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Old Monday 27th February 2012, 19:49   #8951
forgetfulelephant
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Well I don't see why just putting published articles from magazines or newspapers on a notice board would contravene anything. It is not the same as putting mug shots up etc. The fact we could laminate them etc is neither here nor there

Anyway, if you behave like a scavenging gull, you forfeit your human rights

As he has been banned from all RSPB sites as long as we didn't actually accuse him of something just put the article & pic on the board for information?

Rob
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Old Tuesday 28th February 2012, 10:50   #8952
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Petition to protect raptors

Apologies if this has already been posted but there is an epetition to make English landowners responsible for the persecution of raptors on their estates i.e. they can't just blame the gamekeepers. If you want to support the attempt to protect harriers, eagles etc you will find the petition at

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/23089

Peter
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Old Tuesday 28th February 2012, 11:37   #8953
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Petition to protect raptors

Apologies if this has already been posted but there is an epetition to make English landowners responsible for the persecution of raptors on their estates i.e. they can't just blame the gamekeepers. If you want to support the attempt to protect harriers, eagles etc you will find the petition at

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/23089

Peter
Done. More than happy to sign that, Peter. We can't let these people dodge their responsibilities towards our natural heritage. I hope the law is strengthened enough so that severe criminal sentences can be brought upon those that are found guilty of flouting them.
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Old Tuesday 28th February 2012, 12:02   #8954
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Petition to protect raptors

Apologies if this has already been posted but there is an epetition to make English landowners responsible for the persecution of raptors on their estates i.e. they can't just blame the gamekeepers. If you want to support the attempt to protect harriers, eagles etc you will find the petition at

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/23089

Peter
Just signed

Rob
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Old Tuesday 28th February 2012, 12:56   #8955
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Petition to protect raptors

Apologies if this has already been posted but there is an epetition to make English landowners responsible for the persecution of raptors on their estates i.e. they can't just blame the gamekeepers. If you want to support the attempt to protect harriers, eagles etc you will find the petition at

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/23089

Peter
me and other half signed.
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Old Tuesday 28th February 2012, 15:09   #8956
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As previously publicised, the last work party of the season at the Flashes is next Sunday. The work load is extensive and further complicated by the loss of tools following the theft at the Moors Pool:-

- Strimming the islands and foreshore to create suitable feeding habitats for both passage birds and breeding waders
- Complete the blocking of breaches in the fox fence at the rear of the third flash
- Complete the alterations to the fox fence to prevent scambling access as witnessed last year
- Ensure that the gate from to the sewage meadow is secure
- Clear the islands of vegetation to assist breeding waders / terns
- Survey all the shingled islands / spits and refresh if required
- Complete the attachment of the fox fencing to the new hide
- Undertake a thorough "fox flush"
- Ensure that either side of the hide is suitably screened with blackthorn etc so waders are not spooked by visitors entering and leaving the hide
- Ideally creating willow panels or similar to screen the ground floor entrance to hide to prevent light flooding in when the door is opened

Due to the volume of work there will be a 09:30 start; any time you can spare during the course of the day will be very much appreciated. Squash and biscuits will be provided as a token bribe; please wear old cothes and boots / wellies and bring gloves.

I would hope that no one will quibble about any of the above work programme and, despite some comments posted here in recent days, from the conversations I have had in the 15 years I have been involved with reserve the efforts of the work party are greatly supported and appreciated by the vast majority of visitors to Upton Warren. Please come and see the Flashes from a different perspective.

Phil
Looking forward to it already see you all on Sunday
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Old Tuesday 28th February 2012, 19:23   #8957
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Tuesday work party at Amy's marsh 28th Feb 2012

An excellent day both weather and work wise, with 15 of us making in roads into the perennial problem of emergent saplings around the Broadmeadow pool's banks. We also tackled the well established willows on the Lagoon promontory.
All the cuttings were moved off site to the southern border and all trees were treated.
The promontory was the last site of breeding yellow wagtails in c1996, the removal of the trees could help the area return to a suitable breeding area for many species.
The 1000's of willow/alders saplings were cut and treated, this will hopefully diminish this problem for next year and improve the wader breeding potential for the future.
The alders on the island in front of the sand martin bank were also cut and treated.
The main 'scrape' shingle island was tidied up - flapping polythene was removed and shingle/rocks re distributed.
If all goes well next week we should be finished in the Amy's marsh Broadmeadow area. Then we will move into the SW marsh.
Pics
1. The Lagoon promontory before work
2. after work
3. close up of the type of habitat, several snipe came out before the work started.
4. He view from the east hide looking over the east bank of the Broadmeadow pool after sapling cutting. The promontory can be seen in the background.
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Old Tuesday 28th February 2012, 19:44   #8958
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Birding on the reserve today
MOORS
GCG 4, Little grebe, cormorant c20, shoveler 13 min, Teal 5, Pochard 21, Tufted c40, water rail, Oystercatcher 4, snipe 20+, Lapwing 40, curlew,
mistle thrush singing and great spotted woodpecker drumming both behind east hide.

FLASHES
Teal 60 most came off the hen brook late on, gadwall pr, Curlew 19, lapwing 60, Oystercatcher 2, Avocet 2,
BHG 800 roosted, several 100 fed in a tight flock swarming over the field behind the hide catching worms.
coot 13, green woodpecker, 50+ mixed flock of winter thrushes and stalings at back of 3rd Flash. Today I have sealed the 2 large windows on safety grounds, until we can come up with a better design. I have cleaned them and the views are just as good as when it is open, it also gives great views of any overflying birds.
John

Last edited by upstarts1979 : Tuesday 28th February 2012 at 19:47.
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Old Tuesday 28th February 2012, 19:49   #8959
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Birding on the reserve today
MOORS
GCG 4, Little grebe, cormorant c20, shoveler 13 min, Teal 5, Pochard 21, Tufted c40, water rail, Oystercatcher 4, snipe 20+, Lapwing 40, curlew,
mistle thrush singing and great spotted woodpecker drumming both behind east hide.

FLASHES
Teal 60 most came off the hen brook late on, gadwall pr, Curlew 19, lapwing 60, Oystercatcher 2, Avocet 2,
BHG 800 roosted, several 100 fed in a tight flock swarming over the field behind the hide catching worms.
coot 13, green woodpecker, 50+ mixed flock of winter thrushes and stalings at back of 3rd Flash. Today I have sealed the 2 large windows on safety grounds, until we can come up with a better design. I have cleaned them and the views are just as good as when it is open, it also gives great views of any overflying birds.
John
Is that 6 Oyks across the reserve today or did one pair move over?
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Old Tuesday 28th February 2012, 20:09   #8960
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Today I have sealed the 2 large windows on safety grounds, until we can come up with a better design. I have cleaned them and the views are just as good as when it is open, it also gives great views of any overflying birds.
John
I'm so glad you have taken this step, I did comment to Gert yesterday about these. The idea of the depth is fine in principle to allow tripods to scope from the back but with the width it renders them far too heavy and I felt the mechanism that secured them was not appropriate. There is no way I would have sat in the seat under them, and I think some folks would have struggled to handle them safely.

I really liked the hide and hope a solution that elimates the risk these large windows presents can be got around

Mark
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Old Tuesday 28th February 2012, 20:31   #8961
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Petition to protect raptors

Apologies if this has already been posted but there is an epetition to make English landowners responsible for the persecution of raptors on their estates i.e. they can't just blame the gamekeepers. If you want to support the attempt to protect harriers, eagles etc you will find the petition at

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/23089

Peter
I've just posted a question on another part of the forum asking for a link to this,thankyou.
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Old Tuesday 28th February 2012, 20:32   #8962
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I'm so glad you have taken this step, I did comment to Gert yesterday about these. The idea of the depth is fine in principle to allow tripods to scope from the back but with the width it renders them far too heavy and I felt the mechanism that secured them was not appropriate. There is no way I would have sat in the seat under them, and I think some folks would have struggled to handle them safely.

I really liked the hide and hope a solution that elimates the risk these large windows presents can be got around

Mark
Absolutely agree Mark - I was particularly nervous at the weekend when several young people were sat under those large windows - dread to imagine what could happen if the catches failed. I hope visitors understand that, in this case, safety must come before a little short-term inconvenience. Like John said, you can still through the glass.
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Old Tuesday 28th February 2012, 20:32   #8963
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Is that 6 Oyks across the reserve today or did one pair move over?
probably only 4 mate
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Old Tuesday 28th February 2012, 21:38   #8964
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Today I have sealed the 2 large windows on safety grounds, until we can come up with a better design. I have cleaned them and the views are just as good as when it is open, it also gives great views of any overflying birds.
John[/quote]

John I too found them heavy and awkward too hold up to get the catches in place. I wondered if some form of pulley/counterweighted system coul;d solve the problem. Obviously there would be a cost implication. Not being an engineer I don't know about the viability of a system like this. Any engineers amongst the volunteeres/birders? Or some else suggested gas rams like those used to hold up car hatchbacks etc. May need to be heavier duty ones.

Rob
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Old Tuesday 28th February 2012, 22:05   #8965
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Today I have sealed the 2 large windows on safety grounds, until we can come up with a better design. I have cleaned them and the views are just as good as when it is open, it also gives great views of any overflying birds.
John
Quote:
John I too found them heavy and awkward too hold up to get the catches in place. I wondered if some form of pulley/counterweighted system coul;d solve the problem. Obviously there would be a cost implication. Not being an engineer I don't know about the viability of a system like this. Any engineers amongst the volunteeres/birders? Or some else suggested gas rams like those used to hold up car hatchbacks etc. May need to be heavier duty ones.

Rob
Hi Rob - the real issue is the overall weight of the complete window unit and the fact that it doesnt swing up into a vertical position as there isnt enough height in the hide, meaning whatever catch / latch / pulley system is deployed there is will always be under significant pressure from the unit dragging it down. We are working with the Trust on the feasibility of some solutions that will resolve this permanently.

Phil
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Old Wednesday 29th February 2012, 08:14   #8966
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Hi Rob - the real issue is the overall weight of the complete window unit and the fact that it doesnt swing up into a vertical position as there isnt enough height in the hide, meaning whatever catch / latch / pulley system is deployed there is will always be under significant pressure from the unit dragging it down. We are working with the Trust on the feasibility of some solutions that will resolve this permanently.

Phil
Replacement of glass with toughened perspex and a simple method of displacing that from a modified frame ?? Cheap, light etc..just thinking slightly outside the box ??
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Old Wednesday 29th February 2012, 09:07   #8967
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No sign of Avocet on either side of the reserve.

Des.
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Old Wednesday 29th February 2012, 09:07   #8968
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No sign of Avocet on either side of the reserve.

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Old Wednesday 29th February 2012, 10:41   #8969
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Replacement of glass with toughened perspex and a simple method of displacing that from a modified frame ?? Cheap, light etc..just thinking slightly outside the box ??
Mark - those are some of the options to consider. IMO the main problem is that angle at which the large windows hang when in the up position mean that the load is placed on the catches rather than being transmitted vertically through the frame and onto the hinges. Splitting the window so that the bottom half folds down and the upper part folds up fully is another option. The bottom half could be fully made of wood (or have a perspex pane) if necessary so it doesn't pose a risk of glass shattering.
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Old Wednesday 29th February 2012, 10:45   #8970
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No sign of Avocet on either side of the reserve.

Des.
Interesting Des. I wonder if last year's drought means that there is a paucity of suitable food for them at present and these early birds are moving on. I'm guessing that the current mild weather might stimulate whatever aquatic inverts they feed on to multiply though.
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Old Wednesday 29th February 2012, 10:49   #8971
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At this time of year the vanguard Avocets, can be quite erratic, moving around local sites with a lot of coming and going. However I have not heard of any regional sightings other than at Upton. But the worrying thing is that, after last years drought the food supply might be drastically reduced. The worse case scenario could be that it has completely disappeared. It is early days and maybe a week of fine weather might trigger the dormant pupae to emerge. Talking to some of the entomologists at last years Flashes survey, I was told that in drought conditions insect eggs and larvae can remain dormant until the right conditions prevail. Yesterday's birds were mostly asleep, when they did awake I only saw them half-heartedly feeding, with food items pecked from just below the surface as opposed to their normal submerged heads feeding action.
I am sure it will work out well, fingers crossed.
It might also be the case that progressively successful breeding, might see previously fledged upton birds passing through, as they have no site fidelity there is no reason for them to stay. Now in the 10th year of breeding Avocets, Upton could well be a staging post for birds that are populating the ever increasing inland breeding sites, a romantic notion but who knows

soz Dave in the time it took me to compile my reply you had posted
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Old Wednesday 29th February 2012, 11:09   #8972
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I have just trawled the midlands county reports on Brian's site :http://www.birdingtoday.co.uk/
and also checked out the severnsides site
http://www.severnsidebirds.co.uk/index.html
and there are NO records of Avocets since we had our 1st sighting on 17th Feb.

so maybe still early days.

Last edited by upstarts1979 : Wednesday 29th February 2012 at 11:22.
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Old Wednesday 29th February 2012, 11:21   #8973
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.....

soz Dave in the time it took me to compile my reply you had posted
No prob mate - great minds think alike. So do dumb-asses like us, it appears
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Old Wednesday 29th February 2012, 11:21   #8974
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Today I have sealed the 2 large windows on safety grounds, until we can come up with a better design. I have cleaned them and the views are just as good as when it is open, it also gives great views of any overflying birds.
John
John I too found them heavy and awkward too hold up to get the catches in place. I wondered if some form of pulley/counterweighted system coul;d solve the problem. Obviously there would be a cost implication. Not being an engineer I don't know about the viability of a system like this. Any engineers amongst the volunteeres/birders? Or some else suggested gas rams like those used to hold up car hatchbacks etc. May need to be heavier duty ones.

Rob[/quote]
cheers Rob totally agree with the weight of it. The one thing about the big window is that when we do get our next rarity we will be able to accommodate people with tripods behind those sitting down.
The original builder did put a pulley system in, unfortunately it was only secured with a loop knotted in a length of rope then tied to a hook frightening, it was quickly removed. The split window design, similar to that in the concrete hide sounds best, only on a larger scale.

Last edited by upstarts1979 : Wednesday 29th February 2012 at 11:25.
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Old Wednesday 29th February 2012, 11:32   #8975
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Interesting Des. I wonder if last year's drought means that there is a paucity of suitable food for them at present and these early birds are moving on. I'm guessing that the current mild weather might stimulate whatever aquatic inverts they feed on to multiply though.
That was my concern too. I watched them for a while yesterday and I felt they were not finding a lot of food. They were ranging over a wide area and "snatched" but only very rarely - though I have no idea if that is the way avocets feed. Equally it could just mean they were in a hurry to replenish and move on because, as John has pointed out, once they'd been interrupted by a peregrine flyover they went to sleep.

Is there any data on invertebrate concentrations at the flashes and would it be worthwhile to check the water on Sunday? Not much we can do I suspect but might be of use for future reference?
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