It's been a very busy spring and summer over at Beckingham and one of our best yet for several bird species. With the season now coming to an end, here is a summary of how our birds have done....
Lapwing - 2017 has seen the highest number of pairs ever on site, with a total of 14 making breeding attempts. They have so far successfully fledged 10 young, but we are still awaiting some late broods, so we hope this total will go up by the end of the season. A 1000 strong flock of large gulls that took up residence on site earlier in the year had undoubtedly predated some eggs and young, but the lapwings seem to have done very well in getting into double figures of young fledged.
Lapwing - Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)
Redshank - three pairs were present on site, with two making breeding attempts. The first pair, at the eastern end of the site, have now been successful - although we are yet to confirm exactly how many young they have hiding in there! There is also a second late nesting attempt going on at the moment, so we have our fingers crossed for these as well. This is the second year of successful redshank breeding at Beckingham and bodes very well for the future.
Redshank - Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)
Curlew - for the first time ever, we had a curlew breeding attempt in 2017. The nest was unfortunately unsuccessful, predated at the egg stage, but at least the attempt is a positive step in the right direction. We continue to try and improve the habitat for curlew on site, so hope to see a successful attempt in the future.
Curlew - Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)
Tree sparrow - 2017 has already been the most successful year for this species on site and they aren't even finished yet! So far, 280 young have fledged from around 25 pairs and there are still some third broods left to go. This is all thanks to our tree sparrow nest box monitoring volunteer, Chris, who puts a huge amount of effort into researching our tree sparrow population on site.
Tree sparrow - Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)
Breeding wildfowl - mallard have again been successful with several broods and at least three pairs of shoveler have bred, another record number, with approaching 20 young fledged - impressive!
Shoveler - Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)
A great year indeed and with the wet grassland habitat looking better and better all the time, here's to 2018 and beyond for our breeding birds!
Our hay meadow development areas are looking nice too, with small numbers of wildflowers starting to show themselves. The really good news is that we have now recorded around 75% of the plant species that we sowed - a real positive start. A few painted lady records have been welcomed on site this year and we were very pleased to record an insect first for the site in mid-July....a garden tiger moth, found hiding in some grass on the most dreary and grey day of the month, it certainly brightened the place up!
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