Bio Survey (week 1)

Welcome back to Shenstone Birder in 2014.  As outlined in my previous post I am going to spend some time throughout the year trying to record as many species of fauna and flora in a 1km square area of the patch as possible.  The area I am looking at is primarily looking at is on the Stone side of my patch and can be seen by clicking on the link at the side of this blog.

In between undertaking this Bio Survey I will also record the goings on of the various birdlife on the 'greater patch' and other areas that I may go birding/recording at throughout 2014.  So to make things simpler I have decided to undertake a Bio Survey update post on a weekly basis to start with (although this may increase later in the year) and also post about my other birding travels and Shenstone visits in between.  Clear as mud...I thought so, on with the post!

Wednesday 1st January to Tuesday 7th January 2014

As expected, the recording got off to a quite start due to the time of year.  Still it was a good time to start the new year patch bird list and in the 1km square I managed to record 24 species of bird.  Highlights included a flock of 30+ Siskin in the Alders at the edge of Stanklyn Wood (TMH) on the 5th Jan and 5 Ravens 'kronking' away over Stanklyn Wood on the 6th.

The other species of bird recorded in this period were:  Blackbird, Blue Tit, Carrion Crow, Common Buzzard, Cormorant, Fieldfare, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Tit, Green Woodpecker, House Sparrow, Jackdaw, Linnet, Long-tailed Tit, Magpie, Mistle Thrush, Nuthatch, Pheasant, Redwing, Robin and Skylark.

As expected the inverts were all but none existent with my only records being a single 7-spot Ladybird and the Holly Leaf Miner.  The presence of this tiny fly can be discovered by looking for the 'mines' (off the tunnel variety not the exploding ones) that it's pupae leave in Holly leaves.

7-spot Ladybird (Coccinella 7-punctata)

Most of the patch flora isn't in flower but I did find a rather nice White Dead Nettle in bloom,  Other species of flora identified this period were Bramble, Broom, Dog Rose, Holly, Ivy, Lesser Celandine & Rosebay Willowherb.

White Dead-nettle (Lamium album)

I was only able to confidently id 2 types of lichen this week:  Oak Moss (Evernia prunastri) & Xanthoria parietina.  There are many more lichen on the patch but they are a difficult area and one I will have to spend a rainy day (or two) swatting up on.

Xanthoria parietina

Oak Marble Galls were still present on some of the Oak trees within the 1km square

There is still some fungi to be found during the winter months and during this recording period I noted the following 7 species:  Birch Polypore, The Goblet, Jelly Ear, Sycamore Tarspot, Toothed Crust, Velvet Shank and Violet Bramble Rust.

Sycamore Tarspot (Rhytisma acerinum)

Jelly Ear (Auricularia auricula-judae)

The Goblet (Pseudoclitocybe cyathiformis)

Toothed Crust (Basidioradulum radula)

As expected it was also a slow start to the mammal list with only 3 species recorded. These were Grey Squirrel Mole (indicated by the presence of freshly dug mole hills) and Badger (indicated by the rather sad discovery of a dead one that I found on a grass verge not far from the site of a known set).  More species will no doubt be picked up Spring/Summer during some of my dusk visits to the area.

I have also recorded 9 species of tree so far:  Alder, Ash, Crab Apple, English Oak, Hawthorn, Larch, Silver Birch, Sycamore and YewThere are many more within the BioBlitz area but I want to wait until they are all in leaf/flower/fruit before accurately identifying them.

So there you have it in total I recorded 56 species within week one and this looking for other things helped pass the time during this quite patch birding time.  I hope you will find this journey of discovery as interesting as I do.


  1. Nice one Jase, very informative. Just off to look for Holly Leaf Miner in my Holly Tree.

  2. You've certainly found lots of interest in your square km already Jason.
    Good luck going forward.

  3. Looking good Jase, at least you've got plenty of those rainy days for swatting! I dont think your tree list will improve very fast though!

  4. Nice one, Jase...& a good start. Looking forward to seeing what else your bio-blitz turns up over the coming year.

  5. plenty to get your teeth into already !

  6. I wish I had your breadth of knowledge. Very impressive.

  7. Thanks all....I'm glad you found it interesting.