Home
 
 

Review Beddington Farmlands Bird and Wildlife Report 2015

 
 

With around 7,000 bird reports in my collection I can confidently say that it is quite rare to see an A4-sized bird report these days, but that's exactly what we have with this impressively large format, colour-print wildlife report, which runs to 135 pages and 71 photographs — including 14 half-page photographs of moths.

Lying along the Wandle valley in Croydon, Beddington is a well-known site in Greater London. The report is produced by the Beddington Farm Bird Group and is sponsored by the site owners, Viridor Waste Management. Of the birds, some 163 species were recorded during the year, albeit four of these were either not submitted or considered 'not proven'. One new bird seen and photographed for the site was European Serin, which brought the site list up to 258. Breeding highlights included a record 75+ fledged Tufted Duck young and the first successful breeding of Great Crested Grebe. On the downside, only two pairs of Tree Sparrows bred in 2015 — Beddington formerly held one of the largest colonies in Britain, with 80 pairs as recently as 2010.

Early pages describe the Aims and Objectives of the BFBG, the BFBG Rare Bird Policy, Recording Methodology (data sources) and a Restoration Update 2015, all of which point to a complex and presumably delicate working arrangement, with a host of surveys continually being undertaken by either BFBG or MKA Ecology Ltd (as commissioned by Viridor). The Restoration Update gives a flavour of how difficult it can be for the local bird group, with mention of a new incinerator proposal, a campaign to stop the incinerator, councils, the local government ombudsman and so on. In late 2015, Viridor cut the number of bird group key holders from 30 to 15 (citing health & safety concerns) but subsequently increased this to 25.

With so few observers (26 listed for 2015) the report must be regarded as quite an achievement. The main section includes a monthly summary, followed by the Systematic List. The latter makes good use of the ample space available, with the regularly occurring species having a monthly maxima table plus brief comments while less common species have each sighting noted. Colour photographs are embedded within the species accounts and eight very clear graphs show interesting annual trends, such as Lapwing territories and wintering Water Pipit numbers. However, I do think the species accounts would benefit from a brief comment/indication of status e.g. breeding, past-breeder and son, as some species are presumably breeding but not covered in the breeding surveys (such as Woodpigeon, Magpie and House Sparrow).

Sections include a Ringing Report and the Breeding Bird Survey 2015 results, which includes a detailed tabulation of counts and comparisons with 2012–14, plus an interesting discussion on how different observers can produce different results! A 19-page Bird Population Monitoring report shows trends since 1995 for 11 target species, chosen to be indicators for the Conservation Management Plan. Because of delays or only partial restoration being undertaken, breeding pairs for some eight of the 11 species are in a dire state (extinct, near-extinct or failed). Trends are also shown for a further 25 indicator species in different habitat types.

Further papers include notes on ringed gulls, other wildlife (butterflies, moths), systematic lists with status notes for butterflies and dragonflies, and a note on mustelids. A graph (p. 125) shows the number of 'bat passes per visit' since 1999 but gives no indication of the species' involved and no narrative by way of explanation.

Four useful site maps show different aspects of the site, though one or two have not reproduced very well, showing blurred text in the keys.

To summarise, this is an interesting report covering what is clearly a complex site. The report will certainly add to the information database and be hugely useful for reference purposes when restoration is implemented more fully in the future. Copies can be obtained from the editor, Peter Alfrey, via bfnr.org.uk/publications.

Peter also adds that any local birding groups wanting a template of the report for their own reports (Tice's Meadow use this template now too) should please email him for a copy.

Related pages

Greater London Greater London
Surrey Surrey


Related articles

Review 2015 Gwent Bird Report Review 2015 Gwent Bird Report
Steve Holliday examines a thorough and professionally produced annual report from Gwent Ornithological Society. read on read on
Review Carmarthenshire Birds 2015 Review Carmarthenshire Birds 2015
Steve Holliday takes a look at a high-quality offering from Carmarthenshire Bird Club. read on read on
Review Cleveland Bird Report 2015 Review Cleveland Bird Report 2015
Steve Holliday examines the latest annual report from Teesmouth Bird Club. read on read on
Review Eschenbach Arena D+ 8×42 B binocular Review Eschenbach Arena D+ 8×42 B binocular
Mike Alibone tests a new entry-level binocular and gives it the thumbs-up — and BirdGuides has two pairs to give away to the lucky winners of our competition! read on read on
Review Birds of Nepal Review Birds of Nepal
Ian Lycett takes a look at a significantly improved new edition of this important field guide to Nepal's birds. read on read on


The information in this article was believed correct at the time of writing. BirdGuides accepts no responsibility for errors, or for any consequences of acting on information in the article. The opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily shared by BirdGuides Ltd.

hide section Reader comments (0)

No comments so far.

Back to top Back to top

Latest edition Latest edition
Search articles Search articles
All articles All articles
Popular articles Popular articles
 
   
 
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Terms of Sale | Cookie Policy | About us | Advertise | Contact us
BirdGuides, Warners Group Publications PLC, The Chocolate Factory, 5 Clarendon Road, London N22 6XJ
© 2017 BirdGuides and Warners Group Publications plc. All Rights Reserved. Company Registered in England no. 2572212 | VAT registration No. GB 638 3492 15
Sales: or tel. 0800 919391 · International Sales: +44 (0)1778 391180 · Office: or tel. 020 8826 0934
 
   

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites