2016 - A Review of the Year
The SBaW Blog is doing really well and this year is no exception with 149 contributors passing on their sightings and photos for inclusion.
We seem to have a good following as well, not just from the UK but overseas with the United States, Russia, Germany, Ukraine, France, China, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland being the top countries looking at this Blog. I think you will all agree there are a few interesting ones in amonst those highlighted.
This is the first year that I have been able to get out and about a bit more and it has been really nice to have met some of you for the first time who have been contributing to the Blog. But it hasn't just been the contributors I have met, as quite a few have been readers who have been using the Blog as a means to see what is around.
I even met one couple from Derby on Valentines Day where the wife had booked a hotel in the Cotswold Water Park so that her husband could spend the day birdwatching around the Cleveland Lakes Nature Reserve. Now that is true love.
Thank you all though for taking an interest in the Blog either as contributors or readers. Its much appreciated. A full list of contributors at the bottom of the page.
As in previous years the Blog is always expanding with new ideas and changes, and I would especially like to thank Steve Davies with his time-saving Word macro, which now allows me to add multiple species in bold, as opposed to highlighting each individual species and then clicking on the bold tool. Thank you Steve.
Some other changes had to be made with the introduction of a new Readers Corner Blog. The old one was on a single page which was pretty lengthy, slow to load and causing me all sorts problems with editing. The new one works on the same principle as the Main SBaW Blog and each entry is on a single page, which is so much easier to edit and more importantly easier for everyone to view.
A couple of ideas which I'm really pleased with, has been the creation of a Swindon Birds and Wildlife Facebook Group which since 20 May now has 45 members and we are also on Twitter.
So if you are on Facebook or Twitter then why not join us.
So if you are on Facebook or Twitter then why not join us.
I'm still working on the "Wildlife Sites", but I think I will probably drop the "What is it" page, as this is very rarely used.
The Systematic Moth Species page has been brilliant, I just need a few more images to compliment the species seen. The insects page is still been looked at and something which is always ongoing is the continual updating of the General Links, Notices and other hidden parts of the Blog, which will hopefully all be transparent in time.
And now for the amazing highlights of what has been an exceptionally good year in and around Swindon.
Records are always being broken and this year so far there have been 186 bird species recorded beating last years figure of 179. It was good to have Bewick's Swans back on the list this year, though Waxwings still elude us, even though there are well over a 1000 birds in Scotland. We need to some colder weather to drive them south.
The highlights this year have been: Great Northern Diver, Black-necked Grebe, Shag, Bittern, Cattle Egret, Great White Egret, White Stork, Bewick's Swan, Garganey, Greater Scaup, Ferruginous Duck, Common Scoter, Honey Buzzard, Red-footed Falcon, Quail, Common Crane, Hoopoe, Siberian Chiffchaff, Yellow-browed Warbler, Pied Flycatcher and Ortolan Bunting. The latter seen flying over Morgan's Hill on 30 Sep and was reported on BirdGuides. The latest bird to be added to this list is a Dipper seen on 25 Dec
Unusual birds seen: Black Swan, Reeves Pheasant, Bald Eagle / White-tailed Eagle, Bar-headed Goose
Nothing out of the ordinary this year, other than the first Rabbit wasn't recorded until 10 Feb!
All the usual reptiles were seen though sadly there weren't any Slow-worms sighted. Late News Just in a Slow-worm was seen and photographed on 19 Jun, so there is at least one in the Swindon Area. Photo Here
Amphibians were plentiful and the first Frog spawn reported in was on 23 Feb a bit earlier than the 10 Mar from last year.
Well I thought last year was extrodinary, but this year Wow! With a lot of help, courtesy of the Wiltshire Moths and Butterflies Facebook page, this years trappings have so far reached a staggering 531. What is more incredible is that figure doesn't include 76 species recorded from last year.
Notable moths this year have been: Angle-barred Pug (The form Ash Pug, Eupithecia innotata f. fraxinata), Early Moth (Theria primaria), Lotus Case-bearer (Coleophora discordella), Mottled Umber (Erannis defoliaria), Mullein Wave (Scopula marginepunctata), Oak Processionary (Thaumetopoea processionea), Shore Marble (Lobesia littoralis), Silver Y (Dwarf form Autographa gamma f. gammina), Spruce Seed Moth (Cydia strobilella) and a Treble Line (ab obscura, Charanyca trigrammica - colour variation).
In total since May 2013 there have now been 608 Moth Species recorded within a 10 mile radius of Swindon.
An amazing start to the year with both Peacock and Painted Lady seen out in the sun on 25 Jan 16. Though overall the year was a poor one for butterflies, with many species down in numbers, especially in suburban gardens. In total 32 species were recorded with notable species being Brown Hairstreak, Marsh Fritillary, Purple Emperor and Wall Brown. Sadly not a single Clouded Yellow was seen in the Swindon area this year.
Last year I noted that the recorded Hoverfly species was almost double that of the previous year with 16 species and this year that has increased once again with 19. The first sighting of the year was a Cheilosia illustrata (23 May). Other insects of note were Ivy Bee (Colletes hederae) seen on 11 Oct in Ashton Keynes. This species was first seen in the UK in 2001, so a very new addition to UK species list.
For the full list of this years species, Click Here
As per last year I have added all your names below. If I've misspelled or missed anybody off, please let me know and I shall amend the list accordingly. There are also a few without surnames that I met on my travels.
Adam Cross, Alan McCluskie, Alan Morton, Andrew Sloan, Andrew Whittaker, Angus Geddes, Anna Forbes, Barry Trevis, Bill Mead, Bob Markham, Bob Philpott, Bob Shiret, Bob Winckle, Brian, Brian Harris, Brian Heath, Brian Seaman, Brian Waller, Bruce Maxfield, Caroline Street , Chris Mabon, Chris Norwood, Chris Stott, Colin Pinchen, Darren Tonge, Dave Collins, Dave Dunn, Dave Kilbey, Dave Soons, David Butcher, David Delpy, David King, David Taylor, Dawn Young, Derek Pinchen, Don Hopkins, Don Young, Edward Butler, Elliott Horton, Felicity Cobb, Finn Halsall, Frank Gardner, Gary Chalker, Gaynor Dabner, Geoff Faulkner, Graham Cox, Graham Deacon, Graham Perry, Harry King, Heather Woodhams, Helen Rice, Helen Sly, Hilary Williams, Huw Jones, Ian Searle, Ian Stewart, Jan Mead, Jane Deacon, Janet Sly, Jean Ford, Jim Day, Jim Wainwright, Joanna Fraser, John Durell, John Edwards, John Grearson, John Iles, John Kornjaca, John Wells, Jon Mercer, Jonathan Cooper, Jordan Yates, Josie McNally, Julie George, June Jackson, K Perkins, Karen, Kathryn Harris, Ken Cypher, Kim Milsom, Kris Page, L Perkins, Laura Mynott, Leanne Reddock, Liz Stephens, Lorraine Gove, Lynne Hallam, Lysana Robinson, Malcolm Royal, Margaret Delpy, Mark Shields, Mark Shields, Martin Adlam, Martin Newman, Martyn Jelley, Matt Pringle, Matt Prior, Maureen Iles, Maurice Carne, Mick, Mick Nicolls, Mick Smart, Mike Ford, Mike Fox, Neil Cowley, Neil George, Nick Adams, Nick Goddard, Nigel Gardener, Nigel Pleass, Nigel Sluman, Paul Attaway, Paul Castle, Paul Smith, Pauline Cypher, Pete Adams, Peter Berry, Phil Crook, Phil Deacon, Phil Gower, Phillip Smith, Richard Gosnell, Richard Vernon, Richard Williams, Robin Griffiths, Robin Nelson, Sarah Smart, Shane Faulkner, Simon Gathercole, Simon Wicks, Sonia Hill, Stephen Edwards, Steve Birt, Steve Covey, Steve Davies, Steve Hudson, Steve Nash, Steve Wallace, Sue Clayson, Terry Dabner, Terry Winter, Tim Smith, Tony Grant, Tony Martin, Tony Reader, Tracey Baker-Stewart, Trevor Clayson, Wayne Clinch and Wilf Lewis.
As always, it goes without saying, that without your input the SBaW wouldn't exist. So I thank you all for making this a wonderful job for me to do on your behalf.
I hope you all have a Very Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year.