Friday, 15 April 2011

Nuclear Power Station and birds: An interesting and informed article!

Noticed this article today from the Gazette (I think this is a paper in Gloucestershire) It shows brilliant journalism!

A NUCLEAR power station is proving the preferred location for rare breeds this spring.

A record number of bird species have been recorded at Oldbury Power Station, including the Spoonbill, of which there are only 50 pairs in the UK, and the Waxwing, which has less than 100 birds in the country.

A total of 151 different bird species have been recorded at Oldbury in the past 12 months by local birdwatchers.

Matthew Castle, head of environment at Oldbury, said: "Over the past few years we have been constantly striving to improve the diversity of species found around the site.

"We have worked hard to maintain and improve the habitats we have which include orchards, ponds, silt lagoons and hedgerows and we are pleased that our hard work is paying off."

The site is spread over 175 acres and has its own two-kilometre nature trail, which links with the Severn Way public footpath, attracting many visitors each year and providing a natural habitat for a wide range of birds and other wildlife.

Many birds are resident at Oldbury all year including Cormorant, Curlew, Heron, Shelduck, Buzzard, Moorhen and the Peregrine Falcons but there are many species which are only seen a few times each year or just once in a year including Red Kite, Hen Harrier, Marsh Harrier, Little Ringed Plover, Woodcock, Arctic and Great Skua.

This kind of journalism annoys me, are there really 50 pairs of Spoonbill in England? Are there only 100 Waxwing in the UK? I think there was more than that in Leeds today!

Often these large industrial sites have natural areas created as some form of mitigation land and in the right places can get a decent bird list. I'm interested to know what record they've broken (unless they have 50 pairs of Spoonbill breeding!)? I doubt they have got the largest list from a power station site, I'd have thought that would be Dungeness? A few years back I did some year-round surveys on an old power station site in the Northeast, it was great and had about 160 species in the year highlights I can remember off the top of my head included Bluethroat, Black Redstart, 2 Wryneck, Red-backed Shrike, Waxwing, Golden Oriole, Marsh Warbler, Richard's Pipit, Kentish Plover, Great Grey Shrike, Caspian Tern, Yellow-browed Warbler, Pallas's Warbler, Barred Warbler, Jack Snipe, Snow Bunting...

They have done well to get Waxwing this year though!

Golden Oriole © Dixi 2004

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