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. PETE WOODRUFF.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Mr Parker....fully charged!


Plus a 'chat' an 'owl' and a 'duck'.

But first I think you should take a look at this about the very nice Mr Parker, bearing in mind there are of course no convictions yet and being acquainted with the law of this land of ours who knows what'll happen, but as far as the story goes so far You'll like it ....well you should do!

Stonechat Conder Pool
Stonechat. Copyright Granted.

Another fine image of a male Stonechat which escaped from Conder Green without my knowing it had ever been there on 29 January.

The Short-eared Owl (SEO) in our area of Lancashire is a scarce upland breeding bird and winter visitor which finds itself on the Amber List as a Species of European Conservation Concern. I get the impression they are a little thin this winter but I was lucky enough to find one in the mist and murk of 21 January in the Rawcliffe area.

This bird breeds chiefly on heather moorland from Staffordshire to the Pennines and north to Scotland where it is absent from the highest parts of the north and west. It breeds in the Outer Hebrides on the Uists - but not on Lewis or Harris - and Orkney, but not on Shetland. The SEO has a need for short vegetation which is rich in small mammals with which the populations of the bird fluctuate with vole cycles, therefore the more abundant the voles, the more successful the owls. In Oakes time they were regular breeders in areas in Bowland and he names Ward Stone amongst them, he refers to the bird as 'a very scarce and local resident, though formerly known as a breeder on coastal mosses including Cockerham and Winmarleigh'.

As is often the case - very nearly always in my view - if you read about the histories of birds of prey you will come across the causes of highs and lows in their fortunes being attributed to humans, in particular the lows which are usually connected with persecution. How little things have changed over the years - though once again in my view - have done so for the worse in many respects which brings us nicely back to the lovely Mr Parker who - if you don't mind my reminding you - is not just a gamekeeper....but the bloody head one.

There are no ringing recoveries outside the UK but known data indicates that  large numbers of SEO's come to GB during the winter many of which are from Fennoscandia and eastern Europe as far as Russia.

And finally....


Yet another of those 'out of the ordinary' pics with the drake Wigeon coming in to land....really appreciate this Brian.

4 comments:

Warren Baker said...

Possessing a firarm with no certificate! very serious offence. Not if you know the right people though Pete, most magistrates and judges enjoy a bit of shooting :-) Twats!!

Pete Woodruff said...

This guys not been convicted yet and if he does there's lots of bottomless pockets amongst the landowners he works for to pay the fine. If he goes to jail he'll get his job back when he gets out, or one somewhere else doing the same job/thing all over again.

These people are here to stay, doing what they do and you won't need me to tell you that Warren.

news said...

oh dear the next thing is that fox hunting will be re introduced to control vermin

Pete Woodruff said...

Plenty of Fox hunting still going on 'news' but PM DC and his old Etonian cronies will no doubt be somewhere behind closed doors making plans to legalise it once again.