Bird interest at Beckingham throughout January remains with the wintering wildfowl and gulls. 250 wigeon are still grazing the wet grassland fields and smaller numbers of teal, mallard, gadwall and shoveler are present. Grazed areas on the wet fields are now very noticeable and bode well for the approaching breeding season. Large numbers of grazing wildfowl help to get the grassland into good condition for breeding waders, most importantly lapwing, creating a nice short sward, perfect for nesting!
Both common and Jack snipe are have been seen throughout the winter, with numbers of common snipe remaining very high. Up to 200 lapwing are utilising the wet fields and numbers of mixed gulls are fluctuating between 50 – 300. Mixed finch flocks and tree sparrows continue to do well, with large numbers of up to 50 feeding around the Willow Works area.
Habitat management work dominates the work party volunteer's schedule at the moment. We are laying a hedge at the north western end of the site, along Old Trent Road. This stretch of hedge is old and in poor condition, making laying the ideal option for rejuvenating it. The section completed last winter looks great, so we have high hopes for the rest of it to follow. When completed, the hedge will thicken up nicely, producing a great corridor of habitat for birds, mammals, invertebrates and more, linking other lengths of hedgerow that border the reserve.
Hedge laying along Old Trent Road starting to take shape.
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