Wednesday, 7 November 2012

The Birds and Bees.

The Birds....

Chris, the only remaining tagged English Cuckoo, is still in Congo, close to the Likouala aux Herbes and the Ubangi river. He is just slightly further south (around 50km or 30 miles) than the same area in which he wintered last year. He is the only Cuckoo that the BTO have tracking data on for 2011 and 2012 and so this is the first information they have about site fidelity between years in the Cuckoos.

It also allows the BTO to look at the timings of his journey through Africa in both years. Chris arrived in Chad one week earlier in 2012 than in 2011 and spent about 9 weeks here, compared to 10 weeks last year. In both years, however, he has spent seven days in the Central African Republic before travelling to Congo, this year arriving just over two weeks earlier than the previous year. 

It has been fascinating to note that although he has migrated mostly on a very similar trajectory to last year, he has not used the same stop-over sites. It will be even more interesting to see whether he travels into the Democratic Republic of Congo again, as he did for around 3 weeks last December, before heading back to Congo.  

The underlying story about these 14 satellite tagged Cuckoos is a pretty sad one as there are now just 5 birds left from the initial 14. Tags have failed along the way at varying dates and stages of migration since the first tagging of 4 Cuckoos in England in the summer of 2011, the other 10 were tagged in Wales and Scotland during this summer of 2012. If I've been following and reading accurately all the data sent back via these tags, in general once the tags fail to transmit it starts the process that something is amiss, though in the first place the weather is taken into account, then there is the fact that the tag also records the birds body temperature which indicates the bird is in trouble, in due course this leads to such readings that the bird is obviously no more.

The Bees.... 

Below is a copy from part of an e-mail I received recently, it saves me the trouble of any explaining to be done. I would also like to assure visitors to Birds2blog that I have no intention whatsoever to create it into a platform for daily rants by me, and petitions to 'Save the planet and its wildlife'....However it does all need to be addressed and I'd like to think I can play some small part once more in trying to save it. 

So here's another 'I Wonder'....would you consider signing yet another petition against this lethal act by these 'chemists' with the power to poison all and any wildlife they care to. 

And the e-mail.

The battle that is currently taking place at the European level can be critical to the survival of bees - and all our futures. 

Agro-chemical lobbies are about to impose three types of neonicotinoid pesticides known to be harmful to bees in all European countries. The only way to block them is that hundreds of thousands of citizens are mobilizing throughout Europe to force MEPs to intervene. 

Help us save the bees! Now sign the petition to MEPs in HERE . 

And, carrying on the tradition of a pic or two in every post on Birds2blog....

Snow Bunting. Geoff Gradwell.

Geoff recently visited Rossall Point at Fleetwood and got some excellent shots of the Snow Bunting, my personal favourite of which is this one.

Hen Harrier. Geoff Gradwell. 

He also visited Pilling Moss to achieve this record shot of the stunning male Hen Harrier in fading evening light. Record shot or not its good enough for me, as is any photograph of this raptor tragically on the road to extinction from our uplands, its downfall being that it has a liking for the odd Red Grouse as food for its survival....Much appreciated GG 

1 comment:

Warren Baker said...

I really hope something can be done to physically turn the tide for the Cuckoo's with all the data collected Pete.