Winter Bird Survey Highlights

The results of the winter bird survey carried out by an independent consultant on our campuses have been received and we wanted to share the highlights:

Streatham Campus recorded its highest number of birds on campus since 2013/14 with 1,392 birds.

This represented 36 different bird species, 24% of which are listed on the the RSPB Red/Amber List; suggesting that the campus continues to be an important habitat for threatened species including the Grey Wagtail, Thrush, Sparrow and Redwing.

Grey Wagtail

Thrush

Sparrow

Redwing

St Luke’s Campus, although smaller than Streatham Campus, recorded 290 birds; up from the 2013/14 baseline of 236 birds and continuing an upward trent.

Out of the 19 species recorded, 6 species are listed on the RSPB Red/Amber List including the Starling which had not been recorded at Streatham Campus.

Starling

It’s great to see that the work of the Grounds Team, to manage the environment and use maintenance techniques that consider and promote biodiversity and habitat conservation, continues to deliver positive benefits for wildlife.

Creative Upcycling – Bird Boxes, Bat Boxes and Bug Hotels

Our Grounds Sports Team based at Topsham Sports Ground have been busy making bird boxes and bat boxes from spare wooden palettes. These have been put up around the grounds in time for the bird nesting season and the excess ones will be sold at our plant sales.

Bird and bat boxes upcycled from wooden pallets

If that wasn’t impressive enough, the Grounds Sports Team have also created a bug hotel upcycled from a tree that fell during the recent storms.

Bug hotel upcycled from a fallen tree

What fantastic sustainability initiatives, well done to all our creative Grounds Sports Team.

More birds on campus

This year’s campus winter bird survey saw a rise on the Streatham Campus of resident bird numbers with 32 species records.

We were pleased to see a Treecreeper recorded in the Lower Hoopern Valley and a Nuthatch is spotted among the Bullfinches regularly visiting the bird feeders outside Streatham Farm.

It looks like we have more birds on St Luke’s Campus and the area supports four red / amber listed species.

Numbers are still lower than we would like to sustain; we try to manage open spaces to provide useful habitats but do with any suggestions.

Nuthatch

Treecreeper

Bullfinch

Birds making the most of the bird feeders outside Streatham Farm in harsh weather conditions

Protecting wildlife and birds nests

The University’s Grounds Team have the greatest respect for the environment and biodiversity on campus.

This includes delaying hedge cutting until after the bird nesting season, to avoid disturbing the wildlife that use our hedgerows.

This approach allows nesting birds such as Bullfinch to raise their young successfully.

The Streatham and St Luke’s Campuses are extensively used by nesting birds, with a population of 700-800 breeding birds recorded on our campuses this year.

Bullfinch birds nest

New St Luke’s Campus Biodiversity Trail

The St Luke’s Campus continues to provide a wide range of habitats which help support birds, insects, reptiles, mammals and aquatic life.  The habitats should not be viewed in isolation, as they help form important links and wildlife corridors to other areas of open space not owned or maintained by the University. In this respect, the campus spaces make an important contribution to biodiversity in Exeter and the wider county of Devon.

We have developed a St Luke’s Campus Biodiversity Trail which can be downloaded from our website. Please do take a walk around the campus and see the species supported throughout the year and the techniques we use to support wildlife on campus.

NEW Streatham Campus Biodiversity Trail

The Streatham Campus continues to provide a wide range of habitats which help support birds, insects, reptiles, mammals and aquatic life.  The habitats should not be viewed in isolation, as they help form important links and wildlife corridors to other areas of open space not owned or maintained by the University. In this respect, the campus spaces make an important contribution to biodiversity in Exeter and the wider county of Devon.

We have developed a Streatham Campus Biodiversity Trail which can be downloaded from our website. Please do take a walk around the campus and see the species supported throughout the year and the techniques we use to support wildlife on campus.

We are in the process of developing a St Luke’s Campus Biodiversity Trail, which will also available to download.

Front Cover - Streatham Campus Biodiversity Trail

Front Cover – Streatham Campus Biodiversity Trail

Bird survey report – Spring/Summer 2016

The independent survey of birds on Streatham Campus and St Luke’s Campus, recorded during Spring and Summer this year, has just been completed. We were encouraged that, overall, we have a good spread of bird species and numbers using our campuses for breeding. This suggests we continue to sustain a range of suitable habitats.

The top five species recorded on campus were:

  • Woodpigeon
  • Robin
  • Blackbird
  • Blue Tit
  • Wren

Importantly, as well as the regular feathery users of campus, we also have use by some of the species on the RSPB red and amber lists including Dunnock, House Sparrow, Bullfinch, Song Thrush, Redwing and Herring Gull.

We continue to strive to have a range of plants and trees on campus in formal and informal settings that provide food and habitats for bird species and also a range of fauna that helps to add to the value and purpose of the campuses in the centre of Exeter.

Egret Photo 17 06 2016