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November 2011 Pierrepont bird species survey

by Brian Lavers

Five of the six ‘sections’ of the third and final 2011 Pierrepont bird species survey were completed on 22 November before bad light caused the four enthusiasts conducting the survey to reluctantly throw in the towel. The sixth and final section, the one covering Silvergate, was eventually completed on 17 December and thus concluded the last of 2011’s three surveys. Five full years of such surveys have therefore now been completed

No very great surprises this time but we did manage to record our first teal and marsh/willow tit, bringing the total species count over the past five years to 74.

Plenty of redwing and fieldfare over the section through the fields — which should indicate a cold spell but this time clearly doesn’t — and a notable absence of the large chaffinch flocks seen during previous November surveys. A total of three song thrushes, all singing full tilt, which lifted the November gloom.

The Wey Wood absolutely alive with birds (a total of 24 separate species seen and/or heard) but far fewer along the longer Tankersford Wood section which is probably a fair reflection of the liking for more mature trees, oaks in particular. And whatever it is that woodpigeons like it is obvious that Pierrepont provides plenty of it!

As noted previously, our surveys at the farm have now accumulated five years of data and we are reaching the point where deeper pondering should begin to reveal some trends, albeit tentative. Watch this space.

Webmaster’s note: although Brian has supplied this article, the actual numbers of birds have not yet been forthcoming — as soon as they are available they will be added to the survey results and a note to this effect will be posted here.

Update 6th January 2012
The figures have now been added to the table of survey results.

The survey on 22nd November was carried out between 1015 and 1530 hours. The weather was very overcast throughout, apart from a brief brighter period during the early afternoon. Higher than seasonal average temperature. No rain.

The survey on 17th December was conducted between 1045 and 1200 hours. The weather was cold with sunshine throughout.