Rare bird sets up home at Potteric Carr

A willow tit
A willow tit

Potteric Carr Nature Reserve in Doncaster had a bumper bird year in 2013, a recent report by local volunteers has shown.

Bird highlights for this urban nature reserve, one of the largest inland wetland sites in the whole of the United Kingdom included a spectacular show of starlings at the beginning of 2013, with over 10,000 birds displaying over the entrance to the nature reserve.

In addition a number of birds of prey were recorded on several occasions including a peregrine falcon, marsh harrier and three species of owl.

Other notable records was that of the willow tit, a bird which has seen its UK population decline by 93% over the last 40 years with no real conclusive evidence as to why.

Nevertheless, the bird still seems to be making a home on the Doncaster nature reserve and Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, who manage the site is keen to see that continue.

Jim Horsfall, Reserves Officer for Yorkshire Wildlife Trust said: “The habitats at Potteric Carr Nature Reserve are specially designed and managed with wildlife in mind.

“Largely a wetland site, but with woodland and grassland areas too, the nature reserve offers a great diversity of areas in which many birds can thrive from common woodland birds including great tits to specialist wetland birds like kingfishers.

“The volunteers at Potteric do a fantastic job of recording what bird life is about and it is pleasing to see that despite the very wet spring in 2013 many species were still able to breed successfully.

“Volunteers and staff at the Trust carry out a great deal of practical work to refine the habitats, so that they continue to be attractive to wildlife, and are constantly looking at ways to improve the areas.”

The volunteers at Potteric Carr Nature Reserve produce a monthly bird list for the site which can be downloaded from Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s website: www.ywt.org.uk/potteric-birds-2014.

In total they recorded an impressive 155 bird species on the nature reserve during 2013.

Now staff and volunteers at Yorkshire Wildlife Trust await what birds 2014 will bring to the site which is constantly changing.

Visitors to the site are encouraged to share their wildlife encounters and sightings, be it with a feathered friend or the more furry kind! Sightings can be emailed to potteric.sightings@ywt.org.uk or told to staff on the site.

To get involved in volunteering at the nature reserve email volunteering@ywt.org.uk or for more information about Potteric Carr and other Yorkshire Wildlife Trust sites see their website www.ywt.org.uk.