Sunday, 26 June 2011

Busy Busy!

Well its nearly the end of June and I haven't had chance to sit down and write on the blog although I have been keeping my finger on the raptor pulse, mainly out in the field. June is when all the young birds of prey are growing up and getting active so I've been very busy helping friends with monitoring and ringing young.

But whats going on around the world with birds of prey, well I have been reading some fantastic interviews from the African raptor web page including a fascinating in depth interview with Simon Thomsett about his extenxsive studies covering the Crowned Eagle its so meaty its in 3 sections but well worth a read. I read part one and many of Simons views and opinions rang several bell's for the future of raptor conservation and human impacts. Check out part one below

Sadly I have also read that the oldest breeding Osprey found in Scotland has failed to hatch any young this year, questions have been linked  to the birds age as to why the eggs were infertile but we must not forget that we have had some extremely harsh weather during the breeding season and Roy Dennis a well known Osprey expert has also commented on the hard weather Ospreys have had in Scotland with nest's even being blown out of tree's.

I have a couple of new web pages that I have come across, they might not be new to some readers but I will add them to the Web site links page. The first one is a South African based vulture conservation group working towards raising awareness about the struggle African vultures are currently facing, it has several fantastic downloads including information posters and childrens activitties take a look at
The second website is another page that interest me as it relates to the the illegal trade in wildlife and animals, I have always been interested to find out more about the illegal trapping and trading of birds of prey around the world and whether anything is done about it. I have several pictures that have been sent to me showing birds being sold on the side of streets and in markets they make grim viewing but what is being done about it? The website is

I have just started looking into the IUCN Red List in conjunction with Birdlife International on the state of birds of prey in the world. I'm interested to find out how upto date these status's are and what is being done to find out about the status of our more unheard of species, I have already learnt some species I had never really come across and one thing has become clear that if your an endemic species you are usually in trouble. I will publish a table in due course and anything else I manage to find out through this blog page.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Lots of bad news with a little bit of good to finish!

Sadly there has been some bad news when it comes to birds of prey in the UK and abroad that I have read about in the last week most of it covering raptor persecution. Check out each individual story below and see what you make of it all, I know what I feel and think about these mindless actions!

Raptor Politics have plenty of stories this last week covering a variety of persecution cases that have taken place this last month with the UK's wild birds of prey. Take a look at the link below which is just one story of our rarest species of raptor the Hen Harrier and suspected persecution on their nest site.

Have a good look at the other sad events taking place in the UK when it comes to native birds of prey trying to survive. Another story of survival includes California Condors and how six have recently been found with lead poisoning, three of which have died from the poisoning. When will the world realise how poisonous this stuff is!

Now on a much brighter note some of you might like to hear how some of the UK's nesting European Eagle Owls have had a successful breeding season. The pair from Dunsop valley have had there best season ever, click on the link below to read more about the pair

With all this persecution happening you might wonder if anything actually gets done about it by the police and authorities, well the law has decided to take action with one Derbyshire gamekeeper who was caught  using illegal trap methods among other charges but has he been let off to easily, you decide by reading more on the link below

Plenty of reading  for you all!

Friday, 10 June 2011

Two pieces from Twitter!

Some of you may be familiar with Twitter, the global website that lets people announce where and what there upto anywhere in the world or maybe what they are thinking, its called tweeting! I'm on twitter if anyone is interested under raptormantv I just use it to follow some interests of mine and one of those is the BBCnature tweets! Below are a couple of recent ones.

This link is from the BBC nature site with some different videos on Tawny Owls, some quite interesting footage especially the one  of the Tawny Owls  fishing.

The next one is a short news piece on Barn Owl nest boxes or should I say manor houses? The Barn Owl Centre have created a whopping big Barn Owl Manor which is suppose to be the ultimate in Barn Owl accomodation. Personally I think it looks a bit over the top but if a pair of Barn Owls take up residence in the next Spring who cares it will have done its job. Take a look below.

I'm currently really busy with my new business venture setting up an outdoor education centre for school children and various other groups at a large dairy farm in Cheshire, the facillities are brilliant the land is fantastic we just need to find out what the teachers think! If you know of any teachers in the North West who may be interested ask them to please get in touch I'd love to hear from them!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Where has the time gone!

I can't believe I haven't posted in over a week and its June already, I have been very busy with other projects and out watching the activities of birds of prey on my patch, the usual species are incubating or rearing young now and to be honest there is nowhere I would rather be than out there following them.

SO whats going on in the bird of prey world, well the oldest Osprey thought to be breeding is now incubating her 60th egg so fingers crossed they hatch! I have also just read on the raptor politics website that the Dunsop Valley Eagle Owls have bred this year and had 4 young which is brilliant news, you can see the news on this link

If you want to read something interesting about our most common British bird of prey then check out this interview on the European Raptors site on this link

With BBC Springwatch back on our screens and a bit of bird of prey activity it is great to see that they have a camera on a Buzzards nest. It has already shown how Buzzards are much more then glorified worm catchers bringing in the usual rabbit and rodents but also duckling, frog and Grass snake.

They also have a camera link to a Red Kite nest and it is one of these birds I had the pleasure of watching yesterday afternoon in Cheshire. Now although Red Kites are thriving in the areas where they have been introduced they are still an unusual site in Cheshire but as I drove home I noticed a bird wheeling in the sky that didn't fit the usual Buzzard form. I pulled over and immediately noted the fork shaped tail continuosly twitching in flight and then the real treat happened when the kite began to dive and sweep across the field in an attempt to grab something. I just sat in the sun and enjoyed!

I did a talk the other week for the Wirral Barn Owl Trust which I think went pretty well, at least no one fell asleep and I got some interesting questions at the end. It was a bit of an unusual talk where I tried to cover how birds of prey work things like eyesight, hearing hunting etc. I enjoyed writing it anyway.

I had an e-mail today from Scott Mason who set up Parahawking in Nepal where you can actually fly with trained birds of prey! Now I have paraglided and it was amazing so I would love to know what its like to fly with birds of prey. Scott actually does a hell of a lot of conservation work for birds of prey in and round Nepal including setting up a rescue charity and being involved in the Vulture rescue programmes! Check out his site on this link

I'll be back online soon!