Thursday January 19th
Warks: A cracking nine Whooper Swans (three juveniles) on Mill Pool was a great find on another dull misty day. Also Great White Egret still (Roy Smith). There was a small movement across our area today with 21 at Blithfield Res too; these birds arriving at 1550hrs.
Staffs: Nine Shelduck, Stonechat and Cetti's Warbler were the highlights (Steve Atkinson).
The future of the Tame Valley
Enormous credit is due to the naturalists that have been visiting The Valley since the end of the gravel extraction period, commencing at the south end around 1970. Their records have been kept, often in private notes, but also in a form that is accessible such as the WMBC Reports and the monthly BTO Wildfowl Counts (WEBS). Occasionally the importance of these records (or lack of them) is underlined when someone tries to achieve some form of protection for the area we all take for granted.
Over the past few weeks Tracey Doherty of Tame Valley Wetlands Landscape Project has been in touch as she is trying to obtain designation of the whole valley as a 'Local Wildlife Site'. Tracey has said that threats to the area will undoubtedly arise from HS2 (definitely) and the Coleshill Neighbourhood Project, amongst others. A Local Wildlife Site, once designated, has to be considered and mitigated for to show no biodiversity loss during any planning process.
The birders that contribute counts to the Blog and ultimately to the Annual Bird Report are vital protectors of the habitats we enjoy. Without these counts we cannot substantiate the data we can now put forward to planners and others that seek to develop sites in and around the Tame Valley.
With reference to https://www.bto.org/volunteer-surveys/webs/data/species-threshold-levels we have been able to provide counts from birders in the Tame Valley and show that certain species are present here that are in numbers of national (UK) significance. These are Gadwall, Shovelor, Tufted Duck, Coot, Little Egret, Cormorant and occasionally Pochard.
So please make an effort to safeguard these valuable habitats. Some of The Valley is in good hands but we must be on guard to protect some other areas from development.
Your records in the form of a count are vitally important. Any help here is really appreciated. At least one count a month of the key species will assist me in maintaining records, which can ultimately make an important difference.