Mesmerising live stream of Hen Harriers in Yorkshire – watch it LIVE

The webcam, set up by the Moorland Association, is the first in England to document hen harriers in real time.

A mesmerising live stream of hen harriers nesting on the Swinton Estate in Yorkshire is providing a rare glimpse into the lives of England’s rarest birds of prey.

The webcam, set up by the Moorland Association, is the first in England to document hen harriers in real time.

It features footage of two adults and five chicks, which are expected to fledge towards the end of June.

A mesmerising live stream of hen harriers nesting on the Swinton Estate in Yorkshire is providing a rare glimpse into the lives of England’s rarest birds of prey.

The webcam, set up by the Moorland Association, is the first in England to document hen harriers in real time.

It features footage of two adults and five chicks, which are expected to fledge towards the end of June.

Ever since the introduction of grouse shooting in the Victorian era, birds of prey such as the hen harrier have been under threat.

Hen harriers nest and roost in heather and on open, upland moors, in close proximity to each other.

They often feed on the eggs of grouse, which also dominate the area and provide a lucrative driven grouse shooting season.

This has led to hen harriers being killed in huge numbers, causing their numbers to drop.

The Moorland Association has championed efforts to help re-establish a breeding population of hen harriers in England since 2016, in partnership with Defra and other conservation partners.

The hen harrier brood management scheme trial involves removing some chicks from nests to rear them in captivity if multiple nests are made on grouse moors.

In the five years before the trial began, only 51 chicks fledged in England.

Since its introduction in 2018, however, 224 hen harrier chicks have fledged successfully.

A survey in August 2021, found that 77 hen harriers had been born that year, following on from a the previous year’s record of 60.

The fifth year of the trial is now underway.

Now the Moorland Association is showing off the success of its conservation efforts with the launch of a new webcam project.

The live web camera, situated at Swinton Estate in Yorkshire and broadcasting via YouTube, was set up to help engage the public and provide valuable information on the ecology of breeding hen harriers.

‘This is the first time we have been able to set up a webcam to allow people to feel close to these beautiful birds and watch their progress, thanks to funding from the Wildlife Habitat Charitable Trust,’ said Mark Cunliffe-Lister, Chair of the Moorland Association.

‘As ground-nesting birds they remain exceptionally vulnerable and it is only through the concerted efforts of land managers that we have been able to create the right conditions for them to nest here for several years in a row.

‘There are chicks in the nest now, so the webcam is absolutely enthralling.’

The purchase and installation of the camera was funded through a £5,165 grant by the Wildlife Habitat Charitable Trust.

Swinton has also recorded 44 other species of birds on the estate including Curlew, Fieldfare, Lapwing, Skylark, Song Thrush and Woodcock.

Source: Mesmerising live stream of Hen Harriers in Yorkshire – watch it LIVE

First osprey egg laid in southern England for 200 years

A pair of Western Ospreys has laid an egg at a secret site in the Poole Harbour area of Dorset, making it the first nesting attempt in southern England in almost 200 years.
The striking bird of prey was once widespread across Western Europe, but was routinely persecuted until becoming widely extirpated in the early 1800s. The nesting attempt is the result of an osprey reintroduction project which began in 2017, carried out by the charities Birds of Poole Harbour and Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation in an effort to restore a population across its historic range.
The pair, known as CJ7 and 022, first met last spring having made their migration back to Poole Harbour from their wintering grounds in West Africa. The female, CJ7, first visited Poole Harbour in 2017 during the first year of the reintroduction project, but has shown interest in nesting here every year since, visiting purpose-built nesting platforms installed to attract ospreys to breed. The male, 022, was released as part of the reintroduction programme during 2019, before making his first migration and spending two years maturing in his wintering grounds. He then returned for the first time on 18 May 2021, which is when he first met CJ7, although he was too young to breed at the time. The couple spent the summer of 2021 pair bonding and establishing nesting territories, indicating that they were keen on breeding here in the future. Both left Poole Harbour in early September 2021 and those involved in the project kept everything crossed for their safe return this spring.
Paul Morton of Birds of Poole Harbour said: “When 022 and CJ7 left on migration last autumn, we then had an anxious time waiting seven months to see if they had survived the journey. Flying from Britain to West Africa and back again is incredibly dangerous, with the birds facing many challenges along the way including the Sahara Desert, adverse weather conditions and illegal hunting. Luckily they both returned safely earlier this month, with CJ7 arriving on 5 April and 022 a few days later on 10 April. Having spent the whole of last summer together their instincts to breed this summer kicked in straight away and the pair settled on a nest, which is exactly what we were hoping to see.”
Western Osprey’s diet consists solely of fish, which is one of the reasons Poole Harbour was selected for the reintroduction project. Ospreys that breed in Scotland and northern England pass through the harbour on migration each spring and autumn, feeding on species such as Grey Mullet and Flounder, before continuing on their journey. With the harbour’s large shallow channels and bays, ospreys find hunting incredibly easy and 022 can now regularly be seen hunting in the harbour. Should the breeding attempt be successful, he will be responsible for providing fish for the whole family throughout the rest of the season.

 

A pair is incubating at Poole Harbour in Dorset.

Delightful sounds of Spring: American Woodcock

By Laura Sebastianelli

Recorded at 7:45pm in light rain. recording begins with the bird twittering and feathers making noise on its way back down to ground. Spring Peepers in background.

Laura Sebastinelli

Microphone: Sennheisser ME66


A longtime friend of THE HOBBLEDEHOY, Laura Sebastianelli is a naturalist, ecological educator, sound recordist, citizen scientist, and active community member living near Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve
in Alexandria, VA.
Visit at: wildaroundus.wordpress.com/

GasLit Nation: Cosa Nostra Grover Cleveland
December 7, 2022 GASLIT NATION WITH ANDREA CHALUPA AND SARAH KENDZIOR We’re …

American Crows rattle & call

A group of American Crows (possibly up to 4) were calling, one was making a “rattle” (a similar sound to the “knocking” sound of Common Ravens). In this partial recording, 12 “rattles” can be heard in under 2 minutes.

Recording location is Cobscook Point at Cobscook Bay State Park in Edmunds Township, Maine. at 10:09 am on August 10, 2021.

The full recording, 8.5+ min, can be heard here: macaulaylibrary.org/asset/361178511

Image copyright L Sebastianelli 2021Birds

Best Bird Watching in England

By Sian Williams

If lockdown has made you more appreciative of the birds in your neighbourhood, why not further your interest with a visit to a bird reserve during your staycation?

Birdwatching doesn’t need to be an expensive hobby – you don’t need to buy a huge telescope like you see some twitchers carrying, just as you don’t need to sit for hours munching on sandwiches, praying for that one elusive bird to show up!

If lockdown has made you more appreciative of the birds in your neighbourhood, why not further your interest with a visit to a bird reserve during your staycation?

Birdwatching doesn’t need to be an expensive hobby – you don’t need to buy a huge telescope like you see some twitchers carrying, just as you don’t need to sit for hours munching on sandwiches, praying for that one elusive bird to show up!

A good pair of binoculars (many reserves offer them for sale, or check out second-hand pairs on sites such as eBay), a bird book or app so you can identify what’s in front of you, and a little bit of patience will reward you with an absorbing day out.

Although spring and summer are great for spotting birds during the breeding season, autumn and winter also offer a great deal of variety as many species prepare to migrate.

Bird-watching is truly a year-round activity the whole family can enjoy.

Here are our top nine bird-watching sites in England.

Farne Islands

Farne Islands
Farne Islands. Credit: DomWPhoto

A 20-minute boat trip will take you to the dramatic Farne Islands off the Northumberland coast.

Once home to saints and monks, today the tiny archipelago supports breeding colonies of several species of seabird. At the height of the season (May to June), you could see around 70,000 Puffins!

The islands are also a haven for Eider Ducks, Razorbills, Little Terns, Arctic Terns, and Sandwich Terns. Look out for seals basking on the rocks or swimming, too.

Find it: Boat trips to the Farne islands run from Seahouses. Check out SerenityBilly Shiel’s or Golden Gate. The National Trust cares for the islands; non-members must pay a landing fee in addition to the cost of the boat trip.

Find out more here.

Bempton Cliffs

Known locally as Seabird City, the towering white cliffs at Bempton, near Bridlington, in East Yorkshire, attract up to half a million seabirds every year.

Between March and October, they come to nest and raise their young, making this place a must-see for any bird-watcher.

The cries (and smells!) are unforgettable as thousands of birds swoop around you.

Look out for the Gannets with their startling blue eyes and large grey bills. True romantics, Gannets mate for life – and often the male will offer the female little gifts of flowers.

Bempton is the only mainland seabird colony in England, so you’re guaranteed to see ‘the big eight’ of species that visit our shores: Gannet, Guillemot, Puffin, Razorbill, Kittiwake, Fulmar, Shag and Herring Gull.

Find it: RSPB Bempton Cliffs, Cliff Lane, Bridlington, YO15 1JF

Find out more here.

Coombes Valley

A Redstart
A Redstart. Credit: SussexBirder

A lovely oak woodland in a steep-sided valley, this Staffordshire spot provides an ideal habitat for migratory birds such as the Pied Flycatcher, Redstart and Wood Warbler to nest.

A trail leads you around the site – look out for Dippers and Willow Tits in summer, and in winter, hundreds of Redwings and Fieldfare descend to feed on the berries.

A steep climb will take you to open moorland and pasture, where you may see Woodcock and Sparrowhawks.

Find it: RSPB Coombes & Churnet Valley Nature Reserve, Bradnop, Leek, ST13 7EU

Find out more here.

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