Species Surveys:

 

Moths: David Dennis and Peter Bygate have continued to survey the Macro Moths on the Commons throughout the last 18 months and they have now found an amazing 228 species on our Commons many of which weren’t recorded in the 1995 Survey carried out by the Bucks Moth Recorder (Listed in Local Heritage Study – See Home Page).

 

Other Species: Dave Braddock, volunteer warden and bio diversity surveyor at RSPB Hazeley Heath Reserve, and his wife Mary, also a keen naturalist, are kindly undertaking surveys of birds, plants and insects for us. This will enable us to update our records and document change on the Commons over time.

 

 


Hawridge and Cholesbury Common Spring Survey

4th and 5th of May 2019.

 

Spring decided to take a back seat on our May Bank Holiday weekend visit. North winds, frost, rain and sleet and a day time temperature not rising above 7c greeted us both days. The birds were not put off with most of the birds seen last time showing signs of breeding.

Summer migrants had started to arrive and several species missed last time were found this weekend. 46 species were seen and 14 new  species were added to the total seen around the Common in 2019, which now stands at an impressive 55 species.

Three other surveys were planned this visit, Wildflowers, Invertebrates and bats. The surveys will not record all of the species found on the Common. I expect some will be missed if not seen at the time.

The bat survey was cancelled until later as it was too cold to have any flying but David Dennis did have a bat flying over the Full Moon Pub.

It will be good to see what wildflowers and invertebrates are found around the Common as the season progresses. I will only be covering the native wild flowers/trees and shrubs, not ones that were most probably garden escapes or planted.  I expect to find that some species that had been recorded before will no longer be there. Also I expect I will find some species that have not been recorded before or not seen for several years. Plants come and go depending on the conditions at the time. Usually there is a seed bank in the ground and when the conditions are right again they will return. I will try to keep to the Common English names where possible  to make it easier to follow.

The findings so far from the tree/shrub and wild flower survey show that there are many species on the Common  that you would expect to find in Ancient woodlands and old Commons. Quite a lot of these were used as medicinal plants in years gone by and several have interesting old English names. 85 species have been  identified so far. It will take time to cross reference these with what has historically been seen so a full report should be ready next time.

 

The invertebrate survey got off to a slow start due to the cold weather, this should pick up  as the weather gets warmer. 14  species were found and identified despite the cold and wet. The highlights of the survey were six species of Bumblebee  found on the Common, and several Hairy-footed Flower Bees were also seen in the sunny areas. I hope to be around in July so the numbers found and identified should rise.

 

Commons Management Observations (updated.)

·      Maintain and keep/encourage scrubby areas including bramble scrub. Vital habitat for the important species on the Commons.

·      Clear the heavily overgrown area on the triangle patch where the interesting plants were found a few years ago. Grid Ref- SP932074 approx.

·      Leave standing dead wood if away from paths, an important habitat.

·       Don't clear up  fallen/dead wood under trees. It's an important part of woodland management. No need to clear up and do gardening.

·      Keep  a reedy edge and open water  on Palletts Pond as you have at present.

 

      

 

  Report by Dave Braddock


Hawridge and Cholesbury Common Winter Bird Survey

4th and 5th of January 2019.

 

A pleasant, 2 day bird survey, in cold but dry conditions was conducted around the Commons on the 4th and 5th of January. A fantastic  41 species of bird were seen or heard over the 2 days and 5 species of mammal were found. I have produced a spreadsheet of species recorded at the end of the report but the highlights and interesting finds are below.

A Woodcock was found in the leaf litter in the trees at     SP 93741 06966. It will be good to see if woodcocks are found to breed on the Commons in future surveys or just over-wintering birds. It is unusual to just find one so maybe  there were others not seen or found. It was good to see Bullfinches and Marsh Tits over the Commons in suitable scrubby habitat, both were seen in double figures.

The various apple trees throughout the Commons were providing a much needed food source for Winter thrushes, with flocks into three figures, mainly Redwings but a good number of Fieldfares. Interestingly there were several continental Blackbirds feeding with them.

Pallets Pond is an interesting area on the Common. As it was the main piece of water on the Commons, several common woodland birds were seen drinking and bathing around it, the highlights were several Siskin and a female Brambling, a bird from Scandinavia that over-winters in small numbers each year. Several Ravens were seen flying around and over the Commons during the two days. Ravens are spreading out from their normal range, so it was good to see them here. 

Commons Management Observations. 

·      Maintain and keep/encourage scrubby areas including bramble scrub. Vital habitat for the important species on the Commons.

·      Leave the fallen apples on the ground/don't clear up. A good food source for the birds and invertebrates. 

·      Leave standing dead wood if away from paths, an important habitat.

·       Don't clear up  fallen/dead wood under trees. It's an important part of woodland management. No need to clear up and do gardening.

·      Keep  a reedy edge and open water  on Palletts Pond as you have at present.

         Report by Dave Braddock.


 Hawridge and Cholesbury Common Winter List.

Date - 4th and 5th January

Weather -   Cold but dry 4c

Species seen or heard - 41

Species

Number/Comments

Herring Gull - 5+ flying over the Common

Common Gull - 3+ flying over the Common

Black-headed Gull - 18+ flying over the Common

Stock Dove - 4 seen in the woods

Woodpigeon - Common

Pheasant - 2 in woods

Woodcock - 1 in woods

Common Buzzard - Several around the Common

Sparrowhawk - 1 seen

Red Kite - Several around the Common

Kestrel - 2 seen

Tawny Owl - Several heard at night

Green Woodpecker - 1 seen

Great Spotted Woodpecker - 1 seen

Starling - Numerous around the Common

Blackbird - Several around the Common, also a few Scandinavian  ones

Redwing - 200+ around the Common

Song Thrush - 1 seen

Mistle Thrush - 2 seen

Fieldfare - 50+ around the Common

Robin - Several seen around the Common

Blue Tit - Common

Coal Tit - Several seen in the woods

Marsh Tit - 10+ seen in suitable scrub

Great Tit - Common

Long Tailed Tit - Several seen

Nuthatch - 2 seen

Treecreeper - 1 seen

Jay - 3 seen in the woods

Magpie - 2 seen

Jackdaw - 25+ seen

Carrion Crow - 3 seen in the woods

Raven - 5+  seen around the Common

Goldcrest - 6+ in woods

Wren - 1 seen

Dunnock - 2 seen

Bullfinch - 14+ seen in suitable scrub

Siskin - Several seen at Palletts Pond

Hawridge and Cholesbury Common Winter List.

Species

Number/Comments

Brambling - 1 female seen at Palletts Pond

Goldfinch - Several seen

Chaffinch - Common

Badger - Seen around the Commons

Fox - Seen around the Commons

Grey Squirrel -Seen around the Commons

 

Mary Braddock's  Photos.

                                    

  

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