July British Birds

Prof Andrew Barker of the Lothian and Borders Raptor Study Group sounds like a bright guy. His whole-page letter in BB hits several nails on their heads. In particular his long experience of chatting to grouse shooting interests lead him, as mine leads me, to the view that attempts at conciliation with grouse shooting interests have failed and the time for chat is long gone. He says;

…despite decades of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, [some think] that some form of ‘shared solution] between shooting and conservation interests may still be possible. Yet how can there be proper dialogue as long as one of the parties continues to break the law at will?

So true, so true.

Elsewhere in this month’s BB, there is a retrospective confirmation of the identification of a Curlew (not Slender-billed) from 1960 by DNA analysis, a retrospectively identified first British record of the continental race, sinensis, of the the Cormorant from March 1873 as well as a lot of confusing photos of the Bardsey pipit of May 2016 which was, it seems, a Richard’s Pipit not a Blyth’s.

Elsewhere a long article aboutr Skokholm which I haven’t yet read and a long article abour Little Terns at Blakeney Point wose photos , graphs and tables I have looked at so far.

I used to read BB closely each month as I would take it with me on a train journey and see very few birds from the train as a result. Now I’m not travelling much I ought to have more time to settle down and read it but it doen’t seem to work that way.

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6 Replies to “July British Birds”

  1. The Little Tern article is especially interesting. It comments on the fortunes of other colonies in East Anglia and gives some idea of the level of predator management, including the diversionary feeding of Kestrels, needed to ensure success. For example at North Denes, Great Yarmouth, Kestrels took 526 Little Tern chicks in 2001 and an estimated 455 in 2005 - virtually the lot in both cases.

    It's a good example of deciding what wildlife we want and managing for it - something I'm very much in favour of.

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      1. Thanks Trapit. On the contrary, I'm all for rewilding but in the UK, except on mountain tops perhaps, you still need to decide what you are going to manage for. For example, the idea that you could "rewild" large areas of East Anglia and not shoot deer is pie in the sky, unless you want to say goodbye to Nightingales and have bare-ground woodlands.

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          1. Mark, I would love to have Lynx in East Anglia. Room for 3 territories in Thetford Forest? With the best will in the world you are not going to get a naturally controlled and balanced deer population here. But I'd be delighted to be proved wrong!

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  2. I think deer may not play the game and live in the large dense woods that Lynx like. Waiting to be eaten. Having their fawns away from the woods etc. That is the trouble with this predator prey balance romanticism one side does not play the game usually due to our actions elsewhere. Like boosting winter survival with food sources.

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