RSPB Conservation Scientist Jonathan Groom has been out in the Perthshire Hills as part of the Native Upland Woodland Expansion Survey!
Final Bird Results are In
Well I finally got there. Despite the weather’s best attempts to thwart me I have completed the bird surveys and translated all of my field notes onto computer spreadsheets. This will allow for some statistical work and will, once the habitat data has been collected (which I am currently undertaking), provide a large dataset for this project. Obviously there is much work to be done with the analysis, but in the meantime what I can show is an overview of all the species I have recorded and a final ranking by percentage of plots occupied by each species. I have shown this in the table below with a quick explanation of each column.
Key:Occ: Percentage of plots and surrounding area occupied by each species. Open/Plot: Indicates whether the species showed a trend towards being recorded more in either the woodland plot or the adjacent ‘buffer zone’ of open moorland. A blank shows that there was no obvious preference.
Status: This is the species conservation status with Red being of priority concern and Amber being of significant concern. A full explanation is available here. A full explanation is available here.
As you can see there was a grand total of 45 species recorded during my surveys which is very pleasing. A noticeable change in these overall rankings, relative to those from the first visit only, was a sharp increase in siskin and redpoll occurrence. These are quite difficult to count as they are very mobile and usually only picked up by call as they pass overhead. I am guessing that this increase in their occurrence may relate to early family parties that are now dispersing across the sites, which may have led to them becoming more ‘noticeable’.
The arrival of summer migrant species in the second round of surveys didn’t really affect the overall ‘top 20’ as discussed in my earlier blog post. The only species changing markedly was the whinchat, which was surprisingly widespread and present in good numbers by the second visit. It was also great to record so many Tree pipits, cuckoos and even a few Grasshopper warblers, not just on the surveys but more widely throughout the area. This was certainly the most productive area I’ve ever been to for these species and as can be seen they are all red or amber listed, meaning that this is good news.
Speaking of red- and amber-listed species, a quick count shows that there are 7 red and 19 amber. This suggests that the creation of these new native woodland plots is having an effect (whether positive or negative) on a significant number of species of conservation concern, making it all the more important that this data is being collected, and hopefully leading to some conclusions on how these plots should be managed for the future. Now it’s back to the habitat recording and hoping that ‘summer’ finally arrives!
Find out more about the Native Upland Woodland Expansion Survey here.
Northern Eggar moth caterpillar covered in moisture.
Male stonechat enjoying the weather.