Thorne Moors Vertebrates Report 2012

The Thorne Moors Vertebrates Report 2012 , meticulously compiled by Martin Limbert and Bryan Wainwright, is now available to download. This comprises a 41 page illustrated pdf. The majority of the report is devoted to a summary of observations of birds on the moors in 2012, but also contains observations of mammals, amphibians and fish as well as features on bird ringing, a water vole study and details of the Gull-billed tern – a new record for the moors.

Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica and Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus on Thorne Moors, 30th May 2012 (Chris Harris).

Thorne Moors bird reports from 2004 to 2012 are available on the Forum website , and if you want more Bryan’s Birding Site Guide contains all reports from 1980 to 2003. This represents a very comprehensive record spanning over 30 years, reflecting the changing fortunes of different species. Unfortunately the number of recorders continues to diminish, the main focus of attention having switched to Hatfield Moor in recent years, as access to the latter has improved and on-site car parking has been provided. Thorne is quite different in character to Hatfield, peat milling ceased over a decade ago, giving the worked out areas time to green over with new vegetation – there are no prairies of bare peat here. It is also much more peaceful – it is rare to meet more than a couple of people on a visit. If you have not visited then why not give it a try. Please submit your records to Bryan Wainwright for inclusion in the Thorne Moors Birding Blog and the annual report.

The Thorne Moors Vertebrates Report 2012 is now published. The last Thorne Moors Vertebrates Report covered 2008, available both electronically and as a paper report. It was succeeded by an intention to progress to annual electronic reports separately covering mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians/fish. However, since then only the bird reports have appeared with regularity. For the remaining vertebrates, the mammal recorder’s report for 2009 forms a lonely outpost of an otherwise failed system. Because devolution did not work, it has been decided to reintroduce the annual Vertebrates Report. In addition to the bird report for 2012, this issue contains 2012 records of mammals, amphibians and fish. A welcome new element in the Report is the inclusion of a synopsis of bird ringing in 2012. Further, records of mammals and amphibians (no fish records submitted) covering 2009-11 are also given, to uphold recording continuity. It should, however, be noted that the mammal component covering 2009 is repeated only to unite all available mammal records 2009-11. Also included are additional bird records 1975-2011, and a note on the results of fish sampling in Swinefleet Warping Drain in 2008. The exception to all the foregoing is reptile recording 2009-12, which will be addressed in the Thorne Moors Vertebrates Report 2013. A further feature of the Vertebrates Report for 2012 is an account of the Gull-billed Tern recorded during the year, only the tenth modern Yorkshire record.

The Vertebrates Report is part of a recording package that comprises six components:
• Blog site for managing data input and informing observers (hosted by birdingsiteguide)
• Online annual reports summarising assessed records as systematic species lists, plus other elements as available
• Periodic broader summary of status and changes
• Documentation of major occurrences and events
• Encouragement of personal/student studies, including publication
• Maintenance of cumulative annotated checklists

Thorne Moors vertebrates webpages
Vertebrates recording is supported by two webpages on this website:
‘Birds of Thorne Moors’. This is organized under the following headings: ‘OVERVIEW OF RECORDING’, ‘GENERAL RECORDING ON THORNE MOORS’, ‘CURRENT PROJECTS’, ‘STUDIES AND SURVEYS’, ‘CHECKLIST’, ‘SITE GUIDE’, ‘DOWNLOADS’ and ‘BIRDING BLOGS’. The downloads comprise annual reports and a species checklist leaflet
• ‘Mammals, herptiles and fish of Thorne Moors’. On this, an OVERVIEW OF RECORDING outlines ‘General recording’, ‘Population surveys and species monitoring’, ‘Studies’ and ‘Bibliography of surveys and studies’. GENERAL RECORDING then has its own section, subdivided into ‘Recording area’, ‘Historical outline of general recording’, ‘The desktop review of vertebrates’, ‘Bibliography’ and a supporting list of ‘References’. An ANNOTATED CHECKLIST includes a downloadable version. Other downloads on the webpage are the Thorne Moors Vertebrates Reports from 2004 onwards

Desktop review of Thorne Moors vertebrates
During 2003-10 a desktop review of Thorne Moors vertebrates was undertaken, covering all records. It was published as a series of THMCF Technical Reports. The first of them detailed fish and herptiles (No. 13, published 2004, second edition 2008), followed a year later by mammals (No 15, published 2005, second edition also 2008). These were succeeded by two dealing with birds: a guide to literature sources (No. 18, published 2009) and an annotated checklist (No. 19, published 2010). Copies of these Technical Reports are still available for sale.

Contacts
Records for the Thorne Moors Vertebrates Report can be submitted through the Thorne Moors blog http://www.birdingsiteguide.com (or via the ‘Birds of Thorne Moors’ webpage), or to Bryan Wainwright by email bryanwainwright@yahoo.co.uk. Alternatively records can be posted to him at: Silverthorn, St Michael’s Drive, Thorne, Doncaster, DN8 5QF.

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