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Post Info TOPIC: Chadkirk Country Estate


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RE: Chadkirk Country Estate


Hi John,

The thing is, as you'll appreciate, ponds left to their own devices will turn into woodland. I presume no further action will ensue on the Mill pond? If water is to come back in any great amount, it will need a lot of clearing. Still, as you say, it's better than bricks and mortar.

As for the new ponds, what will the access situation be? It would be very frustrating to see dragonflies using them and not be able to get near to get a certain i.d. (or photo's). I realise they could not be open access or they would become dog baths in no time. A tricky situation?

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Hi Guys,

There seems to be some confusion as to how many ponds have been added at Chadkirk. So just to clarify there are three, one of these is the origional pond which has been made deeper in Chapel Field (which is the field below Kirk Wood) three in Big Field (which is the field adjacent to Chapel Field) and then ther is the scrape in Broadheys, giving a total of seven pond.

It's nice to know that the Reed Bunting are still aroundand one would think that if they are in the old pond area of the mill then at some point I would be expecting them to visit the LNR. It is a real shame about the mill pond which could be a real attraction for the area. The owners dreaged it about four years ago and although they did it at the wrong time of year (when all the frogs, toads and newts would have had tadpoles the end result was a fantastic pond with really good margins.

It would appear though that the reason for doing the work was that outline planning permission was being sought for housing which thankfully got turned down.

Cheers,

JR

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john rowland


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Hi John (Rayner), that field is "Big Field" - see the map on the County Sites.

I think there are 6.
3 in "Big Field", and 3 in "Chapel Field" - 2 new, plus a re-dug old pond, which looks a little like 2., plus the scape in "Broadheys"

The middle one looks really large and deep, and the one near the road in "Big Field" is also deep. Should be great watching them fill up and mature.
Hope John bears me in mind when he cuts the hedges, or else I will not see anythingsmile.gif

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Hi John R,

I did a bit of pond counting today and I thought I found 8 new diggings confuse.gif

The new Broad Heys Scrape (no waders today but already starting to fill with water).
A deeper pond in the near corner of the next field (does this field have a name?) with 2 further into the field along the hedgerow.
Then there seemed to be 4 in the field under Kirk Wood bringing the total to 8.

Birds today:

3 Grey Wagtails (2 River Goyt and 1 youngster on the stream sporting a metal ring on the right leg)
2 Jays
3 Stock Doves
3 House Martins over (south)
6 Chiffchaffs (inc 1 singer)

A Reed Bunting just outside the estate boundary on the overgrown industrial estate pond. This 'pond', which was such good snipe habitat last year is rapidly being lost - no water whatsoever at the moment and birch scrub is dominant.

Cheers, John


Edit: Forgot to mention an adult unringed Dipper on the stream.

-- Edited by John Rayner on Friday 17th of September 2010 11:49:31 AM

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Hi John, I see you waited until I was in Devon before you started to digsmile.gifsmile.gif

Well done, Jim and I had a quick peek last night.. Nice to see that we might get lapwings. We only counted four ponds?

Are there four ponds in Chapel Field, apart from the hidden one across the lane?

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Hi John,
Indeed 2 Lapwing yesterday in Scrape.

I have seen Lapwing in that field a couple of times in the past...Last time they were mobbing the Little Egret that visited in January.
There are always plenty of Lapwing in the Goyt Hall Farm area, so hopefully with the improved environment over your side they might become a more common sight.

Anthony

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Hi Guys,

Many Thanks for your possitive coments about how the Estate is begining to take shape. I really feel that it is becoming a rich place for wildlife and the extra ponds and the scrape can only add to this, and if I get the goahead for the wild bird seed margins even better.

I'm really pleased Anthony that you saw a couple of Lapwing in the new scrape (or are you having a Laugh?) as that is really encouraging, and indeed is one of my target species.

On the bird front a Juv Peregrine flew over the farm this afteernoon about 4.40pm. The male Kestrel is around most days now and I presume he will spend his nights in winter as usual roosting in the pink barn. I also have Tawny (M&F at diferent times) roosting in the hay barn.

I'll keep you informed of any further progress on the HLS front as and when I get any.

Cheers,

JR





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john rowland


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Had a quick look around this afternoon...Looking good John.

2 Lapwing in the scrape in Broadheys.
1 Kestrel near the river.

Very windy and not a lot else about.

Anthony

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Had a wander through the estate yesterday afternoon,
its really starting to take shape nicely & hopefully all that hard work will soon start producing some exciting results.

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Nice work John. I hope to pop in one day soon.

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Hi All,

I am extremely pleased to inform you that all the pond work at Chadkirk is now complete. There are 5 new ponds and 1 scrape in Broadheys, which doesn't look too big from the road but it is actually around 30m in diameter so i think that when combined with other areas that flood this will add to the habitat in the field and hopefully be big enough to entice passing waders to drop in and have a look!

I just need to hear from English Nature now to see about getting the HLS underway and hopefully I'll get the go-ahead to put in the wild bird seed margins. I'll keep you posted.

Cheers,

JR

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john rowland


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Nice to see that digging work has started on time. The first pool, below Kirk Wood, was just finished as I left and they were starting on the second. Looking good smile.gif

Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff and Goldcrest all singing
5 Nuthatches (1 banging food into tree bark)
1 Stock Dove only
3 Grey Wagtails (on both river and stream)

Cheers, John

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Hi All,

I've not been on for a while (neither has anyone else by the look of things!!keep up the good work Anthony), so I just thought i'd give you a another quick update.

The pond and scrape excavation is due to begin on Wedneday of this week so i just hope the rain keeps off until there done. I've not heard anything about the HLS as yet so I'll keep you posted.

On the bird front last month there was Buzzards across most days, four being the max I saw, three Ravens went over last week as well. There were 7 Gooseander on the river upstream of the weir females and Juvs. There was also a Green Woodpecker which was around for about two weeks in the middle of the month.

There was also a couple of Kingfisher by the Weir and one on the brook.

well bye for now.

JR

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john rowland


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A quick mooch around this morning and all a little bit quiet...

2 Kingfishers chasing on the river
2 Grey Wagtail
1 Grey Heron

Anthony

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Hi Guys,

Just thought i'd give you a quick update on developments at Chadkirk.

HLS has now been applied for with the inclusion of wild bird seed crops in some of the existing margins and the reinstatement of several hundred meters of hedge along the boundry in Dale Field.

The pond work is due to start sometime in late August depending on the weather and if i can get the field cut and cleared.

Bye for now,

JR

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john rowland


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Hi Chris,

My appologies to yourself as well for the delay in getting back to you. Unfortunatelly i have not had the time to get on the Forum for a while.

Unfortunatelly (especially if you were planning on comimg!) the Festival was on the 24th and 25th of July so i hope i have not mad eyou miss it?

The Festival is a pain full stop, but it is very popular and attracts large numbers of visitors who seem to have a great time. From a wildlife/estate point of view it comes a little early as the preparation has to be done a little too early for my liking. But in the main i would say that the wildlife does not suffer too much and we soon get back to normal.

cheers,

JR

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john rowland


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Hi Dave,

Sorry for the late responce!

Thanks for the link the site looks great and I'll have a proper rummage when I have a bit more time.

I notice that you are interested in Butterflies as well so just thought i'd let you know, as well as the established collony of White Letter Hairstreaks there is a new collony on an Elm just as you go down the path to the picnic site and Purple Hairstreaks on the Oaks along Otterspool Road.

Cheers,

JR

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john rowland


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Is it the Chadkirk festival soon?
If so, are any of the exciting developments being planned for the estate being publicised at it?
Or is the festival a pain as far as conservation goes?
Chris H


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Hi John,

interesting stuff, feel free to place any non-avian records on the Manchester Wildlife forum which deals with everything non-feathery in GM. Click on the link on my signature.

All the best Dave

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Hi Guys,

I'll keep trying to improve/diversify the habitat and hopefully we'll keep adding to the list of species at Chadkirk.

I do have a rather unusual request to day though. When you are checking out Oakwood Brook for Dipper etc could you keep your eyes peeled for possible Water Vole. I was on a Butterfly event last Sunday (twelve species including White and Purple Hairstreak) and three members of the group siad that they saw a Water Vole swimming down stream adjacent to the camp site.

If this were true (I did not see it so can not confirm or otherwise) it would probably be enough to designate the site as an SSSI which would afford the site a lot of legal protection from development. This would be great and would go nicely with the new designation for the wild flower meadow which has just been awarded an SBI status.

I'm pretty chuffed with that!!smile.gif

Many Thanks,

JR

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john rowland


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Phil Panton wrote:

JR 1, i'll get my wellies polished,

JR 2, good to see the Reed Bunting making your list






Likewise on both counts.

Great news that the Reed Bunting has made the trip across the road.
Now we just need that elusive Stonechat to return to either side!

Anthony

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JR 1, i'll get my wellies polished,

JR 2, good to see the Reed Bunting making your list

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Lots of youngsters today in the form of Juv Nuthatches, Wrens, Grey Wagtails, Swallows, House Martins, Blue and Long-tailed Tits.

Also :

Swifts 8
Swallows 22
House Martins 5
Sand Martins 2
Chifchaff 2
LBB Gulls 4
Reed Bunting 1
Mandarin 1f
Jay 1
Bullfinch 1m

Cheers, John


-- Edited by John Rayner on Wednesday 14th of July 2010 01:27:30 PM

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Nice One Guys.

I'm usually looking to start woodland management in November so rest assured I willl give you a shout to see if your free to lend a hand. I'm also responsible for Poise Brook and have a lot of work penciled in for there too.

Many Thanks,

JR

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john rowland


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Seem to remember i spoke a while back about helping out as a volunteer...& have failed so far to drag my lazy ass down Dooley Lane, so i think its time for less talk & more action !

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John Rowland wrote:

Thanks for the kind remarks Anthony, there are very much appreciated.

I may well take you up on your offer of hepl as well, particularly with the woodland management, oh and how are you at rounding up sheep!!?

Cheers,

JR






Just say the word John.

biggrin.gifSheep...Sounds like fun, I'll try anything once!

Anthony

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Thanks for the kind remarks Anthony, there are very much appreciated.

I may well take you up on your offer of hepl as well, particularly with the woodland management, oh and how are you at rounding up sheep!!?

Cheers,

JR

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john rowland


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Well we've had one or two very nice passage birds turn up in recent years, so it will be very interesting to see what happens with these developments.

It really is a great site with loads of potential...Can't Wait!

Thanks very much John for your brilliant efforts and if there is anything I can do to help, please don't hesitate to ask.

Anthony


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Hi Fellas,

Many Thanks for your support and enthusiasm, lets hope these ponds/scrapes will be a real bonus for Chadkirk.smile.gif

As far as water goes all the ponds including the existing pond will be dependant on rainfall/runoff to keep them topped up. This is not unusual and there are many effemeral ponds accross Britain. My existing pond last dried up about three years ago, and again this year. It does mean that I loose all the amphibs but the population can sustain this without numbers depleting too much.

With the scape in Broadheys (Pylon Field) being mainly aimed at passage birds there shouldn't be a problem with drying up when we need it to have water in.

In a lot of wildlife ponds this drying out actually helps as it kills off all the fish that find there way in via water foul.

Anyway Thanks once again and keep your eyes open hopefully the second week in August and you should se the digger doing it's thing.

Cheers,

JR

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john rowland


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Very good news, John, that's brilliant.

With regards to lack of water, I'm going on holiday in a couple of weeks - that should be the cue for serious rain and, no doubt, flooding!

Chris

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John Rowland wrote:

Good news at last! I have just had confirmation from BIFFA that the funding for the ponds and scrapes has been granted for the Chadkirk Millenium Ponds Project.

It is hoped that the work will commence sometime in early August (depending on the availability of the contractor) and should take around three to four days. I'll keep you informed.

Cheers,

JR






That August 3000 Johnsmile.gif

Congratulations.

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Great news,
glad to see you had the confidence to stick at it, when some of us were starting to have doubts that it would happen.

Thanks

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Indeed this could be something that us locals have been crying out for, so well done that man.

The only problem that worries me at the moment is where any water will come from to fill the ponds? We haven't had any real rain for weeks.

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smile.gif Congratulations John, fantastic news...I've had my fingers crossed for you mate.
Exciting times ahead at Chadkirk.

Anthony

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Good news at last! I have just had confirmation from BIFFA that the funding for the ponds and scrapes has been granted for the Chadkirk Millenium Ponds Project.

It is hoped that the work will commence sometime in early August (depending on the availability of the contractor) and should take around three to four days. I'll keep you informed.

Cheers,

JR

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john rowland


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Kingfisher and Grey Wagtail again this morning, but not a great deal else.

Anthony

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This morning...

1 Kingfisher
1 Dipper
2 Grey Wagtail
2 Grey Heron
3 Cormorant
5 Treecreeper (4 Juvenile)
Juvenile Wren and Robin.

Anthony

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Nice to see a female manderin with nine young round the weir islands

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Blimey John if you can try and con me into riding 25 miles just to see Curlew and Lapwing just think what you can do with FWAG assessors; a big patch of 'Poachers Mix' should get all your locals excited. Even Andy Bissett!
I rode a bike only a couple of days ago just to see Skylark at Woodford, saw one but the Lapwings including chicks were not around, and worse still no Reed Buntings.
Distance ridden half mile, legs like jelly and the Swallows were not ready to ring.
Come down to Lostock Hall Road and check out the habitat etc. it might give you a few more ideas for Chadkirk, after all we haven't ringed a Lapwing there since 1979.

Tony

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Cyclist indeed Tony!? How many years since you did that one? I still go out every Thursday morning and the third Saturday of my rota if you fancy a trip out? Sometimes go out of an evening if I finish early enough and do a 25 miler over Mellor Moor and Thornset Moor into Hayfield. Just think of all the birding you could do on your way round what with Curlew and Lapwing on the moors, Great.

I'll have to check what can go in the seed mix when I discuss options with FWAG and see what is and what is not allowed. Hopefully though I will be able to get a good mix that will cater for/atract the greatest number of species.

i don't supose anyone has been around Turner Lane Playing field have they I would still like records before it goes under the developers bulldozer!

cheers,

JR

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john rowland


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tonywilkinson wrote:


Linnet are a bit more of a problem, as one of their favourite seeds is Charlock; you could give your inspectors apoplexy with that, thinking you are growing Oil seed Rape.


Tony







But Linnets are Carduelis cannabina. Now that might cause apoplexy with another sort of inspector biggrin.gifbiggrin.gif

French Audax 200km medal, Tony? Don't tell me you used to be a cyclist...

Cheers, Steve


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Great news. That wild life strip has been there for several years now and has barely moved on from improved grassland. I reckon 100 yrs before it gets diverse again unless it is given a helping hand. Please include Reed Bunting in your target species list, as it is much easier to monitor than Linnet and/or Yellowhammer.
I've been having success with House Sparrows in my garden; after a decade with none, two appeared in 2008 (nearly started listed list ticking again!), they bred and 2009 we had more. Now we have a garden chirping with them. They love Buckton's Wild Bird Mix, a cheap and cheerful concoction with no sunflower seeds; I don't think Sparrows like sunflower seeds. We use a similar mix at our ringing site at Woodford and the Reed Bunting love it.
Linnet are a bit more of a problem, as one of their favourite seeds is Charlock; you could give your inspectors apoplexy with that, thinking you are growing Oil seed Rape.
Still got my French Audax 200km medal in my car, but you never seem to be working when I go past Chadkirk. (Ha Ha).

Cheers

Tony

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The margin around some of the field margins is classed as wild life strips, but is also classed as permanent grassland and as being part of the meadow ie available for grazing (rpa definition). The good news is that I was talking to Fiona from FWAG yesterday and Natural England have now come up with an alternative option which will allow me to put in a suitable wild bird seed mix instead of the nectar/pollen mix which they at first said that, that was the only option.

I'm glad of this as my target is Linnet and Yellow Hammer and I already have a 3ha field full on nectar/pollen laden flowers!

Woodland management! Well there's a thing. Where were you last winter when i was very nearly getting death threats from people not wanting me to have trees felled and open up the woodland. I had around a dozen mature Sycamores taken down and several smaller ones as well. There are still around a dozen ear marked for removal this back end and I will continue with this thinning/openning up in the years to come. Well if i'm still here with all the impending cut backs!!!!?

Well bye for now,

JR

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john rowland


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7am-8am this morning

1 Buzzard
2 Cormorant
1 Grey heron
2 Grey Wagtail
1 Dipper

Anthony

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Nice one Andy, just proving how easy it is to misinterpret e-mails! In general terms Stockport seems to be getting worse, and I recall a chat with a well known birder in the pub: I asked him where he went birding in Stockport 'now', and got the reply 'The North Wales coast'. Summer migrants see to be returning in decent numbers this year and despite the Iceland volcano incident/northerly wind Swallows finally arrived even if first broods were delayed in some cases.

John, You have a double fence around the fields; is the strip between the fences classified as meadow or wildlife strip?
Good to hear that you have a cunning plan, I suppose it is too much to hope that you are going to take a chainsaw to some of the woodland to let in light, wildflowers and understorey and dare we say it, a more diverse bird species list?!
I still like Ray Gent's solution to improving biodiversity.....dynamite;then you could even get your beloved Lapwings back, but to keep them, you would need to cull about 10000 corvids.

Keep up the good work

Tony



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Hi Guys,

Its's great to have your support for what I'm trying to achieve at Chadkirk, your records may well prove to be invaluable at some point in the future so keep them coming in.

There are several points to answer from the previous messages so I'll start at the bottom and work up!

Tony, Good to hear from you old friend (yes i know less of the OLD!) I thought you'd gone off and got tangled in a net somewhere never to be seen again!

Unfortunatelly the rap do check to ensure the money is spent how you have said it will be. I do have a cunning plan though if I can pull it off. I will if possible add in a percentage of wild bird seed to the nectar seed mix in an attemp to cover all bases.

You loose money under the SPS for ponds as the rap only pay you for available grazing and if part of a field is under water (as a pond) then they say that the land is unavailable for grazing and thus not eligible for suplementary payments.

Andy, Many thanks for trawling through yould old records, I'll add the new info to mine. Lesser Whitethroat that's a good one too as I didn't know that, that species had been reported at all.

Thanks again to everyone and hopefully Chadkirk will keep improving year on year as habitat, food and nesting sites are improved/created. Up to now I have 21 UK BAP Species listed at Chadkirk (not all birds I hasten to add!), the more I can encourage onto site the more protection from 'Undesirables' it will have.

I do have one more thing to ask you guys. Have any of you ever done any birding at Turner Lane/Mill Lane playing fields in Woodley while you've been out on a walk or something? If you have and you have any records could you please send them to me as there is a substantial redevelopment proposed which will see a number of sports pitched built. We need as many records of all kinds as we can get in order to try to ensure that we preserve as much habitat (hedge rows, trees and grassland) either by retention or creation as possible.

Cheers,

JR


















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Tony,

How dare you call us a miserable lot!!wink.gifwink.gif Actually you probably have a point. We have so little to smile about these days.

Cheers,

Andy

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Hi John,

I'm still struggling with this Stewardship business. In simple terms 'How big is a pond? and how big is a meadow?' Where does the meadow end and the pond begin. As some birders know I ring birds at Aqualife Nursery in Poynton, a business engaged in growing, among other plants, wildlife species like Phragmites which are planted in many municipal wildlife ponds/lakes the length and breadth of the country. This artificial habitat is fairly popular with a variety of wildlife, not only birds and the habitat is the draw; the greenhouses even held roosting Meadow Pipits last winter for example. Success is just around the corner.
Is Chadkirk to be denied 'woodland edge', the favoured nesting habitat for many of our winter warblers?
At the nursery Reed Bunting is our main target ringing species; we ringed 2 in the winter 2008/9 and 29 in 2009/10 winter after ground feeding with cheap (sunflower seed free) wild bird mix. We rarely saw more than 3/4 at any one time but 29 total? Next winter will tell if it was a fluke!
It is intriguing to watch what ringed birds do on release. The tits fly into Wigwam wood, the thrushes fly into the laurel hedge and surprise, surprise the Reed Buntings fly straight for the Phragmites.
Basically sacrificial seed plants are not in the context of Chadkirk, a crop, surely.
Finally no-one checks how a Stewardship grant is spent, only that any annual paperwork is filled in on time.
With Andy's valuable historical records and a possible increase in numbers in nursery style, which bureaucrat is going to risk suggesting that a grant has been misspent?
Go for it John, even a modest improvemant would improve the miserable lot of Stockport birders.

Cheers

Tony

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Having heard tonight on NW Tonight that Bolton MBC is losing 500 staff and cutting services by 40% (and they are not a profligate council compared with some) I'm not optimistic about any non-statutary services in any of the 10 GMC MBCs - get that grant whilst you can, John!

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John,

Have at last reached the record for reed bunting at Chadkirk in my notebooks. First recorded it on 13th June, 1989. Also, in the same year, there was a lesser whitethroat at the same spot 1st - 13th June at least (haven't read further yet). I don't know if there have been too many records of that species for the site?


Regards,




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