Archive for May, 2007|Monthly archive page

Return of the Dartford Warbler

The Dartford Warbler, once down to just 11 pairs after the winter of 1963, has enjoyed a dramatic comeback. By 1994 there were an estimated 1890 pairs and now 3208.

It’s not all good news. The popilation in Surrey, Berks and Hampshire fell by 40% between 2005 and 2006. No one is sure why.


Hatfield Forest and Rye Meads

I spent a pleasant morning and early afternoon birding Hatfield Forest and Rye Meads.

Hatfield Forest. Threw up a nice surprise in the form of a Little Owl. Lots of warblers about including Common Whitethroat. Bullfinches quite evident as well. The lake was devoid of Great Crested Grebes but there was a Common Tern over. Cuckoos calling as well.

Lots of young birds at Rye Meads, including Little Grebes, coots and Pochards. Fly through Peregrine as well. Common Terns returning. Highlight was the return of a pair of Kingfishes giving super views.

Another Barnacle Goose speed record

Barbow the barnacle goose has crossed the North Sea in 5 hours @ an average speed of 75!!

Breeding Cranes

The RSPB’s Lakenheath reserve is well known amongst birders as one of the best places to see (or try to see) Golden Oriole. Well now it has another spectacular bird as a resident, breeding Common Cranes.

If you have never seen a Crane in the wild they are a spectacular sight. I’ve seen them once. I wandered into the Bittern Hide at Hickling Broad and was amazed to find two sitting out in the open. I sat entranced as they were “buzzed” by Marsh Harriers.

On my travels

I’ve been up to Hay-On-wye and Bucks for the past week.

I wasn’t really birding but did manage a trip to Gigrin Farm where I added Raven to my year list.

On Tuesday I was well chuffed to find and photograph my first ever adult Tawney Owl and I also picked up a Redstart singing. To zip the year list up to 162. Hopefully a planned trip to Norfolk this weekend will give it a nudge.

I also saw White Legged Damselfly, Banded Demoiselle and an Azure Damselfly.

The White Legged was a lifer. Well only my second summer. The camera doesn’t half help with the iding!

Penguin takes wrong turn.

A MagellanicPenguin has taken a wrong turn and instead of turning up in Southern Chile has turned up at Peru’s Paracas national reserve.

Scientists are concerend that the lone Magellanic maybe rejected by the reserves 4000 Humboldt Penguins.

Plans are a foot to try and return the Penguin to Chile.

Rutland Water

I had to be at Rutland this morning so took the camera and went for a stroll.

Birds added to the year list were Garden Warbler and Greenshank. Lots of warblers about and there was a nice flyover Osprey.

I’ve still to see a number of key migrants this year. Then again I’m not that bothered I drove past a Wilson’s Phalarope for goodness sake! I am just going out and seeing what I see.

Otter shot dead

You would think in the 21st century we had moved beyond this but apparently not.

An otter has been shot and killed near Driffield in East Yorkshire. The otter was found with a shot to its head at Frodingham Beck by a member of the public and reported to an Environment Agency bailiff.Post-mortem results reveal that the otter had been shot before.

Apparently he maximum penalty for intentionally killing or injuring an otter or other wild animal listed under the Wildlife and Countryside Act is six months imprisonment and a £5,000 fine per animal killed or injured.

The Environment Agency has now passed the case onto Humberside Police.
Anyone with information should contact Sgt Christopher Hine at Bridlington Police Station, tel (01262) 458751.

It’s that time again

Yes folks it’s that time of the year when the rest of the world complains like mad about Malta’s annual spring bird hunt. Hopefully it will be the last time as the country is taken to court accused of violating the EU Birds Directive.

For more on this awful event check this out.

Please consider writing to your MP and MEP.