Todwick Environment: Wild Birds
Brian Chambers, a member of SK58 Birders, writes articles about wild birds in Todwick.
SK58 Birders is a local birding group that meets monthly in the upper rooms at The Loyal Trooper, South Anston.
We have over 60 members; club nights always include a slide-illustrated talk and a report on local bird sightings. New members are always most welcome.
For further information please contact Brian Chambers, 01909 770816 or visit: www.sk58birders.com
SK58 Birders – March 2019
The next meeting of SK58 Birders Group is at the “Loyal Trooper” on Wednesday, 27th March 2019. Regular guest speaker, Pete Brown, will present a talk entitled “Freebird”, this records his exploits either on foot or by using public transport to access sites.
Locally 65 trees have been planted alongside the wall footpath leading from Todwick to South Anston, these help to replace the ones accidentally destroyed last year due to some over-enthusiastic tidying operation. Some of the former planting still survives, hopefully these efforts will provide some good cover, nesting sites and food for our local birds.
A nesting platform has been placed on the parapet at the base of the spire of South Anston Church. Peregrine Falcon use these types of site around the country so hopefully a pair will take up residence here and add to the variety of bird life in our area.
Locally a Little Egret, a white bird similar but smaller than a Heron, has been recorded at Kiveton Woodlands and on Tommy Flockton’s Marsh. These birds are becoming increasingly common in our region as the climate changes, there must be a chance of them breeding in our region before too long.
Whooper Swan, an arctic breeding bird, have been recorded flying northwards over Kiveton Woodlands at the end of February. Flocks of 35 and 45 birds were seen.
There are numerous flocks of Greylag Goose around the area, many more than in previous years, they are the wild equivalent of the farmyard Goose. 20+ have been recorded at Carlton Lake and Hewett Arms fishing ponds at Shireoaks, with birds also present at Langold Lake.
Water Rail is a bird of the Moorhen family, similar size but with a longer red bill, a pair is present in the reed beds by the green bridge on Kiveton Woodlands. They are rarely seen but at this time of year their pig-like squeal call can be heard.
Also near this bridge a Willow Tit has been recorded, a typical Tit with a black head, very similar to Marsh Tit but much less common. This species is in serious decline, none were recorded last year in the SK58 area. We always had a pair in our garden up till about 5 years ago, but they have disappeared despite the same food being available.
If you like to watch Barn Owl hunting then birds are now being seen around dusk at the Dinnington Woodlands site, the old pit site, and around the Tarmac quarry opposite Anston Stones Wood.
Migrant birds will soon be back. A few chiffchaff have been calling although some may have been over-wintering here instead of migrating back to Africa. So, look out for the first House Martin, Swallow, Blackcap and Willow Warbler on your local rambles.
Continue to 2018 reports.