Bird census records 1887-2005

Methodology

These surveys are not strictly comparable, since the areas they cover are not the same. We do not know the precise area surveyed in 1887 (the information is taken from the Report of the Ackworth Natural History Society of 1887). The 1979 survey was carried out by Jim Williams in the Brockadale Nature Reserve as it was at the time (much smaller than at present, though most of the difference was in the area of limestone grassland, not woodland). The surveys of 2000 and 2005 were carried out by Paul and Joyce Simmons, and Dave and Sue Williamson on the current nature reserve. These, and the 1979 survey, were done using BTO Common Bird Census methodology. Further species (Common Partridge, Little Owl)  whose breeding was confirmed in 2006 and 2007 were then added.

Conclusions

Despite the differences in areas studied noted above, there are clear differences in the results for different years which show changes in the vegetation and habitats over the last 120 years.

1. Birds such as Corncrake, Snipe, Barn Owl, Meadow Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, Whinchat and Reed Bunting suggest that the terrain was much more open and grassy than at present. Indeed it is believed that much of the present woodland had been clear-felled around this time and then allowed to re-grow (although the Beech trees were clearly planted).

2. The absence of woodpeckers and nuthatches in 1887 - these need dead and decaying wood which in a managed woodland was probably used as a fuel by the villagers.

2005

2

P

P

P

1?

P

P



P




1+

C


3


1

1

2

2

1





43+

7



33+


18+

3+

3




6+

3-4

14-18


15-20

12-20

13+

2

6-10


1

5+

25-30

35-40

3

1

1

3+


2+

1



30-35

3


2+


4


10-15


P

39

Species

Mallard

Sparrowhawk

Buzzard

Peregrine

Kestrel

Red-legged partridge

Common partridge

Pheasant

Corncrake

Moorhen

Snipe

Woodcock

Cuckoo

Stock dove

Wood pigeon

Collared dove

Turtle dove

Barn owl

Tawny owl

Kingfisher

Green woodpecker

Gtr spotted woodpecker

Skylark

Meadow pipit

Tree pipit

Pied wagtail

Yellow wagtail

Wren

Dunnock

Nightingale

Whinchat

Robin

Redstart

Blackbird

Song thrush

Mistle thrush

Grasshopper warbler

Sedge warbler

Lesser whitethroat

Whitethroat

Garden warbler

Blackcap

Wood warbler

Willow warbler

Chiffchaff

Goldcrest

Spotted flycatcher

Long-tailed tit

Marsh tit

Willow tit

Coal tit

Blue tit

Great tit

Tree creeper

Nuthatch

Jay

Magpie

Jackdaw

Carrion crow

Starling

House sparrow

Tree sparrow

Chaffinch

Greenfinch

Goldfinch

Linnet

Redpoll

Bullfinch

Hawfinch

Yellowhammer

Reed bunting

Corn bunting

Total breeding

1887


C



C

C

C

P

C

C

P


B


C



B

B

P



C

C

C

C

B

C

C

P

B

C

B

C

C

C


B

P

B

B

B

B

C

B

P


B

B


P

C

C

C


P

P

C


C

B

C

C

C


P

B

B


C

C


45

1979

3

P



C

2

3

4


1


4

1


2

1

4


1

P

P

1

1


4



4

8

P


12


30

21

3

2


P

3

4

6

P

12

7

1

2

1

P

P

1

7

5

1


1

P



P


3

7

3


7

1

2

P

3

1


43

2000

2

P



P


P

1?


6


1

1+

2

10+


1


P


2

3

1?





30+

2-5



27-35


22

3+

2-4




11+

2+

13-18


17-24

4-8

2+


3


2

1+

11-23

15-25

2-3


1+

4+


4+




15-20

2+

1?

1+


1?


8


P

38