The Daily Telegraph reports with long journeys to go ‘birding’ curtailed by the Covid-19 regulations, sales of tiny ‘noc-mig’ microphones to record migrating birds flying overnight went up. They managed to discover that the Common Scooter is much faster than previously thought with 800 households logging data that showed it crossed the UK in a matter of days rather than weeks.
The Telegragh reports Britain’s biggest bird could make a comeback under new rewilding plans, as the Wildlife Trusts call for the government to restore our wetlands to their former glory and bring back the dalmatian pelican.
Dalmatian pelican at Prague Zoo by Willard under creative commons.
The birds, which are up to six foot in length and have a wingspan of up to 11 feet, disappeared from our wetlands before medieval times, but are present in the fossil record. The majestic species was common 12,000 years ago and bones have been found in peat bogs in Norfolk, East Yorkshire and Somerset from the Bronze and Iron ages. Eventually, 2,000 years ago, the drainage of these wetlands, alongside hunting and disturbance, led to the extinction of the pelican.
The Telegraph reports Britain’s garden birds could be wiped out in 80 years if climate change continues to accelerate, research from the University of Oxford has warned. Warmer weather earlier in the year could disrupt the delicate ecosystem balance which keeps the little birds which visit our gardens alive.
The Telegraph reports a study which tagged geese and monitored their movements and density from 2006 to now has found that vastly fewer young come with adult animals when they travel to our shores. Nowhere else on earth are experts seeing such rapid changes than in the Arctic where the primary cause, greenhouse gas emissions, are instigating warmer winter temperatures and ice loss, affecting the availability of food, competition and predation of animals.
The Telegraph reports the Prime Minister last week promised that Britain had “limitless” offshore wind capacity, and said a green industrial revolution with this renewable resource at its heart would create millions of jobs and avert climate change. However, conservationists have warned that an enthusiastic rolling out of offshore wind could cause our globally important seabird populations to dwindle to extinction.
The Daily Telegraph reports the willow tit is the fastest-declining resident bird in the country, and one of the lowest in number, and the numbers have been in sharp freefall because their preferred habitat, shrubland, has been destroyed because of an obsession with neatness…. Government quango Natural England is also planning to compel local authorities to create more ‘untidy’ habitats for creatures including the Willow tit.
Willow tit photo by yrjö jyske under creative commons.
INEWS and BBC NEWS report a pioneering form of research has given a fresh insight into the secret night lives of the UK’s smallest seabird. The RSPB used GPS tags to collect data on the movement of storm petrels. They found the birds, which are active at night, regularly travelled up to 300 kilometres to feed in the stormy waters off Shetland.
Photo of European storm petrels by Peter Steward under creative commons.
The Times reports thousands of birds could be saved from being killed by wind farms by painting one blade on each turbine black, a study suggests. Eagles and other soaring birds of prey are particularly vulnerable to wind farms and they benefit most from making the blades more visible.
Photo of wind turbines by steve p2008 under creative commons.
The Independent reports tangers see four nests of chicks successfully fledge. At least a dozen marsh harrier chicks have successfully fledged at a nature reserve in the “most successful breeding year in decades” for the species there. It is thought that lockdown helped the birds at the National Trust’s Wicken Fen Nature Reserve in Cambridgeshire.
The BBC reports golden eagles have bred at a “rewilding” estate in the Scottish Highlands for the first time in 40 years. An eagle pair successfully reared the chick at an artificial eyrie on the 10,000-acre Dundreggan estate.