22 08, 2018

Welsh Ravens: how many have been killed, and why?

August 22nd, 2018|8 Comments

Ravens have been culled in Scotland as part of an unscientific experiment. They are being killed in England in larger numbers than Natural England appear to be prepared to admit. What about Wales? I couldn’t find any information on the website of Natural Resources Wales (NRW) so I submitted a Freedom of Information Request. [...]

15 08, 2018

Who ate all the seed?

August 15th, 2018|0 Comments

Birds are wonderful. Everyone can enjoy them. They are easily seen. Some are beautiful songsters. They can undertake incredible journeys and others are resident. Some are common, some are rare. The House Sparrow was exceedingly common, but now, less so. I get as much joy out of watching the common birds in the garden [...]

14 08, 2018

A not so wondrous pattern in an unnatural world

August 14th, 2018|1 Comment

There is a rather thought provoking quote that is often used on the Raptor Persecution UK website following a comment by a regular contributor, Dr Hugh Webster, “They can hide the bodies, they can hide the tags, but they can’t hide the pattern.” This quote was in response to the obvious pattern of disappearing [...]

9 08, 2018

My birding diaries 2018: July

August 9th, 2018|0 Comments

July is often considered a quiet month for birds and birding. Spring migration is of course well and truly finished, breeding is over for many species, and autumn migration is at best a trickle. Purely by accident, July turned out to be a pretty good month for me, with visits to the wader rich [...]

31 07, 2018

English Ravens again: how many have been killed?

July 31st, 2018|3 Comments

The figures that Natural England provided me regarding the number of Ravens killed under license in England didn’t quite match up with the figures made publicly available via the Natural England blog. See my previous blog here and the Natural England blog here. I queried the discrepancy and Natural England replied in a matter [...]

30 07, 2018

Owl surveys should be a hoot

July 30th, 2018|0 Comments

I like Owls, yet I don’t pay them as much attention as I should. I guess that’s because I tend to be an early morning birder. A quick look at my BirdTrack records since 2016 tells me that I have heard or seen Barn Owls on 11 occasions from 6 locations and all during [...]

25 07, 2018

English Ravens – not quite a cull?

July 25th, 2018|2 Comments

Ravens have been in the news lately – mainly for the wrong reasons. Scotland led the way with the announcement of an unscientific cull, and a legal challenge is currently underway – see the Raptor Persecution UK blog for various updates here and here. Then, in June an article in the Times suggested that [...]

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 [...]