Comment on Second 2016 hen harrier goes missing

This is becoming a depressingly familiar story and only 10 days after the inglorious 12th - what a coincidence. If this was an illegal killing the perpetrators are getting smart enough to conceal any incriminating evidence.  

Shanks & Chats.

The Shanks.There have been good numbers of Greenshank seen recently on the Eric Morecambe complex at Leighton Moss RSPB Reserve, the best count being Sunday when 22 were reported, but there have been double figure counts there recently prior to this one. Greenshank. Brian Rafferty.Brian took this shot of the Greenshank with the result of a successful strike in it's bill. When inspected closely whilst looking through his photographs of the day at Leighton Moss, Brian discovered the bird had taken what looked like a squid, it's small, so maybe a young squid. I was interested, not so much that the Greenshank had taken it as a food item, but what the item was and where it was found. I discovered that the squid is in fact found in the Irish Sea, one fishing expert says they can be found in the shrimping nets in...
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From Merseyside To A Few Soggy Migrants

I had a survey to complete in Merseyside last Friday (23rd) morning on some farmland habitat. It was a slightly overcast morning with a light southwesterly wind and there was a little bit of vis.Skylarks dominated the vis passage with 55 south and the best of the rest were eight Grey Wagtails, twelve Linnets, 29 Pink-footed Geese, 13 Meadow Pipits, 18 House Martins and nine Mute Swans. I was inland!Six Goldcrests, a Chiffchaff, two Buzzards and four Jays were around some of the woodland, but best of all were the five Red Squirrels that I had. Unfortunately every time I was about to press the shutter button on my camera they disappeared!Fast forward to this morning when it was raining, but looked like the conditions might have dropped a few migrants in. I had to go to the stationers to get some maps copied so I decided to call in at the ceme...

Bee Cause we love bees

Release date:  Tue, 27/09/2016 (All day) Main image:  Summary:  Central Lancashire Friends of the Earth in joint partnership with the Lancashire Wildlife Trust are looking for volunteers to help create a wildflower haven for local bees at Brockholes on Monday (Oct 3) at 10am. The site is one of more than 200 ‘Bee Worlds’ springing up around the country as part of FOE’s Bee Cause campaign. Volunteers will transform a 50m space around the Labyrinth into a glorious wildflower garden of long-lasting and beautiful flowers, providing vital food for threatened local pollinating insects. The Labyrinth was built by voluntee...

Red squirrels & other free guided walks 2-6 Oct

Release date:  Tue, 27/09/2016 (All day) Main image:  Summary:  Join us on a walk to discover red squirrels at Freshfield Dune Heath, waterbirds and woodland at Mere Sands Wood, or our award-winning visitor centre at Brockholes. Our free guided walks are open to members and non-members alike, we want as many people as possible to discover the joys of wildlife on your doorstep through our network of nature reserves. read more...

Blog Post: Second 2016 hen harrier goes missing

I’m sorry to have to report that we have lost another of this year’s satellite tagged hen harrier chicks. Brian, named after the very experienced raptor worker Brian Etheridge, was one of our non-public-facing birds. With the permission of the landowner and help of local Scottish Raptor Study Group members, he was tagged as part of the Hen Harrier LIFE Project on 4 th July on an estate in Perthshire within the Cairngorms National Park. He fledged from the nest and stayed close to the nest site until the beginning of August when he moved north into southern Inverness-shire. Brian then spent the next few weeks over various areas of managed grouse moor, within the National Park with frequent strong, clear transmissions from his tag providing detailed information about his daily travels. Brian having just received his satellite tag (photo:...

Comment on Second 2016 hen harrier goes missing

You get to a point where you're tired of commenting on how sickening this is - to watch these lovely birds grow up, and then you ring and tag them while trying to ignore the fact that at some point you'll probably have to tell the world that your beautiful tagged bird has abruptly vanished without a trace.  On this side of the border we really need to keep banging on about this horrendousness as Parliament prepares to debate the 'sport' of driven grouse shooting and all its dreadful consequences. ...

It was sheer purgatory

The Safari is back from two weeks sunny Sardinia. Good grief it was hard work doing all that relaxing in the sunshine.We went out before breakfast...which also happened to be before sun rise so it was still quite darkish, well quite darkish for pics at least. Part of our walk was taken up sea-watching, this was a real chore, normally we have to stand at Patch 2 here we had recliners to set the scope up at! Really roughing it, but there's nowt wrong with a flock of Scopoli's Shearwaters of a shoal of Tuna before breakfast.The wildlife Sardinia is surely most famous for is the Sardinian Warbler...they were everywhere, at least a dozen in every bush, in fact there were hardly any other warblers seen during our stay, but can you get a pic of the skulky little blighters!!! We just about succeeded on our penultimate day, sooooo frustrating!Almost...

Ducktastic Day

Dodging the odd showery bursts this morning, I spent a couple of hours birding around the Aldcliffe area for the first time in a while.The combined forces of a bust work schedule and a few days visiting family on Jersey have meant that I've had little time to get out and see what's occurring on the patch.I did manage to see a few birds while on Jersey; migration was in full swing when I first arrived and I was treated to what is a rare sight in North Lancashire these days - flocks of yellow wagtails. 'Vis-miggers' on the south of the island had been logging literally hundreds of these lovely migrants, along with other classic autumn fayre, as they passed over en route to the continent and beyond.My encounters were more modest but even so, finding groups containing double figures as they fed around the hooves of Jersey cows was quite a treat...
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Land Management!

Fluke Hall-Knott End Coastal PathWhen I got to Fluke Hall last Monday I was disappointed to find the inland side of the coastal path had been cut down presumably all the way to Knott End c.3 miles away, bad enough it had been cut, but the big question is....when and how long ago? This is excellent butterfly habitat, personal past records include 12 Clouded Yellow in 30 minutes on this very path on 7 August 2006, and more recently, 9 species of butterflies with at least 200 individuals seen in 1.5 miles along this coastal path to Cockers Dyke on 12 August last year.OK, we're  talking late September here, and the records above were in August, and the Clouded Yellow record 10 years ago, but that's not the point, there are still plenty of butterflies around this year, and provided the weather and nectar source...
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