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Coney Meadow and Adjoining Areas

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Old Saturday 5th August 2017, 11:26   #1726
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Siskin over Coney Meadow - an early one!
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Old Saturday 5th August 2017, 18:30   #1727
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Siskin over Coney Meadow - an early one!
Oh, no! Must be time to start Christmas shopping!
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Old Sunday 6th August 2017, 22:09   #1728
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14 Glow worms this evening - at least two new.

Tawny Owl calling from near the allotments.

Hobby hunting over Droitwich Community Woods earlier and one seen this morning near Ladywood.

About 100 Swallows and a few Sand Martins roosted at Coney.

A few Willow Warblers around Mildenham this morning - one singing.

Last edited by Woodchat : Sunday 6th August 2017 at 22:12.
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Old Tuesday 8th August 2017, 08:33   #1729
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Grass Snake Species

Now that Grass Snake has been split into 2 species (Barred and Eastern), it might be worth reviewing the photos taken on the patch over the years:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40853286

Photos 3 and 4 show snakes with distinct bars but they have bright yellow around the back of the head (collar).

Apparently, the characteristics of the Barred Grass Snake (Natrix helvetica) include a greyer colouration, lack of distinct yellow collar and more obvious barring.

The ones in the photos are probably all Common or Eastern Grass Snakes (Natrix natrix) but it would be good to get an expert opinion.
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Old Tuesday 8th August 2017, 09:44   #1730
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Now that Grass Snake has been split into 2 species (Barred and Eastern), it might be worth reviewing the photos taken on the patch over the years:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40853286

Photos 3 and 4 show snakes with distinct bars but they have bright yellow around the back of the head (collar).

Apparently, the characteristics of the Barred Grass Snake (Natrix helvetica) include a greyer colouration, lack of distinct yellow collar and more obvious barring.

The ones in the photos are probably all Common or Eastern Grass Snakes (Natrix natrix) but it would be good to get an expert opinion.
Hi Dave,

My understanding is that it's just a reclassification and there are not two species in the UK.

The UK population (Natrix natrix helvetica) now proposed as Natrix helvetica.

Usual sloppy reporting by the mainstream media.

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Old Tuesday 8th August 2017, 10:22   #1731
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Hi Dave,

My understanding is that it's just a reclassification and there are not two species in the UK.

The UK population (Natrix natrix helvetica) now proposed as Natrix helvetica.

Usual sloppy reporting by the mainstream media.

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Cheers Brian,

I thought the reports seemed a bit confusing regarding characteristics - I saw on-line write-ups in the Guardian and the Birmingham Mail.

They (and the BBC) did claim there are now 4 species of Snakes in the UK and the new taxon is Natrix helvetica.

As you say, could just be sloppy reporting. I think I'll do more reading.
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Old Tuesday 8th August 2017, 13:12   #1732
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Yes it is crap reporting and Brian Stretch is right about the reclassification

The link for the original paper is https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-07847-9
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Old Tuesday 8th August 2017, 14:01   #1733
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I should have realised the ineptitude of the mainstream media (including the BBC) - a few years ago they reported on the decline of 'Hawkfinches' (sic) in the UK.

The following claims in the (BBC and other) articles are clearly inaccurate:

'A new type of snake has been discovered in the UK, bringing the total number of species to four.' and 'Both types of grass snake are normally found in lowland regions in the south of England.'

I don't know why the BBC don't run these press releases past Brett Westwood before they publish them - I think he still works for them and he would, no doubt, sort out the facts for them before they publish.
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Old Wednesday 9th August 2017, 22:30   #1734
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Another article re the grass snake position https://cparg.wordpress.com/2017/08/...in-the-uk/amp/
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Old Thursday 10th August 2017, 08:36   #1735
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Another article re the grass snake position https://cparg.wordpress.com/2017/08/...in-the-uk/amp/
Cheers Phil, that article is very clear.

Also, interesting that there are some introduced N. natrix in England.

I wonder if the BBC et al. would be decent enough to issue revised press releases that aren't misleading. I doubt it somehow.

Last edited by Woodchat : Thursday 10th August 2017 at 08:39.
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Old Friday 11th August 2017, 09:28   #1736
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Three Spotted Flycatchers near Chatley - in hedge with other passerines.

Adult Hobby chasing hirundines.

Common Tern over Hawford.

Last edited by Woodchat : Friday 11th August 2017 at 09:33.
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Old Friday 11th August 2017, 09:35   #1737
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Tree Pipit just flew west near Chatley calling loudly.
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Old Friday 11th August 2017, 12:35   #1738
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A Tern sp. over the back of High Park about 15 mins ago - flew down the valley but too distant. Probably Common.

Other species today include singing Willow Warbler, Sedge and Reed, Cormorant, Kingfisher, Kestrels, Linnets, a few Swifts, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Heron, Raven, etc.

Brown Hare near Knight's Grove.
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Old Saturday 12th August 2017, 10:30   #1739
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Not a bad morning so far:

2 Redstarts - a male near Blossom Farm, Chatley and another less well marked bird about a quarter of a mile away between Chatley and Mildenham.

1 Yellow Wagtail over Tapenhall.

Three Hobbies over Knight's Grove including at least one juv. Another over Tapenhall.

Little Egret over Mildenham.
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Old Sunday 13th August 2017, 13:03   #1740
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Four Redstarts this morning - a well marked male between Chatley and Mildenham and two males and a female between Hawford and the confluence.

Common Tern fishing along the canal near Hawford and two earlier over the fishing pools.

Hobby over Hawford.

Good selection of warblers including 4+ Lesser Whitethroats, singing Willow Warblers, Sedge Warblers and Whitethroats.

Two Little Owls Linacres paddocks (1 juv).

2 Brown Hares near Knight's Grove.
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Old Sunday 13th August 2017, 21:48   #1741
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Just 8 Glow worms seen this evening.
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Old Friday 18th August 2017, 12:08   #1742
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Male Redstart again this morning between Mildenham and Chatley.
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Old Saturday 19th August 2017, 08:26   #1743
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Two Yellow Wagtails on the dung heap by Sinton Lane Farm - both female types but one more yellow than the other.
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Old Saturday 19th August 2017, 11:21   #1744
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Another Yellow Wagtail over Linacres paddocks.

Male Redstart same place as yesterday.
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Old Sunday 20th August 2017, 08:46   #1745
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Two Yellow Wagtails near Ladywood near green barn and around the rubble - 3 Wagtail species present in same area.

Eclipse drake Tufted Duck and Little Grebe earlier between Hawford and Chatley.

A Little Egret just flew down the valley over New Mill.

Last edited by Woodchat : Sunday 20th August 2017 at 08:50.
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Old Sunday 20th August 2017, 10:41   #1746
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Hobby over Coney Meadow.
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Old Sunday 20th August 2017, 11:00   #1747
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Spotted Flycatcher along the canal at Salwarpe mixed in with Chiffchaffs and other small passerines.
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Old Sunday 20th August 2017, 11:32   #1748
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Another Spot Fly along the river below Harford Hill.
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Old Monday 21st August 2017, 10:40   #1749
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Two Little Egrets between Salwarpe and Ladywood this morning.

Tree Pipit and a male Yellow Wagtail between Mildenham and Chatley.
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Old Tuesday 22nd August 2017, 08:34   #1750
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A few more species seen yesterday (21/08):

3 Swifts Ladywood area
Little Grebe and Tufted Duck between Chatley and Hawford
Lesser Whitethroat Tapenhall
2 Ravens Salwarpe
20 Mistle Thrushes perched on pylons around Middleton Bank - plus others elsewhere.
Starlings beginning to form sizable flocks.
5 Cormorants perched on a pylon near Salwarpe plus more seen flying over
Large numbers of Swallows and House martins passing overhead
Willow Warblers, Kingfisher, Grey Wags, Grey Herons, Reed buntings, Yellowhammers, Kestrels, Buzzards, Common Whitethroats, Reed Warblers, Bullfinches, Treecreeper, Coal Tits, Goldcrests, etc.

4 Glow worms seen after dusk..
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