BIRDING THE LUNE ESTUARY, THE UPLANDS OF BOWLAND AND BEYOND

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CLOUGHA PIKE. UNTIL RECENT YEARS THE BOWLAND STRONGHOLD FOR THE STONECHAT

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Purple Heron.



Well this is the nearest I can get to a photograph of the bird of the title being the Little Egret and both members of the group Ciconiiformes. Unfortunately I can't credit this image to anyone as I have no record of the  author so if you thinks it's yours please tell me.

Britain is claiming a first record this year as a pair of Purple Herons have taken to nesting at Dungeness in Kent but hey....these birds are under threat from an airport development here. The Purple Heron visits the UK in small numbers each year usually as individuals but this year a pair have arrived and decided to set up home in Kent. This member of the heron family normally breeds in southern Europe.

A protection scheme has been set up at the site but the potential development of an airport is casting a large shadow over this peninsula and the future of this brilliant location and the wildlife it supports. The Purple Heron isn't on it's own at setting up home in the south of the country as the changing climate pushes birds further north and species like this highlight the importance of places like Dungeness as a haven for displacement due to global warming.

So the Purple Heron - which has been struggling for the last few decades in Europe - is hopefully about to join the Cattle Egret and Spoonbill as first time breeders in Britain and all eyes are on the Great White Egret to become the next in line for this record.

Meanwhile, back at the RSPB camp there is a call for the government to haul in the planning applications for expansion at the nearby Lydd Airport, but wait a minute....the local authority of Shepway District Council consented the applications in the face of recommendations to refuse thereby illustrating that we still have lots of  'idiots' in what they may think are high places and are very dangerous people once they get their uniforms on and who need to be outvoted as soon as possible. 







3 comments:

Mike Watson said...

I read on Birdguides that a 24 hour watch may be set up to protect the Purple Herons! What unbelievable nonsense! It always amazes me when we waste resources protecting birds that are common elsewhere. Golden Oriole and Montagu's Harrier also spring to mind.

Phil said...

Hi Pete, I claim the prize for the Little Egret. Its a shame when we get older and our memory plays tricks. Did you also forget I posted a picture of PH about a week ago? See you soon.

Pete Woodruff said...

My understanding is that the RSPB already have a protection scheme in place here Mike and if it's a 1%better success than any protection they've been able to secure for the Hen Harrier over many years in the Forest of Bowland it'll be a major victory.

I take note of your comments and thanks Mike.

It's a 'yes it is' to your comment 'a shame when we get older'....and a 'yes I did' to 'did you also forget'. T

Thanks for reminding me of my failing memory Phil.