OK....so its another 'Bad News' day on Birds2blog with some 'good' at the end.
British Ladybirds are in serious decline, they are being wiped out by a foreign invader that devours the eggs of its native relation in the UK of which at least ten species have declined dramatically in the past few years.
Well....for starters its not strictly a foreign invader at all, though there's little doubt it has found it's way into the UK via fruit packages etc, but it was also aided by yet more human interference with the natural world by introduction to the South-East in 2004 of the Asian Harlequin Ladybird as a pest controller which has spread across the country at an alarming rate. This aggressive creature breeds quickly and following behind the seven spot is then the most common of the Ladybirds. Other 'man made' problems have hit our Ladybirds, those of climate change, and changes of farming and gardening over the years which have triggered these problems.
So....there are contrasting fortunes for the different Ladybird species, and those on the increase include Harlequin, Pine, and Orange. Whilst on the decrease the species include the10/11/14/22 spots.
There's bad news with a little good news about this next one, about which I'll not make the kind of comments I would if you struck up a conversation with me in a bar about the subject, but I do need to say one or two things about this man and what he was found to be engaging in.
In the first place I think he got a least some just 'reward' for what he was engaged in, but a couple of things leave me - to say the least - uncomfortable....1) why was this mans gun license not revoked and, 2) why wasn't his employer - the landowner - not fined the same amount as this left-over from the Dark Ages.
I feel it my duty as a birder and lover of wildlife to ask you to please read THIS
Now the good news.
Pied Flycatcher. Peter Guy.
I've ended the first half of 2011 on a high note, not least because Barbondale has produced the best ever record of Pied Flycatcher and with a little luck up to 35 will wing their way from here back to their wintering grounds mainly in western Africa. Thanks to PG for the photograph which incidentally shows another of those 'brown' 1st summer males....its the bird on the left.
Spotted Flycatcher. David Cookson
I've also established the Marshaw/Tower Lodge area to be once again the best in our area for Spotted Flycatcher with the last count standing at 10 birds. All this is not to mention the Kentish Plover at Cockersands on 3 May, plus many other excellent records on many other birding days. I'm now looking forward to part two of 2011.