
  • 54 northeren shoveler seen at the same time

Although European turtle doves have not built a nest on the reserves there is evidence that they have been breeding just a few hundred metres away from the reserve.

Operation Turtle Dove was also set up to feed and attract them to the site and this was  a big success during the year.

Turtle Doves Photo: Brian Lawrence

There are two reports compiled by Bob on the website under the science and surveys section of our site.
They are:  breeding birds survey here  and waders at Etton Maxey here

  • There were also reports of a 30,000 starling murmuration over the reserve but this does not figure in Bob’s eyewitness report

Autumn ladies tresses survey

The autumn ladies tresses at Swaddywell are an important part  of Swaddywell, writes Jean Stowe.

We have been keeping an eye on them for fouryears. The species is rare in our area, but much more common in the south of England.

Our recent survey findings are now on this website under the science and surveys section here

Heath Road flora survey report

 

Jean Stowe reports that a  project undertaken in early August by the Western Reserves group was timely for the Trust’s 20th Anniversary.

Chris Topper had a list of flowers and grasses found in Heath Road, dating from before 1999. The time of year of the survey wasn’t stated. Revisiting the same stretch of road, from the cross roads in the south to the water station further north (nearer Helpston village) permitted changes in the biodiversity to be assessed.

The results were encouraging. The pre-1999 list consisted of 140 species. In 2019 all but 27 species were refound. To balance this there were about 17 new records. This means that the shortfall over 20 years was about 10 species. Given factors such as timing of the two surveys, this seems very little indeed.

Full details of the survey can be found in the surveys area of this website here