A Photo Or Two

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
I didn’t get many photos this morning. As each week passes the adult birds and those born last year get older and wiser about birders and keep out of the way of cameras and bins. An early morning Barn Owl is pretty much guaranteed at the moment when food is scarce and the owls spend longer on the hunt. So it was this morning as the owl stayed alongside the moss road but hidden by distance and the straggly hedge at eye level. I made do with a Kestrel and then a Buzzard just sat in the opposite field but keeping a wary eye on passing cars. It looked like last year’s bird. BuzzardAlong Lancaster Road a farmer was out early taking the tops off and shaping the hedgerow. It rather stopped my looking for finches and much else but the flood at Rawcliffe/Pilling held 4 Fieldfare, 1 Kestrel, 180 Lapwing, 10 Pied Wagtail and 8 Meadow Pip...
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Headstarting

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
I guess I missed this when it first appeared during the summer of 2017.But now in early 2018 comes up-to-date news to add to the earlier picture of a small but significant conservation experiment. It’s an account of a technique known as “headstarting” of birds and the first time this method has been used in the UK.The species is Black-tailed Godwit, in this case the subspecies that occurs in the British Isles, Western & Eastern Europe, the ‘nominate’ race Limosa limosa limosa. This race of Black-tailed Godwit differs slightly in appearance from the Icelandic race Limosa limosa islandia which occurs as a migrant to the UK but does not breed here.The UK breeding population of Limosa limosa limosa is limited to a few small areas of Norfolk where successful outcomes are not always guaranteed and where the overall population i...
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Little But Not Often

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
Some news from Europe about the Little Owl, Athene noctua, sýček obecný, recently chosen by the Czech Society for Ornithology as their “Bird of the Year”. Though common in Europe, Northern Africa, parts of the Middle East and Asia, population numbers of the owl fell significantly over the last half century in the Czech Republic, as birds disappeared from farmland areas; as a result the Little Owl is on their endangered list. The Czech Society for Ornithology wants to make the public aware of the bird’s plight and that population numbers of the once widespread species fell dramatically over recent decades. Little OwlThe society’s Martin Šálek: “We chose the Little Owl because this is an owl which not long ago was very common and widespread. We wanted to reveal the plight of the bird and other animals which live ...
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Wednesday 7th February

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
Tuesday was cold and snowy, the first snowflakes of the winter. Thankfully by midday the snow stopped, the sun came out and by evening all the white stuff was gone. Wednesday began with quite a frost on the by now ice free roads.As noted on the blog before, a cold weather snap brings out the owls and the Kestrels. So on the drive over Stalmine Moss I wasn’t too surprised to spot a hunting Barn Owl. The owl stayed out along the frosty fence before taking off into the distance.Barn Owl  At Lancaster Road at Pilling Moss was the first of four five Kestrels I’d see during the morning. The Kestrel was on watch across a stubble field where a good number of small birds alternated between feeding on the deck and flying into the hedgerow. I counted 95+ Chaffinch together with, 10 or more Meadow Pipits, several Skylarks, and at least one Ree...

Wednesday 7th February

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
Tuesday was cold and snowy, the first snowflakes of the winter. Thankfully by midday the snow stopped, the sun came out and by evening all the white stuff was gone. Wednesday began with quite a frost on the by now ice free roads.As noted on the blog before, a cold weather snap brings out the owls and the Kestrels. So on the drive over Stalmine Moss I wasn’t too surprised to spot a hunting Barn Owl. The owl stayed out along the frosty fence before taking off into the distance.Barn Owl  At Lancaster Road at Pilling Moss was the first of four five Kestrels I’d see during the morning. The Kestrel was on watch across a stubble field where a good number of small birds alternated between feeding on the deck and flying into the hedgerow. I counted 95+ Chaffinch together with, 10 or more Meadow Pipits, several Skylarks, and at least one Ree...

Updated.

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
Sorry I’m late. Windows decided to bring me up-to-date me with the latest enhancements that I can’t live without.Mr Gates, you need to know, my Sue has been trying to modernise me for years and failed miserably.  Yet it appears that Windows 10 does automatic updates whether the user wants them or not and by clicking constantly pressing “no”, all I did was delay the inevitable.  Like a fool and worn down by the constant messages on the screen I clicked “go”. Three hours later here we are trying to update the blog. February and every birder I know has been looking for signs of spring in the extra daylight hours despite the constant Arctic winds headed our way. There’s been a few pointers at home with Blue Tit and Great Tit popping into nest boxes, Blackbirds hanging around the ivy covered hawthorns, and the annua...
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Some You Win

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
At last on Friday there was a half-decent day on which to have a go at the Linnets. The day before I checked out Gulf Lane and Glasson and dropped seed at both, and then as the Linnets came back, made a count. At Glasson I counted 280+ and at Gulf Lane 130+ so the choice on Friday was to head for the least breezy place. The site at Glasson is marginally better if there’s any wind so I met up with Andy at 0715 and we set a couple of nets. Once again, the catch was poor, very poor, as the Linnets refused to play ball and we caught just 3 birds, 2 Reed Buntings and a single Linnet. This was despite a flock of 300+ Linnets that circled around all morning and 7 Reed Buntings in the hedgerow. Reed BuntingLinnet Down in Glasson village there was a good mix of wildfowl on the marina with 19 Goldeneye, 7 Cormorant, 1 Goosander, 1 Great ...
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One That Got Away?

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
2018 continues in the same vein as 2017. Rain, more rain and then more rain with rarely a chance for serious birding or ringing. Fortunately the internet can be a good source of blog material, so for today here is an amusing tale of a controversial bird that may have escaped the twitchers but which certainly provoked a reaction. Such debates are made all the more interesting by the fact that rare birds can and often do turn up in the most unexpected locations, posing a number of questions for dedicated twitchers. In the case below the bird in question was spotted on a remote Scottish island following a particularly wild and wet autumn when a series of storms battered the west coast of Britain. Orkney is difficult to reach and for a mainland twitcher with no time to waste in bagging a First for Britain, an expensive and time ...
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Must Do Better

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
At the end of December the BTO encourage bird ringers to renew their ringing permit by submitting returns and confirming they are fit to continue ringing for the coming year. Fit in mind and body for now, but it gets more difficult each year, especially those 4am summer starts or scrambling up and down a quarry face to catch Sand Martins. So now my permit for 2018 just arrived hot from the Canon Pixma. This rather exclusive piece of paper will reside in the glove box of the car for the inevitable, often puzzled but mostly interested, occasionally irate questions from onlookers. Bird Ringing Permit“Why are you trudging through that muddy field in the middle of a cold, grey January morning picking up wild birds from that funny looking net? Are you harming them? Are you catching them to eat ?” Then try explaining how the vital sc...
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It’s Never Easy

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
There’s ringing news down the page but first some information not unconnected from the voluntary work that bird ringers undertake. According to a new study, if given funding and support from similar or future new schemes, British farmers have the potential to partially reverse the declines of Linnets and other farmland birds over the past 40 years - Birdguides. “New research funded by Natural England and DEFRA used six years of survey data to track changes in the abundance of birds on farms. The study involved over 60 farms under Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) agreements in three English regions between 2008 and 2014, and revealed that 12 of the 17 priority farmland bird species showed a positive change in abundance, going against the 56 per cent decline in the number of farmland birds nationally since 1970. The Farmland Bird ...
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