News archive

December 2020

Monday, 14 December 2020

Newsletter pages continued - TITBITS

Newsletter pages continued - TITBITS

As a group we get many requests for help or support. One such request was from a local golf club. The members of the club had noticed a decline of small birds blackbirds, song thrush, robins around the grounds and a member of the greens committee suggested the club should contact the local RSPB group.
We arranged a site visit and made several recommendations about hedge cutting, copse clearing and where best to site nest boxes. As a result, the club now sends out an Ecology newsletter and below is the update of our plan.
One of the first projects was to install bird boxes around the course in 2019. Members were invited to donate and 'sponsor' a bird box. The RSPB offered free advice and helped to install 37 bird boxes at various locations around the course (mainly in copses near the 6th, 7th and 16th tees. A kestrel box was also erected behind the 10th green). Thanks go to the Head Greenkeeper and his staff for practical help installing the bird boxes.

Big Garden Birdwatch 29 - 31st January
The Palm House is our usual venue when we deliver our version of Big Garden Birdwatch the week before the big weekend. The Palm House offers the fantastic opportunity to meet lots of people who have just wandered in or are not hooked on birds yet. In the last few years the numbers of people attending have been huge. Our quietest day of 176 people rose to a huge 568 this January.
This event is free, and we have been successful in raising donations and memberships, selling pin badges and bird food but must importantly raising awareness.
Looking forward to 2021, it does not look possible to do such a big event, keep checking out the website for further information.

Easyfundraising feel good shopping
During these challenging times when we cannot fundraise in person, we need your help more than ever. RSPB Liverpool is now partnering with easyfundraising so that you can keep on supporting our work but from the comfort of home!
easyfundraising works with 4,400 shops and sites which will donate to us when you shop online, including John Lewis, Argos, eBay, M&S, Waitrose, House of Fraser, Moonpig, Screwfix and even the RSPB shop. All you have to do is go through the easyfundraising website or app whenever you shop online and we'll receive a % of your spend as a free donation. It won't cost you a penny more as the retailer pays the donation, not you.
A few of us have already registered and so far, our online shopping has raised £115.00 for your group and the work of the RSPB.
https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/rspbliverpool/


We would love to hear about what birds or nature you have seen in your garden or out and about.
You can email me at, christtynan@aol.com

Monday, 14 December 2020

Newsletter pages continued - TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF THE FASTEST BIRD IN THE WORLD

Newsletter pages continued - TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF THE FASTEST BIRD IN THE WORLD

Liverpool region has several of the once rare peregrine falcon. Peregrine numbers declined during the 19th and 20th centuries because of illegal killing by humans, which at times was relentless. Widespread contamination by persistent toxic agricultural chemicals such as DDT caused the collapse of the peregrine population in the UK in the late 1950s.
These pesticides built up in the food chain and concentrated in peregrines and other birds of prey, causing increased adult mortality, eggshell thinning and reduced breeding performance. By 1963-64 80 per cent of the UK peregrine population had been lost.

Several members have been keeping a close watch on a pair at Mossley Hill Church during lockdown from the field by the athletics club. The pair failed to breed last year but during the lockdown1 period the adults' attempts were successful and this created lots of noise. With local walks the only option for all us, it alerted numerous photographers to the site.

With the support of the Vicar and Merseyside police sergeant Sean Davoren, it was decided to gather a small band of volunteers to provide a 7am till 10pm nest protection rota to stop photographers standing under the nesting area disturbing the parents and trespassing in the old vicarage.
Worse was to follow. Peregrines normally lay four eggs, and so did this pair, but one of these did not survive. The other three eggs hatched successfully and, as the chicks got bigger and bolder, they realised they could walk on to the window ledge and stretch their wings. The window ledge is on a 45-degree slope and all three juveniles ended up falling from the nest site while trying to exercise their flight muscles. With the help of some friends, two juveniles a male and female were gathered up and replaced high up on a better roof ledge where the parents could bring in food. The other young male was too injured by the fall and went to a specialist vet where it was sadly euthanised. The remaining two fledged the nest and soon learnt to collect food from their parents.

With the support of the church, a local joiner and a member of the group went into the tower and cleaned out the nest site and built a better nesting area, adding pea gravel and creating a number of walk out ledges. We hope this will help the juveniles and stop anymore early departures from the nest site. Its now up to the parents to enjoy the changes. The cost of the work was £290.00 which the group has agreed to pay. We hope if successful next year these birds could be part of the NW peregrine ringing scheme.

Peregrines are still persecuted photographers causing disturbance when photographing specially protected birds during the nesting season are breaking the law. These birds are a Schedule 1 listed species under The Wildlife and Countryside Act.

Monday, 14 December 2020

NEWSLETTER PAGES, WINTER 2020

NEWSLETTER PAGES, WINTER 2020

Welcome members,
What a year it has been! All local groups have been suspended until 2021, but no one told the birds and nature.
The committee and I have agreed it is time to bring back the newsletter. I would like to thank all the committee for being so supportive. As I type this, I am listening to pink-footed geese flying over my house in Huyton, so I thought what a chance to look back over a strange but fantastic year in our area.
Most of us will have spent a lot of time watching birds in or over our gardens. Some have been lucky enough to watch magnificent ospreys migrating over their garden or had a warbler searching through their plants. My highlights have been several flyover species. Two separate pairs of shelducks, a long-awaited hobby and a raven.
The image above was drawn by Stephen Menzie when he was the youngest RSPB committee member, aged 15 and newsletter editor. Read all about Stephen in the previous article - 'Great oaks from little acorns grow: why local groups are so important for every age group'. We have been talking to Stephen about arranging a Zoom talk about Falsterbo Bird Observatory. This will be a special chance to learn about the huge numbers of birds migrating from Scandinavia to Central Europe.More details to follow .
The unexpected tribulations of a peregrine falcon is the news of an exciting venture for the group and should prove popular with our members. Titbits is to let you know about some other things you might be unaware of.
If you have anything you would like to tell us, then please contact me. Keep supporting birds and nature and thank you for supporting RSPB Liverpool. Wishing you all a peaceful Christmas and stay safe.
Chris Tynan