Saturday, 22 November 2008

50 years ago....well almost.

Well you won't see Plover Scar at Cockersands anything like as calm as it is in this pic on more than a few occasion in any one year I promise, there is almost always at best a breeze and at worst a howling gale and I've trundled along the headland here many a hundred times in all weathers, well you have to be pretty interested in the birds or mad to do it, and in a howling gale you're both. But the reason for this pic is that I was looking through some records I found following the privilege of having access last year to the LDBWS reports from its birth in 1959, and some of the records they contain range from quite amazing to mind boggling and I've chosen just one at random from Cockersands and one or two more from elsewhere to illustrate the changes both here and other locations in our area.

Little Tern

1981. Multiple sightings in July/August at Cockersands the max count being 11 on 2 August.
1982. Good numbers Cockersands/Pilling including 105 (yes that's one hundred and five) on 1 August
1983. A peak of 21 between Cockersands and Knott End


1981. Numbers on NW Bowland are down from 100 pairs in 1980 to just 35 in 1981
1983. Only 8 pair found in Bowland


1981. Not located in Bowland (this may be 27 years ago but I find it quite amazing)
1982. Two males Langden Valley 31 December B Townson (well Brian wouldn't be surprised if he found two here now would he)
1984. Pair bred Heysham Harbour, family party seen from late July and a pair remained into 1985


1981. Four pairs Birk Bank (I never saw a Yellowhammer here in all the years I have visited)
1984. Peak of 65 at Leighton Moss in February

Corn Bunting

1982. Common in the Cockerham area but agricultural practices/improvements may alter this (well this turned out to be one of the most accurate predictions imaginable in the world of farmland birds)
1984. Three pairs at Stodday, 7 - 10 pairs in the Overton/Sunderland area, 15 at Conder Green

To be continued......

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Guy McClelland said...

This makes interesting but also sad reading. The phrase "agricultural improvements" is very debateable isn't it.

Pete Woodruff said...

Thanks for comment again Guy. Good to see you Friday. We must have a 'tour' round sometime.

When I was the aforementioned car parts delivery driver, one of the runs included the Out Rawcliffe area and I used to cruise a big circular of the area looking for the birds and actually drove (many times at high speed to keep to schedules) 15 times a week through here. Take it from me the area (which is about as ideal as is possible for a good number of farmland bird species)was/is void of virtually all bird-life in relation to what it must have been like 100 if not 50 years ago. You used the word 'sad' which I readily second.