Birds of the Pontburn Valley - Information Update
Since introducing this webpage as a prototype and including the sections you see below, you might note that not much seems to have changed - except for various sitings reported as comments. However, we've being working hard in the background to sort out the best way to make sure we all get involved, making it easy for people to tell us what they know. Now, we think we have enough to produce some printed leaflets as well as using what you are telling us to make sure we keep both the webpage and our leaflets accurate and up-to-date without reinventing the wheel.
The RSPB and various trusts are much more expert than most of us in many ways, save in one key regard. They don't live here and can't witness at first hand the things you see and hear. What we need to do therefore is to work with these organisations through their own websites and e-newsletters which we bring to you regularly.
One thing we greatly regret not being able to do this year is tie-in with the BBC's Spring Watch and Breathing Spaces programmes by getting out on our own spring-walk. Next year perhaps or possibly an autumn watch event?
Between now and then however we do know that we count a couple of keen twitchers amongst our networkers who have offered to help in whatever way they can. Perhaps if they can get back in touch again with a comment or telephone call we can make sure that the informatiuon we have is updated before our leaflets go to print.
And in the meantime, please keep using our simple on-line survey i.e keep giving us your sitings in the way of comments - and talk to those in your villages who you know are gifted "naturals" but don't have a computer and don't want one! We have at least two or three here in Leadgate that keep us right and know each village will have at least as many.
Birds of the Pontburn Valley
At different times of the year, 74 species of birds occupy the villages, fields and woods of the Pont Burn Valley. The last published survey undertaken on behalf of UK Coal in 2000 listed only 23 though you might notice, if you visit the pdf document under CMA/1/37 that even their environmental consultants are now getting closer to the mark.
The re-introduced Red Kite is now a common site overhead and sightings are clearly worth recording. But even the common house sparrow has been under threat elsewhere in recent years and might be sometimes worth reporting. We can also count Crossbills and Whitethroats as recent sitings though these reporting these are not on-line.
Our on-line, real-time survey is simple to use, up-to-date and accurate, allowing anyone prepared to get out and take notice to get involved! Why not take part yourself, either as an individual or part of an organised activity, group or concern? Tell us what you know and let the facts speak for themselves.
The Red Kite presence in this area is still tenuous, its habitat fragile.
Use our survey to link to……..(Red Kites Project) and help the RSPB etc
Not to be confused with the less common Red Kite, with which they often associate in small groups elsewhere, but still a rare visitor to these parts. Look for the characteristic wing form and typical effortless circling as this big bird rides thermals and updrafts searching for carrion. Last seen on 21 May 2007 overhead St Ives Road, Leadgate.
A relatively common sight at any time of the day. One breeding pair occupies territory covering both woods and road verges close to Bradley Cottages.
On most days one or other of the adult birds can be seen in their characteristic hover close to the Jolly Drovers.
Do you know of any more in territories elsewhere?
Less common that formerly and easily confused with the more common Kestrel, sightings are definitely worth reporting!
Sparrow hawk, early 2009
Earlier this year I was out in the garden when there was a commotion at my fruit cage, I looked up (I was less than 2 yards away) and a sparrowhawk was on top of my fruit cage, just dis-entangling him/herself from the netting. It flew off as soon as it could. Later we noticed bloody feather marks on the kitchen window just next to the fruit cage. It had obviously struck something near the window but lost it.
When our houses were being built one of the brickies (who is well up on birds) said they were often about.
Our location DH80BX, so I can't see why they aren't around the Pont Valley.
Created on 25/05/2007 10:03 AM by rmr
Updated on 23/06/2009 10:56 PM by smillen