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Online fairweather  
#281 Posted : 30 March 2020 15:40:58(UTC)
fairweather

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 04/01/2017(UTC)
Posts: 2,157
Location: Essex

Originally Posted by: Skreever Go to Quoted Post
The male hen harrier has been around here, swooping in looking for small birds, or voles. He might be supporting more than one nest up on the hill; most years he comes up to 3 times every evening at his busiest.

That is excellent news. Had one male and at least one ringtail down here in their usual favoured wintering area. 

Online fairweather  
#282 Posted : 30 March 2020 15:50:27(UTC)
fairweather

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 04/01/2017(UTC)
Posts: 2,157
Location: Essex

Originally Posted by: Northern Sky Go to Quoted Post

 

The re-introduction programme carried out around nearby Harewood House has been incredibly successful. I see kites everyday but when they call and swoop low over the house it's a magical sound. I know a place nearby where you can often see groups of kites (most I've counted was 12 a few weeks ago). One of my interests is making field recordings and I keep meaning to go and record them. Hopefully I'll get round to it this Spring.

I fear they will become heavily persecuted in the years ahead. They are incredibly successful and you can see tens at a time soaring over the M40 from High Wycombe to Oxford and beyond. They are spreading and I had one swoop in my garden in Essex. The problem is that they are scavengers and whilst they feed on road kill and the like people are feeding them and drawing them into towns in large numbers. This is fine with me but I have seen them swoop at speed to get scraps right next to humans. Sooner or later a child could get injured with one trying to snatch a snack (a la gulls on the coast with ice cream and chips). Then of course there will be public outcry.

Offline Roger Parsons  
#283 Posted : 02 April 2020 06:00:10(UTC)
Roger Parsons

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 23/11/2008(UTC)
Posts: 2,572
Man
Location: Lincolnshire

Rather than start a new thread I'll add this post here - as birds in particular are likely to be involved. It relates to work to HS2 and I'd be very interested to have TWO readers views. I have been sent to following links:

'Betrayal of trust': HS2 criticised over removal of woodland soils

https://www.theguardian....r-removal-woodland-soils

HS2 Tries to Get Round the Law to Cut Down Woodland Habitat During Bird's Breeding Season

https://bylinetimes.com/...-birds-breeding-season/4

Roger

RogerP

West Lindsey district of Lincolnshire

No county (Lincolnshire) has better churches and worse houses. The poorer sort of people wash their clothes with hog's dung, and burn dried cow's dung for want of better fuel; whence comes the Lincolnshire proverb: "Where the hogs shite soap and the cows shite fire".

Curiosities of Great Britain (c.1780)

Offline NMA  
#284 Posted : 02 April 2020 10:02:57(UTC)
NMA

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Joined: 05/04/2006(UTC)
Posts: 2,217
Man
Location: South Dorset

Originally Posted by: Roger Parsons Go to Quoted Post
Rather than start a new thread I'll add this post here - as birds in particular are likely to be involved. It relates to work to HS2 and I'd be very interested to have TWO readers views. I have been sent to following links:

'Betrayal of trust': HS2 criticised over removal of woodland soils
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/apr/01/betrayal-of-trust-hs2-criticised-over-removal-woodland-soils

HS2 Tries to Get Round the Law to Cut Down Woodland Habitat During Bird's Breeding Season
https://bylinetimes.com/2020/03/25/hs2-tries-to-get-round-the-law-to-cut-down-woodland-habitat-during-birds-breeding-season/4

Roger

Those are interesting articles Roger but surely other events are now overtaking this story? 

Maybe when things return to normal as is expected by next winter by the experts, HS2 can then begin felling the ancient woodlands that are in the way of the new line and relocate complete soil profiles in the layers that they remove them. But when I think about this do they really understand exactly what goes on underneath the soil let alone above? It’s as far as I understand, a part of science that’s still in its very early stages regarding fungi and other microorganisms in these kinds of woodland. A clue might lie in truffles and how this species survives. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ece3.3017

Is HS2 really an expert on soils as they make themselves out to be? I imagine there will be a lot of soil shifted from one place to another but it certainly wont be placed in the same profile it was removed from. And in any case will it actually make any difference to the new ecology and landscape we are creating? It’s a question I don’t know the answer to.

As regards using tame birds of prey, if you are a handler would you not have a guilty conscience being asked to do this kind of work for HS2? It's not the same as scaring pigeons off Nelsons Column.  What times we live in.

Off topic Devonian has not been on this forum for some time and not looked at a pm I sent him. I hope he’s ok.

Nick

Offline Roger Parsons  
#285 Posted : 02 April 2020 13:33:14(UTC)
Roger Parsons

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Joined: 23/11/2008(UTC)
Posts: 2,572
Man
Location: Lincolnshire

Originally Posted by: NMA Go to Quoted Post

 

Those are interesting articles Roger but surely other events are now overtaking this story? 

Maybe when things return to normal as is expected by next winter by the experts, HS2 can then begin felling the ancient woodlands that are in the way of the new line and relocate complete soil profiles in the layers that they remove them. But when I think about this do they really understand exactly what goes on underneath the soil let alone above? It’s as far as I understand, a part of science that’s still in its very early stages regarding fungi and other microorganisms in these kinds of woodland. A clue might lie in truffles and how this species survives. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ece3.3017

Is HS2 really an expert on soils as they make themselves out to be? I imagine there will be a lot of soil shifted from one place to another but it certainly wont be placed in the same profile it was removed from. And in any case will it actually make any difference to the new ecology and landscape we are creating? It’s a question I don’t know the answer to.

As regards using tame birds of prey, if you are a handler would you not have a guilty conscience being asked to do this kind of work for HS2? It's not the same as scaring pigeons off Nelsons Column.  What times we live in.

Off topic Devonian has not been on this forum for some time and not looked at a pm I sent him. I hope he’s ok.

Nick

Thanks Nick. We are all dealing with Covid 19 but life also goes on and so apparently does work to HS2. I received this info from 2 sources who drew it to my attention today - hence my question.  I think your point about timing is a good one - and very much the way I would argue it. Regarding the use of Harrier Hawks, it seems to me it tells of the contempt the project seems to have for the natural world - but I do wonder if HS2 will ever see completion in the economic ruin that the UK will be by the time our pandemic is "under control". I'd certainly ask that question.

Roger

 

Edited by user 02 April 2020 13:37:56(UTC)  | Reason: typo

RogerP

West Lindsey district of Lincolnshire

No county (Lincolnshire) has better churches and worse houses. The poorer sort of people wash their clothes with hog's dung, and burn dried cow's dung for want of better fuel; whence comes the Lincolnshire proverb: "Where the hogs shite soap and the cows shite fire".

Curiosities of Great Britain (c.1780)

Offline Roger Parsons  
#286 Posted : 04 April 2020 07:12:41(UTC)
Roger Parsons

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 23/11/2008(UTC)
Posts: 2,572
Man
Location: Lincolnshire

Common Scoters make flight calls on night migration. Listen out from the garden!
3/4
2+ Common Scoters flew over Legbourne at 10.19pm

NocMig: reports since dusk of Common Scoters audible from Glamorgan to London + from Somerset to W Yorks.
https://nocmig.com/2018/11/12/common-scoter-nocturnal-flight-calls/


https://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Melanitta-nigra



Roger

RogerP

West Lindsey district of Lincolnshire

No county (Lincolnshire) has better churches and worse houses. The poorer sort of people wash their clothes with hog's dung, and burn dried cow's dung for want of better fuel; whence comes the Lincolnshire proverb: "Where the hogs shite soap and the cows shite fire".

Curiosities of Great Britain (c.1780)

Offline four  
#287 Posted : 07 April 2020 07:27:32(UTC)
four

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 07/04/2006(UTC)
Posts: 19,964
Location: N.Y.Moors

Spotted a lone swallow this morning, this is very early but not surprising considering the warm spell just starting.
Typically we see one or two from about mid-month but they often appear to be briefly checking things out rather than fully settled until around the 25th

Offline Roger Parsons  
#288 Posted : 07 April 2020 07:43:11(UTC)
Roger Parsons

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 23/11/2008(UTC)
Posts: 2,572
Man
Location: Lincolnshire

Originally Posted by: four Go to Quoted Post

Spotted a lone swallow this morning, this is very early but not surprising considering the warm spell just starting.
Typically we see one or two from about mid-month but they often appear to be briefly checking things out rather than fully settled until around the 25th

Yes - I've had a few county reports - so you are in step with that, four. With a warmer spell you will no doubt start seeing more shortly. There are a lot of insects about - which is very important from their point of view!

Roger

RogerP

West Lindsey district of Lincolnshire

No county (Lincolnshire) has better churches and worse houses. The poorer sort of people wash their clothes with hog's dung, and burn dried cow's dung for want of better fuel; whence comes the Lincolnshire proverb: "Where the hogs shite soap and the cows shite fire".

Curiosities of Great Britain (c.1780)

Offline Northern Sky  
#289 Posted : 07 April 2020 09:54:48(UTC)
Northern Sky

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 16/08/2010(UTC)
Posts: 4,611
Location: Leeds W Yorks

On our daily exercise walk yesterday, my daughter and I went for a walk in the woods near our house. This is ancient woodland that covers quite a big area but is nevertheless very much in the city of Leeds. There's a stream in the wood and a few small ponds that were once for industrial use. 

While walking along the side of the stream we were amazed and delighted to see a kingfisher zoom past. I've seen them along rivers in the open but never in a wood, which if anything seemed to accentuate the iridescent blue.

It made my day  

Offline Bertwhistle  
#290 Posted : 07 April 2020 15:02:09(UTC)
Bertwhistle

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 20/11/2015(UTC)
Posts: 6,104
Location: Central Southern England

Originally Posted by: Roger Parsons Go to Quoted Post

 

Yes - I've had a few county reports - so you are in step with that, four. With a warmer spell you will no doubt start seeing more shortly. There are a lot of insects about - which is very important from their point of view!

Roger

My father lives in West Dorset, in a Jurassic stone cottage with a porch that's had swallows nesting in it annually for all but the last few years. He phoned to tell me, with glee, he had stepped out into the sunshine with his morning coffee yesterday, and was- he put it- dive-bombed by a swallow. He said it's the earliest he's seen them there.

Bertie, Itchen Valley.

Remember Finlake!

Offline Caz  
#291 Posted : 07 April 2020 17:11:29(UTC)
Caz

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 28/10/2008(UTC)
Posts: 20,203
Woman
Location: Market Warsop, Nottinghamshire, East Midlands

Early this morning before the dawn chorus, I heard an owl too-witting.  Is that the male, or the female?  It wasn’t answered though.  

Market Warsop, North Nottinghamshire.

Join the fun and banter of the monthly CET competition. Discuss monthly temperatures and records.

Offline ktaylor  
#292 Posted : 08 April 2020 07:14:30(UTC)
ktaylor

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 09/08/2019(UTC)
Posts: 877
Man
United Kingdom
Location: Ryarsh, kent

Just sitting in my garden after my run and there was a starling just outside its nest making a lot of different noises some high pitched and long and some short  and loud. The dancing and flapping of the wings was good to watch.  A few years ago that nest belonged to blackbirds but somehow starlings took over. 

Come on you spurs

Save ryarsh stop the quarry

https://www.ryarshprotectiongroup.com

Offline Bertwhistle  
#293 Posted : 08 April 2020 11:48:25(UTC)
Bertwhistle

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 20/11/2015(UTC)
Posts: 6,104
Location: Central Southern England

Originally Posted by: ktaylor Go to Quoted Post

Just sitting in my garden after my run and there was a starling just outside its nest making a lot of different noises some high pitched and long and some short  and loud. The dancing and flapping of the wings was good to watch.  A few years ago that nest belonged to blackbirds but somehow starlings took over. 

Starlings are renowned for the versatility of their calls. Blackbirds are entertaining impersonators too KT. I've heard them add ringtones, reversing vehicle sounds, and others into their songs.

Bertie, Itchen Valley.

Remember Finlake!

Offline Caz  
#294 Posted : 08 April 2020 12:32:38(UTC)
Caz

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 28/10/2008(UTC)
Posts: 20,203
Woman
Location: Market Warsop, Nottinghamshire, East Midlands

Originally Posted by: Bertwhistle Go to Quoted Post

 

Starlings are renowned for the versatility of their calls. Blackbirds are entertaining impersonators too KT. I've heard them add ringtones, reversing vehicle sounds, and others into their songs.

Ahh, yes!  I remember back in the 70’s when ‘trill phones’ came out.  It didn’t take long for them to mimic that sound.  

Market Warsop, North Nottinghamshire.

Join the fun and banter of the monthly CET competition. Discuss monthly temperatures and records.

Offline Lionel Hutz  
#295 Posted : 08 April 2020 17:45:04(UTC)
Lionel Hutz

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 05/04/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,965
Man
Ireland

Home from work and given the fine evening, I decided to sit out and have a beer. At the same time, I have been watching a Buzzard circling overhead while listening to bird song. A nice way to unwind after work. I particularly appreciate it when I see a Buzzard. Despite being relatively frequent now, they were unknown here until twenty or so years ago.
Lionel Hutz

Nr.Waterford , S E Ireland

68m ASL

Offline Lionel Hutz  
#296 Posted : 10 April 2020 09:00:33(UTC)
Lionel Hutz

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 05/04/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,965
Man
Ireland

I was thrilled to hear a woodpecker drumming practically at the bottom of my garden this morning. It's the first time that I have ever heard it. I heard what I initially thought was some kind of machine from the neighbouring farm. However, I then realised that it couldn't be from there as the sound was coming from very near our house. I had read that the woodpecker had returned to Ireland in the last twenty years so it crossed my mind that it could possibly be a woodpecker. So having checked on YouTube, the sound that I heard corresponded exactly with recordings of woodpecker drumming. They're still rare in Ireland having been spotted in the East in counties Wicklow and Down around 1998. They have spread only slowly since but have now been recorded in 10 counties, always within 50 miles or so of the East coast. We have a wood beside our house so hopefully he will stick around.

Edited by user 10 April 2020 09:03:08(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Lionel Hutz

Nr.Waterford , S E Ireland

68m ASL

Offline llamedos  
#297 Posted : 10 April 2020 11:38:54(UTC)
llamedos

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/04/2006(UTC)
Posts: 32,269
Man
Location: Hertfordshire

Originally Posted by: Roger Parsons Go to Quoted Post

 

Yes - I suggest you start to enjoy the sparrowhawk, llamedos. You are feeding it - that's why it comes by. It's bird feeding up one trophic level. Why is a raptor of lesser value than a passerine? Or a blue tit worth more than an earthworm?

If you want to give your garden birds a better chance - it is worth ensuring feeders are spread about and are close to cover, like big bushes or hedges - perhaps less easy for you to enjoy and but providing ready refuge for the prey species.

A bird-ringer friend ringed quite a few of our garden birds at our last place. He found many above average weight! Yours may be too. They are fat lazy targets with feeding made easy. Make them work a bit for their food and don't overfeed them. The hawk is weeding out the weakest.

It is worth reminding oneself that a predator is the prey's greatest friend. Not the dead individual prey of course, but the prey species. By weeding out easy marks it ensures a healthier population of survivors. [At the present time that is a sobering and indigestible concept!] There is no biological advantage for any predator to wipe out its prey species - it's all down to balance.

Finally - how's your feeder hygiene? Do you clean and disinfect your feeders regularly? Those who don't probably account for a significant  number of unseen birds deaths through infections and it is quite possible that the hawk is taking birds that are under par through illness.

Two useful links:

https://www.bto.org/how-you-can-help/providing-birds/feeding-garden-birds/hygiene

https://www.discoverwildlife.com/animal-facts/birds/facts-about-sparrowhawk/

Enjoy your birds.

And stay healthy.

Roger

Hi Roger!

I must apologise as I thought I had replied your response.......I know I started but must have got side-tracked  

I totally agree with your view of sparrow hawks - I've only seen one close up when it perched on one of the pillars that enclose my front garden wall. Only a fleeting sight obviously, as when it saw me it was gone!

We have a number of feeders (too many IMO, but who am I to argue ) four in our front garden, all spaced apart for sparrows, tits of all varients, goldfinches, starlings, robins(which is strange, I think they've adapted) and a couple of other vagrants.

We're fortunate to have a pretty sizeable rear garden which hosts another 9 feeders and also attracts a massive number of regular visitors.

All of our feeders are sited in trees or in high, well protected hedges. All of the feeders are thoroughly washed every week, nothing new, they always have been.

I have to accept I'm just squeamish. That said the horrible magpies are much worse, although my GSD hates the b astards and flies down the garden if she sees one!

Birds.......so much pleasure

Thanks

John

"Life with the Lions"

Offline Roger Parsons  
#298 Posted : 12 April 2020 06:49:55(UTC)
Roger Parsons

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Joined: 23/11/2008(UTC)
Posts: 2,572
Man
Location: Lincolnshire

Originally Posted by: llamedos Go to Quoted Post

Hi Roger!

I must apologise as I thought I had replied your response.......I know I started but must have got side-tracked  

I totally agree with your view of sparrow hawks - I've only seen one close up when it perched on one of the pillars that enclose my front garden wall. Only a fleeting sight obviously, as when it saw me it was gone!

We have a number of feeders (too many IMO, but who am I to argue ) four in our front garden, all spaced apart for sparrows, tits of all varients, goldfinches, starlings, robins(which is strange, I think they've adapted) and a couple of other vagrants.

We're fortunate to have a pretty sizeable rear garden which hosts another 9 feeders and also attracts a massive number of regular visitors.

All of our feeders are sited in trees or in high, well protected hedges. All of the feeders are thoroughly washed every week, nothing new, they always have been.

I have to accept I'm just squeamish. That said the horrible magpies are much worse, although my GSD hates the b astards and flies down the garden if she sees one!

Birds.......so much pleasure

Thanks

John

Thanks for the reply, llamedos.  Unlike our last place where several raptor species were very active, this spot on a village green is positively peaceful. We only get common stuff, but it's endlessly entertaining. Vital to feed "just enough" or you would get rats!

This week has been interesting for the number of migrating Ring Ouzels, a summer visiting thrush, turning up in the county. I had 12 reports yesterday. They seem to like horse paddocks, so anyone near one would be well advised to keep an eye on it. They tend to turn up on the south and east coast and on uplands - see the map here:

https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/ring-ouzel/

https://www.bto.org/understanding-birds/species-focus/ring-ouzel

Roger

 

 

RogerP

West Lindsey district of Lincolnshire

No county (Lincolnshire) has better churches and worse houses. The poorer sort of people wash their clothes with hog's dung, and burn dried cow's dung for want of better fuel; whence comes the Lincolnshire proverb: "Where the hogs shite soap and the cows shite fire".

Curiosities of Great Britain (c.1780)

Offline Caz  
#299 Posted : 14 April 2020 19:31:27(UTC)
Caz

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 28/10/2008(UTC)
Posts: 20,203
Woman
Location: Market Warsop, Nottinghamshire, East Midlands

On our afternoon walk around the river, we saw some different birds sat on the grass around the mill pond. They were all black, bigger than the mallards but smaller than the swans and had long necks. I thought they looked like geese but hubby thought not.  We can’t find them in our British wildlife book.   Any ideas?

Market Warsop, North Nottinghamshire.

Join the fun and banter of the monthly CET competition. Discuss monthly temperatures and records.

Offline Roger Parsons  
#300 Posted : 14 April 2020 20:17:40(UTC)
Roger Parsons

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 23/11/2008(UTC)
Posts: 2,572
Man
Location: Lincolnshire

Originally Posted by: Caz Go to Quoted Post

On our afternoon walk around the river, we saw some different birds sat on the grass around the mill pond. They were all black, bigger than the mallards but smaller than the swans and had long necks. I thought they looked like geese but hubby thought not.  We can’t find them in our British wildlife book.   Any ideas?

Black Waterbirds, Caz? I expect you would know coot, moorhen and cormorant.

The black-ish wildfowl shown here are unlikely to be in your neck of the woods... Any thoughts?

https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/ducks-geese-and-swans/

Could they be a domestic duck or goose spp? Don't think so, but....

https://www.naturespot.org.uk/taxonomy/term/19210?page=1

More clues needed...

Roger

 

 

RogerP

West Lindsey district of Lincolnshire

No county (Lincolnshire) has better churches and worse houses. The poorer sort of people wash their clothes with hog's dung, and burn dried cow's dung for want of better fuel; whence comes the Lincolnshire proverb: "Where the hogs shite soap and the cows shite fire".

Curiosities of Great Britain (c.1780)

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