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.
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.
Woodlands, hedgerows and meadows support many other species from the common little Blue Tits
to the magnificent hunting Sparrowhawk
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) BirdTrack database.
The red list species not only include our iconic Yellowhammers but also Linnets, Tree Sparrows, Skylarks and Lapwing.
In 2019 a total of 49 species were recorded across the Reserve.
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 2019 TOTAL 11
AMBER LIST – AT RISK SPECIES 2019 TOTAL 10
GREEN LIST or not UK classified* in 2019 TOTAL 28
Our iconic species such as Yellowhammers, Tree Sparrows and Skylarks were recorded again in 2019. Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, Swifts, Swallows and Willow Warblers continue to be regular visitors. We recorded a Hobby for the first time on the Reserve and a Yellow Wagtail, this is the first recorded sighting since 2015.
A Treecreeper was first seen in 2013 and then not recorded again until 2016 when spotted travelling with a flock of Blue and Great Tits. Sightings were recorded again in 2017 and 2018.
Little Owls were seen in 2016 after a gap of one year but sadly we did not record any sightings after that.
Great Spotted Woodpeckers are regularly seen and in the early Spring can be heard drumming.
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!
Bird ringing is occasionally carried out by a licensed (by BTO) bird ringer.