Have you ever wondered about the wildlife on the allotments?
BMMA has set up a nature watch group. The group is very keen to hear from all plot holders; you can write your sightings on the blackboard outside the hut, or send them in using the form on our webpage. We will of course keep you up to date on sightings and progress via the webpage and through the newsletters as well.
We welcome any level of detail, and photos would be a big bonus. We will even try to help with identification if needed. Other plans include setting up bat boxes, bird feeders close to the hut, and inviting groups such as West Yorkshire Bat Group to carry out specific onsite surveys. Group volunteers will gather and share all data with national conservation and academic bodies. We are already in touch with Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Leeds Nats and RSPB.
Group members have been carrying out weekly surveys since the new year (death permitting) and have recorded several interesting birds including Woodcock and Peregrine Falcon. And many of you will remember the flock of Waxwings that took up residence last winter. This shows that our allotments are an important green area amid dense housing, but are also close to green corridors and the open spaces in the Kirkstall valley. As ever the success of this project will depend on the number of members of the association who contribute to the scheme.
The current sightings list is now available on our website, along with form to send in your own sightings. If you have any questions or would like to help contact David Benn at email@example.com.
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G. B. Burgin
A quiet month for birds as the moult began and fledglings moved on. Swifts quickly disappeared mid-month, presumably seeking cooler weather and better feeding. There are still plenty of butterflies and lots of interesting moths. Highlight of this month is a common lizard noted on the board on the hut.
There was a report of a Jabberwocky being spotted on the site. However no picture was submitted but we have contacted the Yorkshire branch of the Wockies Group to see if we can set up a trap.
Bird numbers remain low but there seem to be more fledglings than last few years. Swifts are over the site almost continually from dawn until dusk. Chiffchaffs are still present, and Bullfinch are seen most weeks. Red Kites are also seen every few days. Still no invertebrate survey, but there are plenty of common species of butterflies and lots of interesting moths.
Bird numbers overall are low and summer migrants have been late arriving, which is understandable given the weather so far this year. Swifts were reported over the site in the first week of May. Chiffchaffs were heard singing at very end of April, and seen in the first week and then the very end of May. Also at the end of April a Peregrine falcon flew over the site, and a pair of Common Buzzards were seen performing courtship display overhead. Although a detailed invertebrate survey has yet to be carried out, bees are numerous on site and common species of butterflies have been seen most days. A survey is planned early June. The blackboard on the hut was used throughout the month, it’s now clear and ready for more observations.
Bats seen late evening on at least 1 occasion. Species not reported.
Blackbird Blue Tit Bullfinch Carrion Crow Chaffinch Chiff Chaff Collared Dove Dunnock Ferral Pigeon Fieldfare Gold Finch Great Tit Jay Magpie Mistle Thrush Redwing Robin Song Thrush Sparrow Sparrowhawk Wood Pigeon Woodcock Wren
Black Headed Gull Common Buzzard Herring Gull Lesser Black Back Gull Peregrine Falcon Red Kite
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