Saturday, 30 July 2011

Two New Pages!

I have added two new pages to the right hand tool bar on the main page to try and bring something new to the blog I'll stick the title of the page below with a bit of a brief description about how it will hopefully work or what my idea is!

Under The Microscope

The idea behind this page was for me to look at something relating to birds of prey in a bit more detail and write a piece about it for this blog page. The topic could be anything, a raptor conservation organisation, a current news article, a new or old topic relating to birds of prey or an interview with someone who is involved with birds of prey and conservation.

I Haven't Heard of That Raptor

I'll happily admit I don't know every species of bird of prey there is in the world but thats brilliant because I love learning about a new species. The idea is quite simple for this page, to learn a bit more about the different species of raptors there are, with over 300 species of diurnal raptors and roughly 250 species of Owls there is plenty to get stuck into. I'm going to write each individual species on a slip of paper and pull them out individually. Please don't expect this to be a definitive guide but using some of my guide books or even a specialist guest blogger I hope to introduce some species you might not have heard about and if you have some knowledge about the current species let me know!

Hopefully these two pages might bring something new to the blog, I will get started on the first editions this week. It will probably take me a week to write all the species down on little slips of paper!

As always if you have any comments please get in touch.

Plenty of things to read about!

Well its gorgeous weather outside, I have spent the morning at a horse event in the gorgeous grounds of Cholmondeley castle and like all good supportive boyfriends I got bored noticed a large mere with plenty of dragon flies so went looking for hunting Hobbies, you never know!

I've got plenty of stuff for you all to read from the world of birds of prey so I hope you find at least some of it interesting. Let me know if theres anything else you want me to dig up for you!

Firstly a good friend of mine has just had published a new field guide which he helped co-author titled A Field Guide To Monitoring Nests which is a comprehensive and detailed guide into the nests of 145 species of British breeding birds. I have been fortunate to spend time in the field with Richard Castell and learnt a fair bit about the obsessive art of nest finding and let me be honest theres not many people better at nest finding than Richard Castell. Take a look below

Here in the UK I have a couple of pieces to relay to you, some great news from Wales firstly in that the Cors Dyfi pair of Ospreys have successfully bred and the first youngster since 1604 has fledged. You can read more on the link here

More news from the Wildlife Extra page is for Golden Eagles in Scotland and the news that the Scottish government has denied consent for a 14 turbine wind farm.

Wind farms are currently the new topic when it comes to conserving energy in the UK but that is not to say they are a new idea, around the globe they are used inland and have proved fatal for large birds of prey like the Golden Eagle. They are also known to kill other bird species and bats, but what does the future hold for a species like the Golden Eagle which has managed to survive extensive persecution thanks to its inhospitable habitats in Northern Scotland, a piece has been written on the Raptor Politics site and can be read here

Some of you might remember I had mentioned Simon Thomsett and his three piece interview on the Crowned Eagle on the African Raptors site, well Simon also has a blog that he updates and the most recent post has just dropped into my inbox, have a read and why not start following Simon yourself

Another newsletter that has just recently dropped into my inbox is from the Belize Raptor Research Institute, I love reading about foreign conservation projects especially successes and they have had a couple of good pieces of news to report, take a look at the newsletter here

 Any of you who might be interested in getting away to another country and helping raptors then take a look at the Batumi Raptor Count in Georgia. Sadly in Europe and further afield birds of prey are still shot and persecuted by hunters and they need our help, I dare say this trip wouldn't be for the faint hearted after looking at some of the hunting pictures in the gallery but they need our support and what a fantastic chance to improve your Raptor ID skills.

I haven't had chance to digest the next article but the evolution of birds is something that fascinates me,  I have been sent a new article regarding a new fossilised bird found in China that is thought to be older than the Archaeopteryx. The article is here

Finally I was contacted recently asking if I could alert the readers of this blog about the work being carried out in Bulgaria for the Egyptian Vulture, sadly they are down to just 30 pairs! have a look at the website here and I will add it to the website page for future reference
Bulgaria also has another website titled save the raptors highlighting conservation efforts in the country for the Imperial Eagle and Saker Falon the website is
You can also read a new interview about the Eastern Imperial Eagle in the Ukraine on this link below

WOW there is a lot there for you to get through and I will be following this post with another one regarding the two new pages I have added to the right hand toolbar on the main screen. Hope you enjoy!

Friday, 22 July 2011

Where did it go?

The last month is what I mean! I cannot believe it has been nearly a month since I last made a contribution so I apologise, but it has been a busy month.

So what have I been doing and what is going on in the raptor world, well I have been busy helping a friend with his raptor ringing which has included a variety of species. For those of you not in the know about raptor ringing, you must be licenced in order to disturb and/or interfere with wild birds of prey in the UK, my friend is fully licensed and monitors a number of species on his patches of land and it is a joy to have been involved.

The majority of British birds of prey will have finished the breeding process and youngsters will now be out on the wing so it is the perfect time to see birds of prey in Britain. Barn Owls and Sparrowhawks will be fledging about now and then thats the 2011 year wrapped up so it will be interesting to see how species have managed this year.

I did ask myself a question this year about one particular species which is very scarce and secretive in the UK, how well have Honey Buzzards done this year? The one reason I pondered this is because I have seen next to no Wasps this summer in my part of the world, Wasp grubs are a large part of the Honey Buzzards diet but I don't know whether their is a nationwide shortage of them and whether it would truly affect the few HB which visit our shores?

Those of you interested in how Britains Ospreys faired this year have a look at the link below, things finished off pretty well.

Those of you interested in Eagles and who may have started reading Simon Thomsett's account of the African Crowned Eagle can find the third installment below, its on the African Raptor page  make sure to take a look round as there is plenty more new stuff.

Meanwhile in America they are facing more heartache with lead ammunition still being used and congressional bills being introduced which could have a negative impact on wildlife and raptors, read more on the link below.

When it comes to birds of prey in the news why not take a look at the BBC News page on the link page below.

Finally I need to put a bit more effort into this site so I'm going to add a couple of new pages to the site, both of which will put the spotlight on a certain area of birds of prey. Watch this space and I will try and add something tonight or over the weekend.