The start of term at the end of September saw the beginning of the 2nd year of the University Birdwatch Challenge. This year we’ve got more staff taking part, which is good, but currently less students (I plan to try resolving this…). With about a week before the next term, our list for the academic year is on 32 and counting, with the majority of species being recorded on the Highfield campus.
As with last year, our species count is far lower than other universities due to our location but it’s still interesting to look out for the nature present within a city. We’ve already seen most of the common garden birds such as robins, dunnocks, blackbirds and the tit species, but also less common species as well.
A stream runs through our main campus, and there are a few small ponds, which means we also have a few wetland species present – moorhens, mallards and grey wagtails.
During the autumn migration, a flock of redwing were seen over our main campus. I remember last year (well, actually January 2014), there were small flocks on campus so I’m hoping they return in time for exams, and I wonder what other winter migrants might be lurking in the city…
In my last blog post, I wrote about how the latest addition to the UBC list were some house sparrows. Since then, one of the PhD students had a nuthatch and green woodpecker in Chilworth, one of the other campuses over Christmas.
In non bird news, there have also been a few roe deer lurking around Chilworth – if only they could count too!
Wonder what we’ll see next year? Birding in a city isn’t quite the same as wandering around your local wetland nature reserve, for example, but it is interesting and reminds you that nature is everywhere and tries to coexist in our busy, built up towns and cities.
Species recorded this academic year:
- Carrion Crow
- Pied Wagtail
- Herring Gull
- Blue Tit
- Feral Pigeon
- Black-headed Gull
- Mistle Thrush
- Grey Wagtail
- Stock Dove
- Coal Tit
- Great Spotted Woodpecker
- Long-tailed Tit
- Great Tit
- Peregrine Falcon
- House Sparrow
- Green Woodpecker