Identification and Other Articles

From time to time, articles will be added here, which help to shed light on some identification challenges, or may be of interest to Hampshire birders

  • Black-tailed Godwit – sub specific identification – Chris G Knox
  • The Separation of White and Pied Wagtails – Lee GR Evans and Martin Cade, illustrated by Raymond Scally
  • Birds of Langstone Harbour 1952-1986 with Addendum – David Billett
    This is a summary of the Langstone Harbour yearbooks which David Billett compiled meticulously at the end of each year and now reside in the BTO library. All of the records in these diaries have been digitised and are now in the HOS database. This summary is a fantastic review of what was seen in the area at that time. Although a relatively young birder just out of his teens, David Billett was fully aware of the importance of accurate and systematic note-taking and he wanted to ensure that Langstone Harbour’s bird populations were fully understood. He created yearbooks by combining his personal observations with those of George Clay, John Conchie, Cliff Henty, Graham Rees, Bryan Renyard, Colin Tubbs and Eddie Wiseman.At that time the Royal Navy used Farlington Marshes to safely detonate explosives and the resulting bomb-craters provided great habitats for amphibians and dragonflies. Few people, other than birdwatchers, wildfowlers, farm staff and annual blackberry-pickers frequented the marshes in those early days.In 1962 the newly formed Hampshire and Isle of Wight Naturalists Trust was granted a management lease for the area by the Cooper family who owned the land. It was then that the work on habitat management began. The marsh fencing was entirely renewed and additional freshwater habitat was created. David and Rosemary Billett effectively became the unpaid site wardens, and for the next thirty years you would struggle to visit the marshes without bumping into at least one of them. The Trust still manages the site and it remains one of the county’s premier locations.This report is a great resource, and so we wanted to share it with everyone. – Keith Betton, Chair, HOS
  • Birds of Needs Ore 1958-1978 –  John Taverner
    This report is a sumnary of a survey John Taverner made of the Needs Oar area in the period l95B/78 inclusive. During that time he made 661 visits representing some 3000 hours of watching and each time he carried out as full a census as possible, counting all the species of wildfowl, waders and sea-birds. Other observers visited the area during this time of course, but he mostly used his own counts so that observer error is likely to be fairly constant. The only records used that are not mhis own, are of one or two particularly high counts that were obviously important and records of raritles that he did not see such as the White-throated Sparrow.