Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Evening ringers, Many thanks for your help today (Wednesday 4th December 2013). 

Please see summary for the session below: 

 Blue Tit            14                  8             22 
 Great Tit          10                  5             15 
 Long-tailed Tit  8                  4             12 
 Coal Tit             2                   2               4 
 Robin                3                   1               4 
 Bullfinch           3                   -                3 
 Goldcrest          3                   -                3 
 Song Thrush    1                   -                1 
 TOTAL          44                 20             64 

 All retraps originate from the first visit to site on 30th October 2013. 




Thursday, 7 November 2013

The RSPB Woodland contains some 'veteran' apple trees in the southeast corner, not particularly old, but survivors nevertheless for want of care; we are now planning some careful management of these trees together with the development of a tree nursery and orchard alongside.

This work will compliment any future management as part of an NIA, which should begin 2014.

For Winter 2013-14 NIA planning and work will take place at both the nearby Queen Mothers Plantation - 150 meters southwest of the RSPB Woodland and the RSPB Woodland

NIA = Nature Improvement Area

Plans for RSPB Woodland over the next 6 months -

  • November - Submit NIA proposal to the Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust Board; 
  • National Tree Week 2013, beginning 23rd November - develop tree nursery at south east corner of RSPB Woodland, plant trees supplied by Woodland Trust in nursery.
  • December 2013 - B&BCWT begin consultation and publicity to engage local communities and Friends of CHP
  • January - March 2014 - work begins on woodland, 11 workdays including 6 public involvement days and a half term Woodland activity day.
  • March 2014 - Public woodland event
Continuation of woodland management at both Queen Mothers and RSPB.

Rationale - 
The woodland was planted in 1989 along with many other plantations around Birmingham.

To further aid the biodiversity of the woodland, thinning approximately 1/3 of the trees will allow existing trees to develop the canopy and increase light levels to allow for the development of improved ground flora.

In the process a large amount of dead wood will be generated and used to create dead-wood habitat piles and hedges; these are essential for providing shelter for many species of birds, small mammals, amphibians and invertebrates - thus improving food-chain prospects for predatory creatures such as Tawny Owl, Sparrowhawk, Fox and possibly weasel.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Magpie caught and ringed at RSPB woodland - October 2013

Ringing at RSPB Woodland October 2013 - report from Dan

Thanks for your help this morning - great start to the urban ringing scheme. Summary for the session: SPECIES NEW RETRAP TOTAL Blue Tit 30 - 30 Chaffinch 1 - 1 Coal Tit 7 - 7 Great Tit 12 - 12 Jay 1 - 1 Long-tailed Tit 5 - 5 Magpie 1 - 1 Nuthatch 1 - 1 Robin 2 - 2 TOTAL 60 0 60 <

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Update from Dan

Please see below a summary for nest boxes installed within the Selly Oak and Hall Green wards:




BOX OUTCOME: Box failure - deserted at egg stage
I was surprised about the number of unoccupied boxes within the above sites and especially for the RSPB Woodland at Cannon Hill. It is possible that increased competition for natural nest sites in the better quality habitats (mature broad leaved woodland) results in the birds prospecting earlier in the year and given the boxes were installed relatively late (February) the hole nesting birds may have already scoped out potential nest sites before the snow arrived.

However, the plan is to monitor the boxes for the next two years so the story is far from complete and it is hoped the mist netting exercise will shed more light on general bird density, species diversity and bird turnover rates at each of the study sites.

Monday, 30 September 2013

Nature Improvement Area

The Birmingham and Black Country Nature Improvement Area is one of the first twelve 

Nature Improvement Areas in  England. The vision of the partnership is to achieve  

long- term environmental gains for the wildlife and people of Birmingham & the Black

Country by delivering targeted, on the ground, biodiversity projects at a landscape


We are currently working on plans for a comparatively large NIA proposal for the Rea Valley, and this will include a management plan, funding for woodland and meadow management along with site interpretation.

The RSPB Woodland at Cannon Hill is prime for consideration.

For further information on NIA's checkout the following link for The Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust


RSPB Woodland update from DAN September 2013

Despite the cold temperatures earlier in the spring the birds did eventually make use of the nest boxes I installed with many resulting in successful outcomes (i.e. young fledging the nest). It will be interesting to see how things progress in subsequent years and whether any patterns are emerging within the nest box data. The aim of the next stage of the project is to investigate the movement patterns of birds across the City and in particular answer the following research questions: Are the birds that were ringed as pulli in the nest boxes remaining on site or are they dispersing to other sites? What is the general turnover of birds within each of the study sites? Are birds settling at a particular site or are they constantly moving onto other sites due to factors such as predation/competition/resource availability etc? Are there any links between landscape structure, habitat quality and habitat occupancy for the study sites? In order to carry out this stage of the project and therefore to catch birds in flight I would like to carry out a programme of mist netting and bird ringing within the same study sites used for my nest box scheme. Monitoring would involve the temporary installation of mist nets (e.g. super fine 60ft nets attached to metal poles) close to hedgerows, treelines or within rides of vegetation and away from public access routes across each site. The nets would be continuously monitored from a distance to ensure there is no interference from members of the public, predators and to ensure all birds safely removed by experienced bird ringers. Caught birds will be ringed using metal BTO rings and various biometrics taken (e.g. age, sex, weight, wing length, fat and muscle levels) before releasing the birds again. Ringing sessions would take place between the hour of sunrise and midday on a weekly basis and all equipment would be removed from site on completion of the monitoring. Birds’ welfare is of paramount importance and hence all ringing sessions will be supervised by experienced ringers with either A or C permits. Ringing will cease if either bird or ringer welfare are jeopardised. The data obtained would form a significant part of my research and thus I hope you look favourably on my request. Should you have any queries then please do not hesitate to get in touch. I look forward to hearing from you,

Thursday, 13 June 2013

The first fledglings of 2013 are well versed now in survival technique and increased activity is noticeable in the RSPB woodland.

Great Tits seem to have done well with many noisy youngsters still demanding attention from ragged parents, perhaps looking to start another brood.

Robins, likewise, in good numbers with youngster inheriting the cheeky but endearing qualities of their parents.

Around 10 new boxes were added this year by Dan from Birmingham University and I'm hoping for an update sometime soon regarding successes of failures.

The woodland is currently in its prime for the year with large swathes of Cow Parsley taking advantage of increased light levels brought about by management over the past three winters.

The central (single) Oak has been submitted to 'treezilla' and all of my submissions can be found via this link -


I'm hoping to map or at least encourage others to map all of the aged and veteran Oaks around Selly Oak and Hall Green.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Around 20 Redpolls feeding in Alder trees at RSPB woodland today