Friday, 2 January 2009

The Patch

My Prestwick Carr patch consists of the area inside a polygon with corners at Dinnington, Horton Grange, Berwick Hill and Prestwick Village. The centre is the low lying Carr which is a lake drained in the 1800’s and still subject to regular flooding the most recent being August 2008 from which the land has still not recovered. The Carr is surrounded by general farmland some of which is part of an M.o.D firing range and along with a few smallholdings there are a number of ponds, areas of flash water and small plantations of mixed conifer / birch woodland. The site is bisected east – west and north – south by single track roads which date back to the time of drainage and possibly before as the area has history from before Roman times.

I have counted the central area almost weekly for the last ten years with my patch list standing at 148 including Bittern, Common Crane, Red-backed Shrike, Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Rough-legged Buzzard, Garganey plus thanks to the August floods…Pectoral Sandpiper and Little Stint! A general count lasting two hours will generally identify around 40 species with late April and September breaking 50. My record is 63 set on May 5th 2008 again when the Carr was flooded.

As mentioned yesterdays count was subdued at 32 but included small flocks of Greylag Geese, Bullfinch and Lesser Redpoll with a single Treecreeper. Will try again over the weekend.

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