Home Forums Bird & Insect Sightings Aldcliffe / Fairfield this morning

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  • Dan HaywoodDan Haywood
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    Post count: 154

    A Water Rail seen Wildfowlers Pools S (A4S)

    11 Shovelers, 15 Black-tailed Godwits and a Green Sandpiper on ‘The Flood’ (A14)

    40 Black-tailed Godwits in (dry) field by Aldcliffe village (A16)

    170 Black-headed Gulls, one Mediterranean Gull (ad), 23 Common Gulls, 40 Herring Gulls and 16 Curlews in improved field opposite the above (A12)

    19 Reed Buntings, 25 Linnets and 36 Chaffinches at LDBWS feeding station. A Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming in Pony Wood and a pair of Stock Doves and Nuthatches in Admiralty Wood.

    AvatarAlasdair Taylor
    Participant
    Post count: 6

    Hi Dan, can you explain what the “A” numbers in your post mean? Feels like I’m inhabiting a parallel Lancaster sometimes, one in which I think I’m passing through the same physical locations but failing to spot 2/3 of the birds present! Thanks, Alasdair

    Dan HaywoodDan Haywood
    Participant
    Post count: 154

    Hi Alasdair– greetings from parallel Lancaster!

    The club is currently working to provide data on land it deems ‘functionally linked’ to Morecambe Bay SPA– ie used by species that make the bay special in a conservation sense.

    We’ve been getting as precise as we can (to field level where possible) so we’ve been devising maps which split up key areas for wetland bird species. I’ve been sorting through / winkling out Aldcliffe data from the last ten years and have divvied up what we might call Aldcliffe into 23 fields or clusters ie A1 to A23. For instance, A2 is Freeman’s Pools and A14 is the field that contains ‘The Flood’ just N of the foot of Aldcliffe Hall Lane.

    Every time records are placed on this site Rosie (hi Rosie!) and others assimilate, interpret and cut and paste to a database which forms the backbone of the annual reports and other projects. At the moment we’re on a drive to up our data quality.

    So for example if a developer asks us which records we have for a relatively obscure spot because they wish to build houses on ‘X43’ we can pull out our relevant records more easily and with added confidence.

    I mentioned to Rosie that I would trial a system for my frequent Aldcliffe records and she welcomed the idea as it would her save time and head-scratching when transferring data from the site to the database.

    At the moment it’s just between me and her but I plan to devise / upload a map of the Aldcliffe area which will reveal all– and which could be adopted as a recording system by others. There are familiar hotspots like the Wildfowlers Pools but also lots of nooks and crannies and near-identical fields so perhaps next time we have a Tundra Bean Goose at ‘Aldcliffe’ and someone asks yes but where exactly? we might reply ‘A5’ and both know what’s what.

    Re: missing birds no two visitors to any site find or indeed record exactly the same thing and these sites can be quite dynamic: ‘You should’ve been here five minutes ago!’.

    I’ve had 20+ years of practice of getting the most out of each trip to Aldcliffe and I still miss stuff. I’m very familiar and think I know what to look / listen out for– and where. Perhaps me and / or others could do a guided outing when restrictions allow. Would you be interested? The club committee is currently looking to see how the society can benefit our members, the wider community and the base of knowledge we’re acquiring from being in the field since 1959!

    AvatarAlasdair Taylor
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    Post count: 6

    Thanks very much for the explanation Dan, and I’d absolutely jump at the chance to get out in the field with a local expert. I’ve been on a couple of guided walks at Leighton Moss and got a great deal out of those. I’ve actually lived (or at least worked) in Lancaster for almost 20 years, but I’m in no doubt that it’s perfectly possible to overlook so much for so long. That seems to be a recurring theme over the past 12 months – folk developing an appreciation of what’s on their doorstep. Your feeding station initiative in Fairfield plays right into that. One more question if I may: would there be any objection to using What3Words to communicate “non-sensitive” sighting locations? It has the advantages of being free to anyone with a smartphone and considerably more precise than an OS reference (3m x 3m!). I’ve only tried it at home, and it gives a different location for every room! Cheers, Alasdair

    AvatarBarrie Cooper
    Participant
    Post count: 43

    I can think of several reasons why an OS grid reference is more preferable than What3Words.

    Dan HaywoodDan Haywood
    Participant
    Post count: 154

    We’ll look into doing some spring / summer guided walks, Alasdair. Maybe some vis mig and seawatching sessions too.

    LDBWS feeding station good once more with close views of ground feeding Linnets more and more reliable (c25 today) and still good numbers of Reed Buntings (18 today) and Chaffinches.

    AvatarAlasdair
    Participant
    Post count: 10

    And there was me thinking you were just playing Birding Battleships. “You’ve just sunk my little grebe! No, there it is again.”

    In all seriousness, it’s an excellent idea. The more we can do to protect this area the better.

    Dan HaywoodDan Haywood
    Participant
    Post count: 154

    We do have a birding battleships league Alasdair– but at the moment it’s committee members only.

    AvatarAlasdair Taylor
    Participant
    Post count: 6

    That battleships post wasn’t me, BTW – either a different Alasdair or my account’s been hacked.

    AvatarAlasdair Taylor
    Participant
    Post count: 6

    I quite understand that OS references are necessary for the serious science, but can you spell out the other reasons for me? Thanks.

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