There is plenty of information at hand within these pages, however, please do not hesitate in using the contact us page via the menu or the info@westmidlandbirdclub link at the foot of all pages if you would like to take a personal approach to gathering information; the Club Secretary will be pleased to deal with any enquiry. There is great scope to become involved in a wide range of Club activities, likewise you can go about your birding activities on a personal level and simply enjoy what the West Midland Bird Club has to offer in assisting your interests.
Springtime arrival in our region on a bright but frosty morning - Barn Swallow - Steve Seal
Willow Tit Survey 2019/2020
The endemic race of Willow Tit (Poecile montanus kleinschmidti) is the second-fastest declining species in the UK,
after Turtle Dove, and is Red-listed. This resident subspecies has been lost from large areas of England in recent
In 2019 and 2020 the RSPB are organising a National Willow Tit survey which WMBC have been asked to support.
Steven Payne the Worcestershire County Recorder is already actively enlisting members to carry out surveys in that
County and needs more volunteers. Volunteers are also required to assist with surveying and recording in
Staffordshire, Warwickshire and the West Midlands.
As well as on reserves Willow Tits may just be hanging on in an odd corner of wet woodland in your County. A new
playback protocol can be used in this survey which has been proven to locate Willow Tits in woods where they had
been thought extinct. It is worth having a concerted look at the last few places with definite or probable records just
to be absolutely sure.
This will be an early spring survey with two visits between mid-February and mid-April using playback every few
hundred metres to attract the birds. We have been assured that a mobile phone is all the equipment needed for the
playback and a set of standard calls is available for download which you can find at the end of this post. There will be no need for a licence to use playback for this survey. You will of course need to know how to download calls onto your mobile and how to make it play them which may be a challenge for some of us! If phone technology is a challenge we will gladly receive your visual and heard records.
If you would like to help with the survey or know of a likely site that should be surveyed please contact
Nick Pomiankowski, Staffordshire County Recorder. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
or Chris Hill, Warwickshire County Recorder. e-mail: email@example.com
or in the West Midlands please contact Kevin Clements e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
and for Worcestershire Steven Payne: e-mail: email@example.com
WMBC Conservation Officer
Social Media- The Risk of Disturbance to Rare Breeding Birds
In this age of high interest in Birds and Birding, the social aspect can be a pleasurable part of the scene, in respect to informing your fellow birders of your sightings and experiences.
One of the most ever more popular ways of doing this, is through various Social Media outlets, including Twitter. Generally this is favourably received and reciprocated. However, there are times when restraint should be shown, in regard to rare and locally rare Birds, especially during the breeding season. With all good intentions meant, the news put out, could be visible & available to the ‘wrong hands’, be it an egg collector, bird persecutor, irresponsible photographer or….an irresponsible twitcher! A careless tweet or other social media post could lead to undesirable attention or disturbance to breeding birds, a nesting area or site!
The West Midland Bird Club supports and encourages sensible use of Social Media by users, in regard to the rare and locally rare birds that could be encountered in the Club’s region. Being a responsible Birder, includes having a duty to protect the very birds we have pleasure in watching. Below is a list which includes ‘Schedule 1 Birds’ (Species fully protected by law and it’s a criminal offence to disturb during the breeding season) + other species of particular interest. Be very cautious when considering to Tweet out, etc, sightings of these species during the breeding season, in fact the best policy is, ‘íf in doubt -don’t put it out’.
What Steps can you take to Protect Breeding or Suspected of Breeding, Rare and locally Sensitive Species?
* Consider that the breeding season runs from the beginning of March to late
* Singing birds on territory, in suitable habitat, displaying birds, birds seen in
pairs etc should all be considered as potentially breeding.
* Familiarize yourself with the lists of birds below.
* Try and curb the need to socially put out sightings of sensitive species, even
if the site information is vague.
* If unsure, seek advice of a more experienced birder friend.
* Don’t consider some sites as ‘save’ e.g.Managed Nature Reserves, to socially
Report out rare birds, that might be breeding.
Schedule 1 Species
Schedule 1 species are protected by law and it is a criminal offence to disturb these birds during their breeding season.
Below is a list of Schedule 1 species, and a few additional species that due to their rarity should be treated the same as Schedule 1 birds.
Avocet Chough Green Sandpiper Merlin Barn Owl
Cirl Bunting Greenshank Montagu's Harrier Shore Lark Bearded Tit
Common Crane Greylag Goose Osprey Short-toed Treecreeper Bee-eater
Common Crossbill Gyr Falcon Parrot Crossbill Slavonian Grebe Bewick's Swan
Common Rosefinch Hen Harrier Penduline Tit Snow Bunting Bittern
Common Scoter Hobby Peregrine Snowy Owl Baillon's Crake
Corncrake Honey-buzzard Purple Heron Spoonbill Black Grouse
Crested Tit Hoopoe Purple Sandpiper Spotted Crake Black Kite
Dartford Warbler Kentish Plover Quail Stone-curlew Black Redstart
Dotterel Kingfisher Red Kite Temminck's Stint Black Tern
Eurasian Eagle-Owl Lapland Bunting Red-backed Shrike Velvet Scoter Black-necked Grebe
Fieldfare Leach's Petrel Red-necked Grebe Whimbrel Black-tailed Godwit
Firecrest Little Bittern Red-necked Phalarope White-tailed Eagle Black-throated Diver
Garganey Little Gull Red-throated Diver Whooper Swan Black-winged Stilt
Golden Eagle Little Ringed Plover Redwing Wood Sandpiper Bluethroat
Golden Oriole Little Tern Roseate Tern Woodlark Brambling
Goshawk Long-tailed Duck Ruff Wryneck Cattle Egret
Great Bustard Marsh Harrier Savi's Warbler Spotted Flycatcher Capercaillie
Great Northern Diver Marsh Warbler Scaup Cetti's Warbler Great White Egret
Mediterranean Gull Scottish Crossbill Serin
Other Rare Breeding Birds that should be considered as above.
Arctic Skua Golden Pheasant Long-eared Owl Red-crested Pochard Turtle Dove
Common Goldeneye Goosander Nightingale Redstart Twite
Common Pochard Hawfinch Nightjar Wheatear Water Rail
Corn Bunting Golden Plover Pied Flycatcher Ring Ouzel Willow Tit
Eurasian Wigeon Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Pintail Short-eared Owl Wood Warbler
Gadwall Little Egret Ptarmigan Shoveler Yellow-legged Gull
How to Submit Records of Rare Breeding Birds.
It goes without saying, that records of rare breeding birds are important to submit, to contribute to the full Avifauna of the West Midland Bird Club Area. The safest way of doing this, is through the BTO Birdtrack Website All records of rare breeding birds are filtered out of the public viewing, relevant parts of the website.
Another appropriate way of submitting information, is direct to your relevant county recorders. Contact information can be found on our county recorders page.
Thank you for reading this information, tell your fellow Birders about the details and enjoy your Birding!
For Springtime Birding please go to our new page on the menu Springtime Birding