Thursday, 18 July 2013


I had a pleasant job this morning and this was surveying some hedgerows for a farmer client of mine who wanted to restore a number of his hedges over the next five years. He isn't being funded for this but wants to make sure that his hedgerows remain good for wildlife and provide shelter for stock in wet, windy or hot weather. The farm is a dairy farm and on such farms as the grassland is such a premium it is in the hedgerows that the farmer can encourgae wildlife.

I spent an enjoyable couple of hours this morning walking along the length of seven hedgerows in total and coming up with a species composition for the hedges, noting when they can be layed, suggesting some hedgerow tree species for small gaps and coming up with a list of species to plant in larger gaps.

 A couple of the typical hedgerows (above & below) that I surveyed this

As well as having one eye on the hedge I was surveying, I also had one eye looking out for birds and both ears listening out! I came across a couple of young Coal Tits in a mature hedge/ribbon of woodland alongisde a stream and a Chiffchaff sang here as well as from a block of woodland further on. The only butterflies I had on the wing this morning were a couple each of Small Tortoiseshells and Small Whites.

I had a number of Brown Hares, 12 in total, and in one field I had a group of eight. The only other mammal I saw was a Roe Deer in a field of Wheat.

It is very much raptor weather at the moment with the hot sun causing thermals for them to soar on and this morning I had two Buzzards making use of such thermals. One of the Buzzards was joined by a Grey Heron and the pair of them thermalled to a great height.

On one particular stretch of hedgerow with a number of mature Oak trees in it I came across a monster Tit flock consisiting of 41 Long-tailed Tits, 13 Blue Tits and two Great Tits. I had a single Nuthatch calling from some woodland and a single Skylark singing from a field of Wheat.

It's a bit of reed cutting for Ian and I this evening, hopefully followed by some Swallow ringing. A small roost, c. 1,000 birds, has formed in one of the reedbeds and over the next couple of weeks if the roost builds we should be able to ring a few. I'll keep you posted as always.


Warren Baker said...

You wouldn't want to survey the Hedgerows that the College planted here, an absolute disgrace considering they are an agricultural college!

The best wildlife they can boast is a few St. Marks flies!

The Hairy Birder said...

I know what you mean Warren. I used to rent an office at an agricultural college up here, I won't mention any names, but their hedgerows too were awful for wildlife! In fact for an agricultural college their track record on conservation full stop was very poor and this is such a shame as they teach Ecology and Countryside courses!