News

ENR Bat Survey: Three Species of Pipistrelle – 15 August

Ten people turned out for our first organized bat survey which went ahead at 8.45 in a fine evening with near ideal conditions.

The first bat detected was a Soprano Pipistrelle (frequency 55 kHz) near the car park where bat boxes have been erected. All was then quiet until we reached the picnic area where both Soprano and Common Pipistrelle (45 kHz) were picked up.

The next find was the highlight though – a probable Nathusius Pipistrelle (38 kHz) at the edge of the large meadow. Pete and Rachael Evans had previously detected a Nathusius in the same general area. Nathusius are rare and not often associated with Shropshire.

So although not great in abundance, we detected three good species, including two which will now be added to our species list. Thanks to Steve Sprules-Wright for leading the group and SVCP for the detectors.

 
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Results of the butterfly survey at the reserve – 6 August

Eleven species recorded, totalling 51 butterflies:

Meadow Brown 10
Gatekeeper 8
Peacock 7
Red Admiral 6
Common Blue 5
Small White 4
Brown Argus 3
Speckled Wood 3
Small Tortoiseshell 2
Large White 2
Painted Lady 1

Thanks to all who took part.

 

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Bird Hide Upgrades – 24 July


We have continued to improve & upgrade the fabric of the bird hide. Most recently a new, very heavy-duty felt roof was fitted. Our thanks go to Rob Day (aka Rob the Roofer) of Roof Rescue, Broseley for supplying the felt and kindly fitting it, ably assisted by Dale Payne.

 

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 Nature Reserve Wins Grant to Upgrade Facilities – 25 June 

Eardington Nature Reserve has just been awarded a £10,000 grant to undertake some vital improvements. The grant from the Big Lottery Fund ‘Awards for All’ scheme will result in major improvements to the internal track network, giving ease of access to most of the reserve, including the wetlands, picnic area and bird hide.

Ian Barrie, Chair of the Friends Group added “The award is fantastic news. The reserve is generally flat, but from the autumn through to spring the paths become wet and muddy which restricts access. The new all-weather paths will be welcomed by everyone, but especially those with impaired mobility.” Two new RADAR gates, which are operated with a remote control, will further improve access for wheelchair and mobility scooter users.

Over and above the paths, Shropshire Council, who own the lease to the reserve, are contributing a notice board and an access platforms to one of the ponds. Further information boards, which will provide background on the history of the quarry and the wildlife, will also be lottery funded.

Work is expected to commence in late July and will hopefully be nearing completion in the autumn.        

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Nest Box Survey Results – 2017

 

The final nest has just fledged and has completed a highly successful season; the highlights include [2016 results in brackets]:

  • 11 weekly checks were undertaken between 26 March & 4 June [6 in 2016] 

  • 12 nests were occupied [5], comprising 7 Blue Tit, 3 Great Tit, 1 Coal Tit & 1 Robin

  • All clutches fledged, except for the robin which was predated.

  • Including the robin nest, the total number of eggs reached 91 [31] of which 81 successfully fledged [23].

  • The number of nest boxes placed, enhanced from the PLT grant, was 40 [26]

  • The occupancy rate was 30% [19%] 

  • Peak egg laying took place over the 2ndhalf of April [early May]

  • Great Tit nests tended to be higher than those of Blue Tit and with larger access holes.

 

The refurbishment of 10 wooden boxes and the relocation of many others, in addition to the 14 new nest boxes, has resulted in a significant increase in activity.

The decision to purchase Woodstone boxes was rewarded with higher occupancy rates compared to the wooden ones, which were admittedly a little late in being re-positioned (early March).  Sadly, the targeted species (Marsh Tit, Tree Sparrow & Starling) failed to use the new facilities this year.

As relatively few changes will be made following this season, we are expecting a further increase in occupancy in 2018, with higher rates in the refurbished wooden boxes in particular. Any alterations undertaken will be influenced by the 2017 survey results.

We also have a large owl/kestrel box, donated by SVCP volunteers, which we plan to erect along the northern boundary.

Thanks to both Ange & Eddie who assisted in the 2017 survey.