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 2016 a total of 66 species were recorded across the Reserve from 773 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 2016 TOTAL 17

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

Grey Wagtail was recorded for the first time in 2016.

AMBER LIST – AT RISK SPECIES 2016 TOTAL 16

Black Headed Gull Pink-footed Goose
Bullfinch Redstart
Common Gull Reed Bunting
Dunnock Snipe
Kestrel Stock Dove
Lesser Black-backed Gull Swift
Mallard Tawny Owl
Oystercatcher Willow Warbler
Snipe was recorded for the first time in 2016.

GREEN LIST or not UK classified* in 2016 TOTAL 33

Blackbird Jay
Blackcap Little Owl
Blue Tit Long-tailed Tit
Buzzard Magpie
Carrion Crow Moorhen
Chaffinch Nuthatch
Chiffchaff Peregrine
Coal Tit Pheasant
Collard Dove Pied Wagtail
Cormorant Robin
Goldcrest Sparrowhawk
Goldfinch Swallow
Great Spotted Woodpecker Treecreeper
Great Tit Whitethroat
Greenfinch Woodpigeon
Grey Heron Wren
Jackdaw
A Nuthatch was recorded for the first time in 2016

Our iconic species such as Yellowhammers, Tree Sparrows and Skylarks were recorded again in 2016  as were Lesser Redpoll.  Woodcock, Whitethroat and Willow Warblers continue to be regular visitors.  Sadly no Willow Tits or Water Rails were spotted in 2016 whilst our volunteers were out and about.

 

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 again seen in 2016 (travelling with a flock of Blue and Great Tits) the first sighting since 2013.

 

 

 

Little Owl Photo by Su Haselton

Little Owl
Photo by Su Haselton

 

 

 

 

Little Owls were seen in 2016 after a gap of one year

 

 

 

 

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 2016 but did not breed there again this year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

Of these nest boxes we monitored 24 throughout the 2016 nesting season and reported our findings to the BTO. In the 2016 season 14 nests were complete,71 eggs were laid, 53 of which hatched and 46 young fledged.  The species were Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Tree Sparrow and Great Tit.  In the one Coal Tit nest monitored 12 eggs were laid, all 12 hatched and all 12 fledged!

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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