News archive

October 2018

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Two Chicks Fledge From Our Roseate Tern Box

Two Chicks Fledge From Our Roseate Tern Box

York LG - Box 163
Thank you so much for your box sponsor York Members' Group.....and what a box! 163 is perhaps the most northerly of our sponsored boxes, located on the very end of our newly extended North Terrace. It was also one of the first boxes to be occupied this year and the pair certainly didn't hang around, laying their first egg on 4th June. The season is about one to two weeks later this year, perhaps due to strong winds earlier in the year slowing our rosy's passage to Coquet. Your pair laid a second egg a couple of days later and we discovered two very sweet chicks on our monitoring round on 24th June. A few days later the chicks were large enough to ring with sequences ALCV for the A chick and ALHZ for the B chick. Our most recent box check found both chicks alive and well with their primary feathers not far from fully grown. Both chicks could well fledge before our next monitoring check!
The chicks from your box successfully fledged at some point between our monitoring visits on 15th and 22nd July. The B chick was observed on the jetty soon after with the A chick possibly more adventurous and venturing further afield. Their box took quite a bit of cleaning and wood preserving after accommodating two hungry youngsters for a few weeks! We'll look out for sequences ALCV and ALHZ returning to Coquet in a few years' time, possibly having chicks of their very own!
Mike Harris RSPB

Click Download... for the full 2018 season update pdf and, for a bit of wonderful 2018 Coquet Island video footage from amateur cameraman David Kinchin-Smith, click the Link...

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Sunday, 14 October 2018

RSPB reports: three more hen harriers disappear suddenly

RSPB reports: three more hen harriers disappear suddenly

Just weeks after celebrating the breeding success of hen harriers in the UK this summer, the sobering reality of the continued illegal killing of our birds of prey was brought firmly into the light with the suspicious disappearance of three satellite-tagged birds in England and Wales.
All of the birds were fitted with satellite tags this summer as part of the RSPB's EU-funded Hen Harrier LIFE project and we were regularly tracking their movements as they left their nests and started to make their way into the world. We'd hoped against hope that they'd at least manage to survive for a year or two, but we're very sad to see that these three birds only lasted a couple of months.
Young female harrier Hilma was tagged in June 2018 at a nest on Forestry Commission Scotland-owned land in the Scottish Borders. After she left her nest, she moved across into Northumberland. Her tag was transmitting regularly when it suddenly and inexplicably stopped. Her last known fix on 8 August showed she was near Wooler, Northumberland over land managed for driven grouse shooting.
Hilma is the second tagged bird to disappear in Northumberland in the past year, after we reported on the disappearance of Manu in October 2017, closely followed by his brother Marc in Cumbria in February 2018.A few weeks later another female bird, Octavia, vanished without trace. She hatched from a nest on National Trust's High Peak Moors in the Peak District National Park in June. This was the first time the species had bred in this area for four years. Again, we had high hopes that the tables may have turned in favour of our hen harriers and we watched anxiously as she began to spread her wings.
Octavia stayed faithfully close to her nest, until the 22 August when she moved onto privately-owned driven grouse moors near Sheffield. Her tag was transmitting regularly when it suddenly and inexplicably stopped. Her last known fix on 26 August showed she was over an area of land managed for driven grouse shooting at Broomhead.
Just three days later, a bird in north Wales also disappeared. Heulwen was born on a nest in Gwynedd, North Wales, her name was chosen as it is Welsh for 'sunny'. After she left her nest, Heulwen travelled through north Wales, across Snowdonia and eastwards towards Wrexham. Her satellite was transmitting regularly until it suddenly and inexplicably stopped. Her last known fix on 29 August show she was within the vicinity of Ruabon Mountain. Heulwen was not far from where Aalin, one of our 2016 cohort, went missing on 9 February 2018.
The RSPB has appealed for I anyone with any information about the disappearance of any of these birds, to please call the police on 101 - or if you have sensitive information which you want to discuss in confidence with the RSPB, you can use the Raptor Crime Hotline 0300 999 0101.

There is more info on the RSPB blog link below.