Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund)

The Interreg IVB North Sea Region Programme

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South Humber Gateway

Monitoring results

Wintering and migratory bird survey work

North Lincs (allocated land): January 07 - March 07: Weekly surveys on a field by field basis by Graham Catley from Nyctea. Attached to this there were further targeted surveys during April 07 and May 07 to identify field usage by passage curlew, ruff and whimbrel.

North Lincs (allocated land): July 07 - March 08: Weekly surveys on a field by fields basis by Graham Catley from Nyctea.

North East Lincs (allocated land plus additional area both North and South of A180): November 2007 - March 2007: Weekly surveys on a field by fields basis by IECS.

North East Lincs (allocated land plus additional land both North and South of A180): Late July 2008 - November 2008: Weekly surveys on a field by field basis by Graham Catley from Nyctea.

North Lincs (north and west of East Halton Skitter): Jan 2009 - Mar 2009: Weekly surveys on a field by fields basis by Graham Catley from Nyctea.

North Lincs (north and west of East Halton Skitter): August 2009 - Ongoing to March 2010: Weekly surveys on a field by field basis by Graham Catley from Nyctea.

Entire area (allocated land within North and North East Lincs and area north and west of east Halton Skitter): August 2010 - March 2011: Weekly surveys on a field by field basis by Nyctea Consultants.

Breeding bird survey work

Breeding bird surveys based on a modified (5 visit) methodology were carried out in the allocated land only. These surveys took place in North Lincs in summer 2007 and in summer 2008 in North East Lincs.

Habitat surveys

A phase 1 habitat survey using aerial photograph interpretation was been carried out for the allocated land only.

Mammal surveys

Badger and water vole surveys were carried out during Summer 2009 on undeveloped land within the allocated land only.

Monitoring results

In 2007, the following breeding birds were noted on the site at North Lincs:

In 2008, the following breeding birds were noted on the site at North East Lincs:

The following wintering birds were noted on the site at North Lincs between January and March 2007.

The following wintering birds were noted on the site at North Lincs between April and May 2007.

April 2nd - 8th 2007:
  • Two Curlew main flocks were both found feeding avidly on permanent pastures; the northern flock minimum 95 birds concentrated in field number 14 where there were 92 birds with three in field 30 which had been used by more birds earlier in the day. From field 14 some birds moved into fairly dry fields of oilseed rape for periods, possibly to loaf. The southern flock, 91 birds, were again all on field 88 where they were found in week 13 of the winter surveys.
  • The Ruff flock, nine birds, was on the permanent pastures at East Halton pits with 2 roosting at North Killingholme Haven pits.
  • Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) walking of field number 24, over-wintered stubbles, revealed the presence of 18 Common Snipe.
  • A high spring tide count at North Killingholme Haven pits revealed the presence of 282 Icelandic Black-tailed Godwits with 28 Avocets and 64 Redshank as the most numerous species. There were reports of up to 68 Avocets in the pits in the previous week.
April 9th - 15th 2007:
  • Curlew were highly concentrated with the northern flock on permanent pastures south of the East Halton railway tracks in fields 30 and 41; the latter field had not been used during the winter; this same field also held a flock of 10 Ruff presumably the wintering birds. The southern Curlew flock were mainly feeding in permanent pastures in fields 88 and 89 but 32 birds were found in field 98 another field which had not been used during the winter period.
  • Neap tides at North Killingholme Haven pits produced low counts of most species but 25 Avocets were of note as they showed many signs of attempted nesting.
April 16th - 21st 2007:
  • The majority of the wintering waders appeared to have departed between the end of the previous week and this survey with just 18 Curlew being located in total. Of these three birds were in the permanent pasture in field 30 where display had been evident in the previous week, a single bird was in field 64 (permanent pasture) and 14 birds were commuting between the permanent pasture in field 88 and the shallow eastern end of the Rosper Road wetland site.
  • A total of six Lapwing on the grassland at East Halton pits appeared to be local breeding or failed breeding birds from adjacent fields.
  • North Killingholme Haven pits held a good total of waders on the high spring tides with peak counts of 74 Black-tailed Godwits, all Icelandic birds in breeding plumage, 19 Redshank, 10 Lapwing, 17 Avocets and eight Ruff. The Ruff were the birds from the wintering flock which had been noted in the various fields at East Halton as well as on the inter-tidal and at North Killingholme Haven pits. Two of the Avocets appeared to be incubating on an island in the largest of the pits at North Killingholme Haven.
April 23rd - 28th 2007:
  • Specific areas were again targeted but more waders were encountered on breeding bird survey visits.
  • At least 37 Curlew were located with concentrations of birds in permanent pastures in fields 30 and 64 while five birds were still feeding in field 88 and commuting onto the eastern end of Rosper Road. A party of six Curlew found on field 76 were the first such occurrence during these surveys as was a single bird on field 107; the latter field is set aside with a two wet areas in the middle of the field where the bird was feeding.
  • The first passage Whimbrel occurred but in permanent pastures where they have not been encountered in the past. The change of frequented areas may well be due to the baking of the soil in many of the other fields in the survey area which has left them rock solid with deep cracks appearing in the clay and clearly not suitable for long billed probing waders. The minimum number of Whimbrel was 16 with the flock of five moving between two fields and the two in fields 40 and 41 being assumed to be part of the flock in field 64.
  • Lapwing nests were found on spring sown cereals in fields 27, 28 and 100 with two in the latter field. There were also two nests on chalk at the southern end of the East Halton pits pastures, field 29, and one in field 107. A pair were in field 88 and moved between there and Rosper Road.
  • Four Ruff were feeding on the inter-tidal south of North Killingholme Haven with two different birds in the North Killingholme Haven pits and a single bird was feeding on the permanent pastures at East Halton pits, field 29.
  • Up to 25 Avocets remained in North Killingholme Haven pits where they were fighting over nest sites. Although there are numerous islands in the pit most are covered in vegetation and are thus unsuitable. The two bare islands held 4 active nests. It would be a rather simple task to produce a large number of nest sites by vegetation removal on some of the larger islands. A total of 90 Icelandic Black-tailed Godwits roosted at North Killingholme on the spring tides at the start of the week.
April 29th - May 5th 2007:
  • With the continuing drought conditions most of the fields in the area became parched and extremely dry with the clay soils baked hard and cracked making them unsuitable for surface probing waders.
  • The pairs of Lapwing noted in the previous weeks report remained on the spring cereal fields. At Rosper Road the effects of the continuing lack of rainfall became particularly obvious as levels fell exposing muddy areas at the eastern end of the site where two pairs of Lapwing quickly established territories.
  • Two Curlew were still using the pasture in field 88 and commuting between there and Rosper Road in addition to which five birds were feeding in field number 30, with two in field 64, again in permanent pasture but in general there was a final departure of wintering birds with a scatter of non-breeders remaining in the area.
  • Spring tides at North Killingholme Haven pits failed to produce any sign of a high tide roost, this being the first week without a record of Black-tailed Godwit in the area. The breeding Avocets remained with seven active nests being defended against the two resident pairs of Carrion Crows.
  • Four male Ruff remained from the wintering flock, gaining summer plumage, in addition to which single pairs of Oystercatcher, Lapwing and Redshank were also present. Two passage Common Sandpipers were also present on the survey date along with a lingering Snipe.
  • A single Common Sandpiper was also noted at East Halton pits.
  • Three Whimbrel were feeding in field 64 with two Curlew.
May 6th - 13th 2007:
  • The small number of waders still present in the survey area appear to be either breeding or nonbreeding summering individuals. Most of these birds are now located around the wetland sites with the permanent pasture fields holding only the odd bird. This could be largely due to the extreme desiccation of the fields which has been evident in recent weeks.
  • During this survey period a single Curlew was found in field 88/ Rosper Road where there were also two Lapwing. Two Lapwing in the pasture adjacent to East Halton pits were also probably local breeding birds.
  • All f the other waders located were found at North Killingholme Haven pits. The breeding colony of Avocets was decimated by the local Carrion Crows with just three active nests remaining. Also in the pits were single Lapwing, Redshank and a Bar-tailed Godwit which had joined a flock of 36 first-summer Black-tailed Godwits. This flock held the celebrated colour ringed individual which was first seen at Waters’ Edge in November 2006 and subsequently wintered in the Eat Halton Killingholme area during January - April 2007.
  • Given the very low level of wader presence now apparent in the fields this will be the final spring survey before autumn counts recommence in July 2007. Any significant observations of waders in the intervening period which are recorded during BBS visits will be logged and noted in the BBS report at the end of the summer.
The results of the protected species survey that was undertaken in 2009 by Golder Associates are noted below:

A mixture of 22 inactive and active badger setts was recorded within the study area. One day nest and various latrines were also noted.

Water voles
Watercourse and waterbodies identified as having moderate or high potential to support water vole were surveyed in detail to determine potential water vole population densities. Watercourses and waterbodies that were classified as having low potential that were connected to, or adjacent to, watercourses or waterbodies classified as having a moderate or high potential were also surveyed.

The results of the water vole survey displayed various results over the study area, with low, medium and high population densities noted, along with areas were there was a complete absence of water vole.

Incidental Records of other species
Otter prints were recorded crossing a ditch, but no other evidence of otters, or mink, were recorded during the surveys.

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Report: Management measures analysis and comparison