Commonplace and far from glamorous it may be, but the Rook is worth much more than just a look. It’s a species that is as fascinating as it is familiar, deserving of far more than simply a cursory glance.
SOG realised this way back in 1975 and carried out an exhaustive and exemplary rook survey in the county as part of a national British Trust for Ornithology census of the species. The group’s painstaking survey work culminated in SOG stalwarts Michael J F Jeanes and Reg Snook producing a booklet – The Rook in Suffolk – which was a landmark publication for SOG that brilliantly summarised members’ fieldwork.
More than 40 years on, and after a more recent re-visiting of the subject, a less extensive but still illuminating work by group chairman Gi Grieco and others, SOG is returning to the Rook in a very big way. In what promises to be one of the group’s most extensive projects to date, we are launching our own two-year Rook survey to establish the species’ current Suffolk population and distribution. The project is being seen as a golden opportunity to engage with members of the public – individuals, community organisations and especially young people via schools and Scouts and Guides groups – and to inspire them to become more connected with nature.
The survey has been enabled by generous funding from Suffolk resident Jenifer Bridges-Adams and is being established with invaluable support from the highly respected naturalist and conservationist Gathorne Gathorne-Hardy, Fifth Earl of Cranbrook.
The format for our new survey will be similar to that used by Save Our Suffolk Swifts, a partnership involving SOG and Suffolk Wildlife Trust. Easy to use and beginning in January 2019, there will be a rookery survey webpage hosted by the Suffolk Biodiversity Information Service, allowing the number of nests in each rookery to be recorded, with location mapping down to an accuracy level of 10 metres. The results of the work are due to be encapsulated in a SOG publication after the fieldwork has taken place.
It is to be hoped that many SOG members will take part in the survey. We stand to learn much about the current status of the Rook in Suffolk.
The survey page to enter details can be found here – http://www.suffolkbis.org.uk/rookerysurvey
- To log records of Rook nests sites click on the link – Record a Rookery – and on this page enter your details.
- Click next step when done and this page allows you to enter the date of the sighting, the number of nests in the rookery and any additional information. This additional information is optional but can include tree species, notes on whether the site is historical or a new site etc.
Click next step and this page is to record the location name and grid reference. Using the map to scroll in to the location and clicking on the map inputs the grid reference in to the OSGB Grid Reference box. Click Save when complete.