9 07, 2018

My birding diaries 2018: June

July 9th, 2018|0 Comments

June was certainly a memorable month with a week in Scotland and a total of 29 complete lists input to BirdTrack. The month got underway with a walk around Pages Wood, a large Forestry Commission site consisting of 74ha of woodland, scrub and grassland. It looks like it will become an annual event as [...]

4 07, 2018

English Hen Harriers: underwhelming expectations

July 4th, 2018|0 Comments

Hen Harriers are wonderful birds. Watching them ‘skydance’ over moorland is an unforgettable experience. Observing them quartering upland heath in the spring or grazing marsh in the winter are moments to savour. The science tells us that there should be in the region of 330 pairs in England, yet last year there were just [...]

18 06, 2018

Culling Ravens is contagious

June 18th, 2018|1 Comment

Ravens are a conservation success. They have been increasing in both numbers and range in recent decades, much of which is down to a reduction in illegal persecution and also an increase in carrion (due to increased sheep numbers). A good overview of these increases is available from the BTO website and in the [...]

8 06, 2018

Talks at the Grant Arms Hotel

June 8th, 2018|0 Comments

I’m looking forward to giving two talks next week at the Grant Arms Hotel, Grantown-on-Spey. Both talks are free and all are welcome to attend. On Wednesday 13th June: A flyway approach to the conservation of the Critically Endangered Sociable Lapwing The Sociable Lapwing is a Critically Endangered species that migrates from its breeding [...]

5 06, 2018

Client Raven

June 5th, 2018|0 Comments

Last year I read a rather excellent book – ClientEarth – by James Thornton and Martin Goodman. It is essentially the story of a group of environmental lawyers, called ClientEarth. It says this on the inside cover: “With Client Earth, we travel from Poland to Ghana, from Alaska to China, to see how citizens [...]

5 06, 2018

My birding diaries 2018: May

June 5th, 2018|0 Comments

May was a rather quiet month for my birding in the UK as I was working away in Kazakhstan for much of it. I only managed a few visits in the last week of the month which resulted in 7 complete lists. On the first morning back from Kazakhstan I did my new WeBS [...]

4 06, 2018

Some reflections on the birds of Kazakhstan

June 4th, 2018|3 Comments

I’ve been visiting Kazakhstan since 2005 as part of my previous, and ongoing work on the Critically Endangered Sociable Lapwing. This year I’ve been helping ACBK the local BirdLife partner undertake surveys of the breeding population that we studied annually between 2005 and 2012 (see the Amazing Journey website for details). Whilst undertaking survey [...]

29 05, 2018

Raven Cull – an international embarrassment?

May 29th, 2018|6 Comments

Ravens are a conservation success story. Despite widespread persecution in the 19th and 20th Centuries, usually at the hands of gamekeepers and shooting interests, the species has since recovered and is generally doing rather well. The BTO Atlas of 2007-11 shows the range is expanding and the numbers increasing too. In the Atlas I [...]

2 05, 2018

My birding diaries 2018: April

May 2nd, 2018|0 Comments

Spring migration got well underway during the month, but I seem to have missed most of it! Work commitments limited birding opportunities to the first few weeks of the month and the last cold, wet and windy weekend. Early April was surprisingly slow even when the conditions seemed suitable for an influx. The focus [...]

20 04, 2018

Peak District ‘bird paradise’ under threat

April 20th, 2018|0 Comments

BirdLife International have just done a review of global IBAs and listed those most under threat. Important Bird Areas, now known as Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas, but fortunately still known by the original acronym - IBAs, are a global assessment of the parts of the world most important for birds – they are [...]