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Competing visions for the UK uplands

The way the uplands of the UK are managed has been an ongoing discussion for decades but never before has the spotlight been so bright. Should the emphasis be on farming, forestry, renewable energy, carbon storage, flood protection, biodiversity, outdoor recreation/tourism or intensive sporting management (primarily driven grouse shooting)? Arguably, and without looking up [...]

May 15th, 2020|0 Comments

International Dawn Chorus Day

Today is International Dawn Chorus Day – it is the first Sunday of May each year. My perception is that there’s been a lot more promotion of Dawn Chorus Day this year than I previously remember? I’m usually an early riser and tend to get out on the local patch at first light, which [...]

May 3rd, 2020|0 Comments

Langholm Moor – a glimpse of the future of our uplands?

Langholm Moor will be known to many people as a place where some clever research was done to look at Hen Harriers and grouse moor management. There has been lots written about this, but for further reading the project website is a good starting point: Langholm Moor Demonstration Project, neatly summed up by Dr Mark [...]

April 24th, 2020|0 Comments

Lapwing memories

Rather spookily I’ve been reminded of my PhD twice in the last few hours. This morning, whilst looking up a reference, I came across an old paper* of mine in Wader Study Group Bulletin (now Wader Study) and then over lunch there was a Tweet on my Twitter feed from Georgie Bray who is [...]

April 17th, 2020|0 Comments

The Sociable Lapwing: migration strategy and site fidelity

I’ve been hugely fortunate to have worked on the Critically Endangered Sociable Lapwing for the last 15 years, not just because it is a fabulous study species that has taken me to some wonderful places, but also because I’ve had the privilege of working with many great colleagues (indeed friends). A significant component of [...]

April 16th, 2020|0 Comments

Accounting for birds and carbon: #ABC2020 February & March

At the turn of the year I decided to keep a record of my UK birding trips and calculate the amount of carbon they generate. During the month of January my UK birding resulted in 0.139 tonnes of carbon and 114 bird species recorded. February was a relatively quiet month for birding in the [...]

April 15th, 2020|0 Comments

Bangladesh part 2: Saving the Spoon-billed Sandpipers of Sonadia

I used to be a conservation optimist but I’m increasingly pessimistic about our chances of saving species from extinction and habitats from continued destruction and degradation. There is no doubt we have the tools and knowledge but I just don’t see the political will and global leadership. However, whenever I visit Sonadia Island in [...]

February 27th, 2020|0 Comments

Bangladesh part 1: Living with eagles

Pallas’s Fish Eagle Haliaeetus leucoryphus is classified as Endangered by the BirdLife/IUCN Red-List of threatened birds. According to the BirdLife International datazone there are likely to be less than 2500 mature individuals (1000-2499), and this is possibly an overestimate. My colleagues in Bangladesh who are working on this species estimate the national population at [...]

February 13th, 2020|0 Comments

Accounting for birds and carbon: #ABC2020 January

The issue of climate change is being discussed in more and more circles, it is no longer a niche subject amongst a few environmentalists and academics. The amazing Greta Thunberg and others have brought the issue on to our TV screens and our daily news feeds. Some say that the last UK General Election [...]

February 8th, 2020|0 Comments

Upcoming talk: The birds of the Arabian Peninsula

On the 18th February I'll be giving a talk on the Birds of the Arabian Peninsula for the International Association for the Study of Arabia, at the Institute for Archaeology, UCL (WC1H 0PY). The talk will look at the diverse range of birds that breed, migrate through, and winter in the Arabian Peninsula. Arabia [...]

January 17th, 2020|0 Comments