Projects

Nest boxes
The HOC supports installation of nest boxes (a) for species of conservation concern where availability of nest sites may be a factor limiting their abundance; (b) to help develop an interest in birds and their conservation.

Currently, the HOC monitors nest boxes at 11 Herefordshire Wildlife Trust reserves throughout the County and a further 13 non-reserve sites, including Moccas Park. The results of the monitoring (and ringing) activities are published annually in the Birds of Herefordshire Annual Reports.

If you are interested in joining the nest box monitoring scheme please contact nestboxmonitoring@herefordshirebirds.org.

Burley Gate Farmland Project
This project involves resurveying a farmland site at Burley Gate that was surveyed in detail during the 1960’s. During the winter of 2017/18 and summer 2018 the area was resurveyed using the same CBC (Common Bird Census) methods in order to see what changes had taken place. A second winter survey started in October 2018. The work will be continued for at least a further year. For further information please contact Robert Taylor at vicechair@herefordshirebirds.org.

Bodenham Lake
The Club is supporting a range of activities managed by the Herefordshire Wildlife Reserve at Bodenham Lake as a part of the Lugg Living Landscape initiative, including the building of a new observation hide and an Osprey platform. A major aim of the project is to re-profile the steep banks to enable improved marginal vegetation and more extensive reed beds. HOC members have been involved in a number of volunteering activities at the site during the works that are underway. For further information contact Lugg Living Landscape Project Officer Sophie Cowling at s.cowling@herefordshirewt.co.uk.

Lowland Curlews in Herefordshire
In 2017 work was started on identifying the remaining Curlew breeding sites in Herefordshire with the aim of protecting this rapidly declining species. The Club is now part of the Lowland Curlew Forum and in 2018 have been working closely with other counties to share experience, knowledge and protection methods. We are now also working closely with the nature agencies and landowners to help protect nest sites and the work will continue in 2019. In addition to supporting monitoring activities, the Club contributed towards the costs of purchasing land at Lower Lugg Meadows and is contributing towards the costs of protecting identified breeding sites. For further information please contact Chris Robinson at herefordbtorep@btinternet.com.

Sand Martins on the River Wye
HOC members Andrew Strong and Dan Webb have been studying a colony of Sand Martins at Sellack on the River Wye for several years. In 2018 a total of 145 nest holes were, but unexpected bad weather prevented the scheduled final phase of ringing activities, although earlier in the summer 88 birds were ringed (with the help of students from Cardiff University Ornithological Society, amongst others), over a quarter of which had been ringed in previous years. The Club has supported this project with a small grant to purchase an endoscope to aid investigation of next holes. Andrew and Dan will continue monitoring the colony in 2019, and also intend to establish the number of colonies breeding along the banks of the Wye in Herefordshire. Further updates will appear as this project progresses. For further information please contact either Dan Webb at Daniel.webb444@gmail.com or Andrew Strong at aj.strong@icloud.com.

Updates are on all these projects are published in the Club’s Newsletters.