Countryside, the developers behind the new Kingsmere development in Bicester has discovered that it’s not just local people flocking to make a home there. The results of a new ecological study of local wildlife activity at the site has revealed that a variety of bird species are nesting at Kingsmere and are even welcoming new family members into the fold.
Conducted by consultant ecologist Jeff Picksley, on behalf of Countryside, the bird breeding survey measured bird activity at the site in April and May. The findings show that the number and types of birds at the development is flourishing. Most notably, two lapwing pairs – a species which is currently in decline – have been spotted, both with young chicks. The lapwings are making the balancing pond at Pingle Brook their home, benefiting from the soft mud which provides an ideal foraging habitat.
Other species enjoying the fertile and welcoming environment at Kingsmere include mistle thrushes, which have also been spotted with their young, two pairs of reed buntings along with reed warbler and sedge warbler. Lingering winter visitors spotted in April included fieldfare and common snipe.
The survey also reveals that scarcer breeding species continue to breed at in the fields around Kingsmere, including skylarks, yellowhammer and grey partridge – with a pair even spotted feeding amongst the construction site. Young fledged starlings have also been making sure they pay regular visits to the development favouring the new sports pitches.
A hobby was also spotted at the site, a pleasing accompaniment to the ever present red kites. The warmer summer months have also welcomed a greater diversity of birds, with chiffchaffs, willow warblers, whitethroat and blackcap serenading residents from the hedgerows and copses.
Furthermore, a number of birds are successfully making use of the bird breeding boxes installed at the development, with a range of nests found. Calls of young blue tits and great tits can be heard from the copses and hedgerows and the house sparrows have been spotted foraging for their young in the ponds.
Andrew Carrington, Managing Director of Strategic Land, at Countryside comments: “Providing natural green spaces, both for residents and wildlife, is very much at the heart of our vision for Kingsmere. We have a number of ecological projects at the site to attract and enhance the wildlife and make sure it thrives for many years to come. The results from the bird breeding survey are very encouraging and I am thrilled to see that not only do we have a number of different bird species at the development, but that they are also nesting and bring their young into the habitat. Residents and visitors to Kingsmere can take part in a bit of bird-spotting while enjoying the great open space at the development.”
As well as attracting the different species of birds, Kingsmere also has a population of bats and butterfly species thriving in the new habitats