Jan 092018
Best ever DAY ONE count

With the better weather forecast for Norfolk that was our destination for the day one count. Starting with Barn Owl and ending wit a lovely Grey Male Hen Harrier we had a cracking day. Shore Lark at Holkham, Twite at Thornham, Snow Buntings at Salthouse and Cattle Egret at Stiffkey were the four main targets […]

Aug 222017
POLL: Should driven grouse shooting be banned?

After 150 years of being treated as a quaint rural pastime, grouse shooting is now under the microscope – unless it reforms it is doomed, and it may drag other country sports down with it. On Saturday, the start of the grouse shooting season, the social media hashtag #inglorious12th was trending, and a social media […]

Aug 142017
POLL: Should there be a tough crack down on the killing of raptors?

Grouse moors are to blame for persecuting endangered birds of prey in the Scottish Highlands and Uplands, according to a wildlife crime expert. Ian Thomson, the head of investigations at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds Scotland, said data from 77 birds of prey that had been satellite-tagged showed a direct correlation between […]

Feb 102017
POLL: Should wildlife crime be enforced by tougher legislation?

Almost 200 reports of shooting, trapping and destruction of birds of prey were received by the RSPB in 2015, the charity said. Some 64 out of the 196 reports were confirmed, including the shooting or attempted shooting of 46 birds of prey, including 16 buzzards, 11 peregrines, three red kites, one red-footed falcon and one […]

Jan 182017
Great visit to Wallasea Island

Sometimes a days birding can deliver very little and then sometimes days like today come along where it all seems to go right. A Barn Owl as we pulled into the track to the reserve followed by two Short-eared Owls hunting at first light then a male Merlin flashes across us and sits out on […]

Dec 182016
The severe Baltic winter that made thousands of birds flee

We seem, nowadays, to have forgotten what a “proper” winter is like. A series of mild seasons, punctuated only by the freeze-ups of 2009-10 and 2010-11, have perhaps made us complacent. But for Europe’s birds, cold winters need to be taken far more seriously. Almost 30 years ago the winter of 1978-79 led to a […]

Dec 172016
More Harrier action at Wallasea

Another trip to Wallasea Island at first light this morning. A Male Merlin zipped along the reeds and a female was seen sitting on a fence post too before two Ring-tail Hen Harriers and a Marsh Harrier came out to play. Several Kestrel and a few more flying passes from the Merlins kept me entertained […]

Dec 062016
Hen Harrier is Actually Two Different Species

New research confirms that the hen harrier (Circus cyaneus), a medium-sized bird of prey found in parts of North America and Eurasia, is two different species of bird that are only distantly related. The study, led by Dr. Graham Etherington of the University of California’s Museum of Vertebrate Zoology and the Earlham Institute, explores the […]

Nov 212016
Another Hen Harrier shot dead sparking fears for rare bird of prey

Detectives at Cumbria Police have opened a full criminal investigation into the fatal shooting of one of the bird of prey, called Rowan. Last year there were just six successful hen harrier nests resulting from 12 attempts in England. But this year the RSPB says there are only three nests known to be currently in […]

Nov 092016
POLL: Should subsidies to grouse shooting estates be stopped?

England’s vast grouse shooting estates receive millions of pounds in public subsidies according to an investigation by Friends of the Earth. Thirty of the estates received £4m of taxpayer’s money between them in 2014, the year examined by the pressure group, including one owned by the Duke of Westminster, the richest landowner in Britain with […]

Nov 062016
POLL: Should "Driven Grouse Shooting" be banned?

Driven grouse shooting is a field sport of the United Kingdom. It is popular because it provides a challenge due to the rapid flight of the grouse. The grouse shooting season extends from 12 August, often called the “Glorious Twelfth”, to 10 December each year. Shooting takes place on grouse moors, areas of moorland in […]

Sep 282016
POLL: Should buzzards be killed to protect pheasants?

Tim Boxall points at a shape in the field bordering the seven-acre wooded pen where he keeps 1,500 pheasants. “Here you are,” he says. “Look! There’s one over here.” He bends down and prises the remains of a pheasant from the long grass. “That’s a buzzard kill, you can tell by the way it’s been […]