Record wildlife spot
A RECORD NUMBER Of people (866) made 4,000 recorded sightings to this year’s Great Nature Watch, launched by the Canal & River Trust six months ago.
The campaign this year focused particularly on water voles, one of the country’s most threatened species, and they turned out to be the most spotted with 428 recorded sightings across the country.
The second most recorded species was the kingfisher with 180 sightings, followed by the heron on 167. Altogether, 163 difference species were reported.
Other significant sightings included the number of little egret recorded. This small white heron is a new phenomenon; it is a new coloniser to the UK from the Continent, only arriving in the late 1990s largely due to the warmer weather.
The survey also showed sightings of several species of bird that are of conservation concern, such as the bittern, common scoter, reed bunting, yellow wagtail, dunlin, lesser spotted woodpecker, linnet and marsh tit.
“This was a fantastic citizen science experiment,” said Mark Robinson, CRT National Ecologist. “The high number of people who took part and the extensive number of species from such a variety of habitats spotted, demonstrates what a diverse and accessible place our waterways are to experience nature up close.
“Having received such a high number of water vole sightings is really good news and knowing where they are distributed is fundamental in helping the Trust’s experts monitor them, and maintain and protect their habitats to help halt their decline. That’s why these records are so important to the Trust for all species and we want people to continue to submit sightings.”