Champions of the Flyway!

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Industrial Light & Magic

Another day, another survey plot, this one a regular spot in deepest, darkest dockside - a place where I spend an inordinate amount of time conducting vantage point surveys, plotting avian flightpaths against a backdrop of constant juggernaut traffic, forklifts, heavy industry, factories and their emissions. Sounds pretty birdless, right?
Well, it can be - but against all odds, a couple of weeks ago I found a pair of Little Ringed Plovers on territory on what can only be described as a puddle, within a very small brownfield area (barely larger than a football penalty area) sandwiched between constantly thunderous factories and their vehicles. The relevant authority were commendable in their quick response - straight out with the bollards, tape and temporary signs - but to be honest, I expected the LRPs to move on soon after.
Returning for my VPs today and expecting them to be long gone, amazingly, their they were; not only that, but a beast of a Greenland Wheatear was there with them, dodging vehicles and clouds of coal dust.... and not only that, but a pristine male Black Redstart then appeared....
After spending a little extra time observing their behaviour, it seems the LRPs are indeed engaged in a nesting attempt, and the Black Redstart appeared to be doing likewise, returning to a potential nesting area out of bounds (so far) on regular occasions.
After hearing a Black Red singing nearby back in March, this would be a doubly satisfying result, with not one but two Schedule One species breeding here, in the most unaccommodating, noisy and disturbed spot you could imagine.