Wildlife Reports 2021
As we ease into the new year we have been reflecting on the wildlife sightings the amazing Aldbourne community have reported and exciting projects you have helped us establish during 2021. Thank you to everyone who has shared their wildlife experiences with us; it is so exciting to hear about them and share them on Aldbournewildlife.com for others to enjoy. Understanding and exploring our local wildlife, engaging people of all ages and fostering a love for nature is critical for inspiring us all to protect the natural world around us.
Starting with mammals, we were delighted to hear from 38 households in the village who have enjoyed visits from hedgehogs this year. Nationally, 50% of rural hedgehogs have been lost in the last decade so please do continue to report hedgehogs so we can monitor how they are doing in Aldbourne. Only a couple of old historic records were known for harvest mice in the parish, but after a couple of local survey training days run in collaboration with Wiltshire Mammal Group, we have found harvest mice nests in 14/16 2km survey square within the parish (the remaining two squares only dipped into the parish). A great result. Other highlights include the wood mice and bank voles found with classes from St Michael’s school during the Church Count on Nature in June which all 7 school year groups joined us for wildlife monitoring workshops. In total 25 different mammal species have been recorded this year (there are historic records of 8 others around Aldbourne).
Our parish bird list for 2021 contains 80 different species. If you enjoy bird watching do check out the list and see if you can add any more; we’d love to hear from you. The peregrine pair continue to roost on the church tower and our monitoring of prey remains (as part of a national study) has revealed a varied diet with a preference for starlings in the spring and redwing in autumn. Our ringing project saw 197 birds ringed of 18 species in the village helping in the BTO national scheme to monitor population trends. It was a tough year for house martins but over 30 nests on buildings were recorded.
29 butterflies species have fluttered past observers and while the number of moth species is still being processed, by mid-August we had recorded over 200 species (105 of these being present in St Michael’s churchyard). 34 other insects were identified around Aldbourne 2021. Finally, 4 reptiles and amphibians have made it onto our lists.
Please like the Aldbourne Wildlife facebook page to receive our weekly local wildlife notes and to get reminders of ways to get involved -such as the monthly bird walks and moth catches. As well as continuing with the projects set up in 2021 we have a few exciting new ones for the coming months so do watch this space for ways to get involved and news of what’s been seen.
We wish you all a wildlife-filled 2022.
We are up to 96 species recorded in Aldbourne Parish with quite a few likely to be present but not yet recorded. Amazingly 80 species were reported to Aldbourne wildlife in 2021. Please check out this list and let us know of all your sightings, particularly if you can fill gaps/add to this list!
Bird ringing is a regulated scientific study where birds are safely caught and individually-numbered, lightweight, harmless, metal rings are attached to their legs. There were 197 birds captured in Aldbourne in 2021 of 18 species. Read on to find out which species.
An amazing 14 observers contributed to the Aldbourne moth list this year with an explosion of moth species recorded for the parish. Click here to find out more about the moths that were seen with some observed flying by day, some attracted to pheromone lures and most caught in light traps.
Chalk grassland is heaven for many species of butterfly and it is no surprise that the parish is blessed with this popular insects. In 2021 an amazing 29 species were recorded in the parish and this report includes photos of them all. If you know of species or sites not recorded in this report please let us know!