Birds

 

Male Yellowhammer Photo by Mark Walters

Male Yellowhammer
Photo by Mark Walters

 

Gorse Hill Nature Reserve is home to a wide variety of birds, Yellowhammers are one of our star species.  These can be regularly seen in Spring and Summer from the public footpaths.

 

 

 

Reed Bunting Photo by Su Haselton

Reed Bunting
Photo by Su Haselton

 

 

Our diverse habitat attracts and supports these species.  Our wetlands and reed beds are home to birds such as Reed Buntings and Sedge Warblers. Moorhens and Mallards breed on our ponds and hunting Grey Herons are regular visitors.

 

 

 

Blue Tit Photo by Su Haselton

Blue Tit
Photo by Su Haselton

 

 

Woodlands, hedgerows and meadows support many other species from the common little Blue Tits

 

 

 

 

to the magnificent hunting Sparrowhawk

Sparrowhawk on the plucking post Photo by Hamza Yassin

Sparrowhawk on the plucking post
Photo by Hamza Yassin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chiffchaff Photo by Su Haselton

Chiffchaff
Photo by Su Haselton

 

Migrants such as Swallows and Swifts are regular annual spring and summer visitors as are Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers and Whitethroats.  Fieldfare and Redwing arrive in autumn.

Gorse Hill is also close to large wetland Reserves such as Martin Mere (Wildfowl and Wetland Trust) (WWT) and Marshside (The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) (RSPB) which means that in autumn and winter our visitors can watch large skeins of Pink-footed Geese and Whooper Swans fly to and fro between these Reserves and the surrounding farmland feeding grounds, as well as witnessing the annual migration flights; quite a sight to behold.

 

 

Our volunteers and visitors record any wildlife they observe whilst out and about and this, together with our annual Dawn Chorus walk and nest box monitoring builds up a picture of the bird life found on the Reserve.  These sightings are recorded and this valuable snapshot is entered on the British Trust for Ornithology’s (BTO) Bird Track database.

Linnets Photo by Mark Walters

Linnets
Photo by Mark Walters

 

 

The red list species not only include our iconic Yellowhammers but also Linnets, Tree Sparrows and Willow Tits.

 

 

 

 

Tree Sparrow Photo by Su Haselton

Tree Sparrow
Photo by Su Haselton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Willow Tit Photo by Su Haselton

Willow Tit
Photo by Su Haselton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 2017 a total of 66 species were recorded across the Reserve from 1005 individual species recordings by our volunteers and visitors. Of these 66 species 8 are classified as non-resident.

We record our sightings under the Red, Amber and Green list headings.  These classifications are taken from the Birds of Conservation Concern 4 report 2015.

Full records for the Reserve since 2009 are available at the Reserve Information Centre.

RED LIST – ENDANGERED SPECIES 2017 TOTAL 14

Corn Bunting Redwing
Grey Wagtail Skylark
Herring Gull Song Thrush
House Sparrow Starling
Lapwing Tree Sparrow
Linnet Woodcock
Mistle Thrush Yellowhammer

AMBER LIST – AT RISK SPECIES 2017 TOTAL 16

Black Headed Gull Meadow Pipit
Bullfinch Oystercatcher
Common Gull Pink-footed Goose
Dunnock Reed Bunting
House Martin Stock Dove
Kestrel Swift
Lesser Black-backed Gull Tawny Owl
Mallard Willow Warbler

GREEN LIST or not UK classified* in 2017 TOTAL 36

Barn Owl

Blackbird

Jackdaw

Jay

Blackcap Long-tailed Tit
Blue Tit Magpie
Buzzard Moorhen
Canada Goose

Carrion Crow

Pheasant

Pied Wagtail

Chaffinch Raven
Chiffchaff Red-legged Partridge
Coal Tit Robin
Collard Dove Sedge Warbler
Ferral Pigeon Sparrowhawk
Goldcrest Swallow
Goldfinch Treecreeper
Great Spotted Woodpecker Water Rail
Great Tit Whitethroat
Greenfinch Woodpigeon
Grey Heron Wren
 

 

Our iconic species such as Yellowhammers, Tree Sparrows and Skylarks were recorded again in 2017  as were Woodcock.  Whitethroat and Willow Warblers continue to be regular visitors.  Sadly no Willow Tits or were spotted in 2017 whilst our volunteers were out and about.  Corn Bunting and Grey Wagtail were species recorded for the first time in 2016 and were seen again in 2017.

Species observed in 2017 after an absence were:

Barn Owl

Canada Goose

House Martin

Meadow Pipit

Raven

Red-legged Partridge

Sedge Warbler

Water Rail

 

Male Bullfinch Photo by Su Haselton

Male Bullfinch
Photo by Su Haselton

 

 

 

 

 

Dunnock Photo By Mark Walters

Dunnock
Photo By Mark Walters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kestrel Photo By Mark Walters

Kestrel
Photo By Mark Walters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Treecreeper Photo by Mark Walters

Treecreeper
Photo by Mark Walters

 

 

 

A Treecreeper was seen in 2016 (travelling with a flock of Blue and Great Tits) the first sighting since 2013 so we were pleased to record another sighting in 2017.

 

 

 

Little Owl Photo by Su Haselton

Little Owl
Photo by Su Haselton

 

 

 

 

Little Owls were seen in 2016 after a gap of one year but we did not record any sightings in 2017

 

 

 

 

Great Spotted Woodpecker Photo by Mark Walters

Great Spotted Woodpecker
Photo by Mark Walters

 

 

 

Great Spotted Woodpeckers were seen at their usual nest site in 2017 and did produce and fledge 2 young.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our habitat encourages natural nest building but we also provide 180+ nest boxes; you can imagine our housekeeping tasks every year to clean, sterilise and maintain these boxes!  Volunteers are always welcome to come and help out!

 

Great Tit on Nest Photo by Su Haselton

Great Tit on Nest
Photo by Su Haselton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chris Attaches the Ring Photo by Su Haselton

Chris Attaches the Ring
Photo by Su Haselton

 

 

Bird ringing is also carried out by a licenced (by BTO) bird ringer. Ringing is carried out during the main nest box surveys as well as on an ad hoc basis throughtout the year.

 

 

 

Photo Gallery

Long-tailed Tit Photo by Su Haselton

Long-tailed Tit
Photo by Su Haselton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Round Robin Photo by Mark Walters

Round Robin
Photo by Mark Walters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Male Greenfinch Photo by Su Haselton

Male Greenfinch
Photo by Su Haselton

 

 

 

Goldfinch Photo by Su Haselton

Goldfinch
Photo by Su Haselton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tree Sparrow Photo by Mark Walters

Tree Sparrow
Photo by Mark Walters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wren Photo by Su Haselton

Wren
Photo by Su Haselton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dunnock Photo by Mark Walters

Dunnock
Photo by Mark Walters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black-headed Gull Photo by Mark Walters

Black-headed Gull
Photo by Mark Walters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coal Tit Photo by Su Haselton

Coal Tit
Photo by Su Haselton

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great tit Photo by Mark Walters

Great tit
Photo by Mark Walters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sparrowhawk Chick Photo by Su Haselton

Sparrowhawk Chick
Photo by Su Haselton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Long tailed tit Photo by Mark Walters

Long tailed tit
Photo by Mark Walters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whitethroat Photo by Su Haselton

Whitethroat
Photo by Su Haselton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Male Chaffinch Photo By Mark Walters

Male Chaffinch
Photo By Mark Walters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Female arrives to collect the kill Photo by Hamza Yassin

Female arrives to collect the kill
Photo by Hamza Yassin

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sparrowhawk with kill Photo by Hamza Yassin

Sparrowhawk with kill
Photo by Hamza Yassin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making use of the plucking post Photo by Hamza Yassin

Making use of the plucking post
Photo by Hamza Yassin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parents meeting at the plucking post Photo by Hamza Yassin

Parents meeting at the plucking post
Photo by Hamza Yassin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is someone there? Photo by Hamza Yassin

Is someone there?
Photo by Hamza Yassin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Preparing food for the chicks Photo by Hamza Yassin

Preparing food for the chicks
Photo by Hamza Yassin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plucking posts are always messy! Photo by Hamza Yassin

Plucking posts are always messy!
Photo by Hamza Yassin

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ruffled Photo by Hamza Yassin

Ruffled
Photo by Hamza Yassin

 

 

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