Stanwick Lakes is 10 years old

Stanwick Lakes is 10 years old today. That is, the car park and visitor centre opened 10 years ago, apparently. There was a Roman Villa here rather longer ago than 10 years ago.

And my Birdtrack complete lists go back to 2005 – 485 of them which record 162 species.

I feel lucky to have a local patch which is so easily accessible and which is so good for birds and pretty good for other wildlife too. It’s the place where I get regular exercise and check in with the seasons and notice how wildlife is doing.

For example, for the last six visits, all in the last 10 days, I have heard at least one Willow Warbler singing. There have probably only been about 3-5 individual birds involved (that’s a guess based on the locations from where Willow Wobblers were singing) but on every day there was one patch of bushes, which look perfect for this species, from which torrents of song have poured. There is, I’m fairly sure, one revved up male Willow warbler which has made that good-(to-me)-looking patch his own and is broadcasting his availability to any passing females. I wonder whether he will stay or not. And the other singing birds seem more likely to be passage birds that have moved on. Perhaps. I wonder whether he will be in the same patch tomorrow too.

And there are some longer term trends which a quick look at my data illustrate. There will be many local patches that show a similar trend for this species.

Here are two bar charts of the proportion of visits on which a particular species was seen; the first graph is simply for April records and the lower one is for records from all through the year. Can you guess the species? It’s quite easy…

Did you identify Little Egret? I wonder what the similar graph for Great Egret will look like in another 10 years? Watch this space!

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2 Replies to “Stanwick Lakes is 10 years old”

  1. The first pouring out of song of the Willow Warbler – like a libation to life itself. Those Romano Brits would have loved it too. Pity they didn’t make a yearly note of such arrivals on a wall somewhere. Or perhaps they did?
    Here, factory workers over the decades chalked up on an inside wall of an old engine shed reams of dates of the spring arrivals of Sand Martins at Midhurst Bricks sand quarry. The shed was bulldozed in the 1980’s before anyone realised the cultural and scientific value of it.

  2. I'm a fan of patch stats, and like the comparison with Stanwick Lakes (which I enjoyed visited for the first time on Boxing Day 2018). Thanks, Mark!

    Little Egret was on 3.4% of my BirdTrack lists at the Nunnery Lakes in 2010, up to 61.0% in 2018. Great (White) Egret was on 3.2% of my lists in 2018...predictions for 2026, anyone?


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