Friday, 30 December 2011

Tawny Owl back again

At the start of this year we blogged about the dramas of a pair of Tawny Owls nesting in a camera nest box - the male disappeared half way through the breeding season leaving the female to fend for herself and four chicks. She managed beautifully with all four young fledged successfully. Now the female is back at her box and she seems to have found a new mate.  You can watch the latest footage on the BTO's YouTube channel and we'll blog about the latest news from Maison Tawny as and when anything happens.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

All five BTO Cuckoos back in the same country

A message received by BTO at 03:13 yesterday morning shows Martin has moved from Central African Republic in to Congo, joining the other four Cuckoos. He has moved 368km (228 miles) south of his previous position and is now close to Lyster and Clement. For the first time since they left East Anglia all five cuckoos are once again in the same country.

Messages received from the other four Cuckoos show that there have been no other significant movements. You can follow the progress of each Cuckoo on the BTO Cuckoo blogs.

An overview of the project, presented by Phil Atkinson at the recent BTO annual conference, can be viewed below:

Monday, 5 December 2011

Wild bird populations in the UK, 1970 to 2010

Defra's National Statistics Release (Wild bird populations in the UK, 1970 to 2010) can now be viewed online as a pdf on the BTO's website

Key BTO monitoring schemes are the basis of the latest wildbird indicators, which show a further decline in farmland birds to their lowest ever level. Woodland birds, water and wetland birds and seabirds have all shown an increase over the last year whereas the wintering waterbirds show a slight decrease in England, but a slight increase in the UK.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Gamekeeper admits poisoning Buzzards

From an RSPB press release issued today:
RSPB welcomed today's (1st December 2011) conviction of a 45 year old man at Lanark Sheriff Court for poisoning four Buzzards using the lethal banned pesticide Alphachloralose.
David Alexander Whitefield admitted killing the birds whilst employed as a gamekeeper at Culter Allers Estate in South Lanarkshire in 2009.
Commenting on the conviction RSPB Scotland Head of Investigations, Bob Eliott, said: "We’re delighted with the outcome of this case. We now await news of the sentencing which will take place on January 5, 2012. We hope this will reflect the serious nature of the offences committed. RSPB Scotland is working with the Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime (PAWS) which includes Scottish Government, Scottish Land and Estates (SLE) and others to bear down on the perpetrators of crimes against birds of prey. It’s high time that such illegal activity which damages Scotland’s international and domestic reputation was consigned to the history books."