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Wildlife on the Marshes
by John Coates


This is not intended to be an exhaustive study of the wildlife of our area nor is it prepared on a scientific study basis. It is based on observations that I have made over the last fifteen years together with numerous sightings and bits of information passed on to me by local people who take an interest in their surroundings.

As anyone living on the Marsh knows it is a unique and varied landscape with a wide variety of land uses and habitats. It is also relatively undisturbed and these factors provide for a good number of species to thrive.

My particular interest is birds and as they are so visible and mobile they provide a good measure of the "health" of any area. Incidental to my bird study are observations of mammals and insects together with brief incursions into the world of botany, which I must confess is strange territory to me.

I have grouped species together to simplify descriptions and glossed over the commoner ones where they are not particularly specific to the Marsh.

Where terms like "good numbers" are used this is relative to national levels and obviously a good number of Sparrowhawk will be many fewer than a good number of Sparrows but relevant just the same.

Not all species are present all the year round, resident birds such as Robin or Skylark will stay in the area but may make localised movements as weather and food sources dictate. Migrants such as Swallow or Fieldfare will move in either to breed or to over-winter and some will simply pass through and stopover to feed on their way North or South.

Finally my thanks to all who have contributed information great or small to make this compilation possible. Please keep a note of any unusual sightings and these can be added to this website in due course to provide an ongoing picture of our local environment.

John Coates April 2005









Longdon & Eldersfield Marsh Conservation Trust

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