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    Breeding Lapwing

    Its been interesting to see how Lapwings have managed to breed this year. A local field is suitable for Lapwing but also used to for cattle grazing. It looks like someone had put temporary fencing around one area possibly to keep the cattle out. There were three chicks running around the other...
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    Disturbed Lapwings make second nests.

    The usual scenario; Lapwing settled down in local fields, were sitting on nests, then the farmers destroyed the nests, ploughing the fields and laying down those long sheets of plastic along the rows of planted seeds. The good news is six Lapwing have built new nests and they're now sitting on...
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    Hodbarrow RSPB breeding success

    Since erecting fox deterant fences and other actions there's been a remarkable increase in breeding birds at this reserve. In 2018 the RSPB had a record-breaking number of 1,950 pairs of Sandwich Terns at their Hodbarrow reserve near Millom. This is an increase from the previous record of 550...
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    Blue Tit revives stunned Blue Tit

    Unusual clip showing a Blue Tit reviving stunned Blue Tit https://youtu.be/eRitfRGa-_w
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    Brown Hare

    Not sure how this species is doing nationally but round here they are regulary seen. I generally see up to four on my local patch but yesterday I spotted eleven, which is remarkable. Often see them in several other places round here. My local patch is a drained moss with a couple of small...
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    New reserve. Lapwing breeding success.

    Last year I reported about a new local reserve built from scratch. It was established by a caravan site owner next to one of his sites. One of the successes is how quickly some Lapwing moved in and bred succesfully. A report by another observer yesterday states: Lapwing 9-10 pairs, three broods...
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    Lots of Willow Warbler about today

    Last year I mentioned counting 51 Willow Warbler on a walk in South Cumbria. I did a slightly shortened version today and counted 36;the most numerous species of the morning. Many are back in the usual locations elsewhere. A few people said Willow Warbler numbers were down in some parts of the...
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    Increased local patch visits during travel restrictions.

    During the lockdown I've spent more time covering my local patch than I'd normally do. In the process I've got to know it a lot better. Its walkable from the house and easy to get around in a short space of time. Its a reclaimed moss area adjacent to a river estuary and marsh, close to the...
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    Pheasants take a pasting

    I've recently seen 6 dead pheasants on the roads around here. Not unusual to see the odd one, here and there, but I suspect they've been lulled into a false sense of security, wandering willy-nilly on the very quiet roads- then been hit one of the few vehicles still being driven. There appears...
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    RSPB report House Sparrow increase

    Read a report House Sparrow numbers have increased by 10% in recent years. Certainly reflected in our garden; around 15 regulary visit our feeders, they're nesting so there's more on the way. Its costing a fortune in bird feed. They're partial to fat feeders and no-mess mixed bird food. Not...
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    RSPB not closing hides at Leighton Moss.

    Leighton Moss have closed the visitor centre and cafe but are allowing visitors to still use the hides and raised platform. Don't forget: all the visitors will be touching the hide door handles, the window latches, the shelves and the seats. Anyone going up the raised platform is likely to be...
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    Mysterious Hawthorne bushes recovery

    If there are any plant experts out there perhaps they could explain what happened to the apparently dead hawthorn bushes which came alive again this year. They are individual bushes spread out over a large area on Scout Scar, a limestone escarpment in South Cumbria. For the past 10 years they...
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    The Environment Agency have a listening ear

    Our local estuary is defended by miles of raised bunds. Every year the Environment Agency mow them twice. I asked if they could leave the bottom and edges of the bunds uncut to allow them to grow wild[ in their wild state they attract large numbers of butterflies, bees insects, Goldfinch...
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    Willow Warblers in the North West

    On another thread someone mentioned how many Willow Warblers they saw or heard on a trip up north and compared it with the apparent decrease in the south. On my travels around my local patches I've heard as many in recent years as I did in the past. On a Spring walk I counted 51 which was pretty...
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    Cruise to Spain, France, Italy, Majorca and Gibraltar

    The impressive cliffs above Portovenero, Italy.Over a hundred Swifts here. Not sure if Pallid or Common. The entrance to Portovenero harbour. A lot of Yellow-legged Gull and several Sandwich Tern here. The Aurora in La Spezia harbour. We'd see many Dolphins from here on in, as we headed...
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    A lot of Blackcap this year

    So far I've found 34 Blackcap on separate territories in the patches I've covered in South Cumbria this year- a lot more than normal. I'm not sure if this reflects the national trend. All being well it will be a good year for them.
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    Majorca information

    Stopping off in Majorca[ capital city] on a cruise in August. Any handy places on bus routes to go for a walk for birdwatching or scenic areas. Is the bird reserve near Pollensa on a bus route? Thanks
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    Majorca information

    Stopping off in Majorca[ capital city] on a cruise in August. Any handy places on bus routes to go for a walk for birdwatching or scenic areas. Is the bird reserve near Pollensa on a bus route? Thanks
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    Griffon Vultures poisoned in Israel

    Another depressing story doing the rounds in the press. 'Eight Griffon Vultures from the nearly extinct population of just 20 vultures on the Israeli side of the Golan Heights were discovered dead as a result of poisoning. In addition to the eight killed, two more vultures were found poisoned...
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    Update on new raised bog.

    I've posted a few good news stories about new habitats that have been created round here in South Cumbria. One of them, the raised bog created by Natural England, was previously a wooded area[ mainly pines, I seem to recall] and wasn't even on my radar for a birdwatching location. A couple of...
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    The Environment Agency create a potential Sand martin nesting site

    Intrigued by two diggers working on a local river bank, it turned out they've been creating a potential new site for Sand Martins. For years a pile of sandy soil has been left on the side of the river following flood defence work. A local birdwatcher asked if they could flatten it out and leave...
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    Succesful RSPB Sandwich Tern project.

    The RSPB Sandwich Tern project at Hodbarrow , Cumbria has obviously paid off dividends. They fenced off the tern colony from foxes, which were swimming to the island[ the fence was established underwater]. It lead to an astonishing record number of 1950 pairs of Sandwich Terns raising 525...
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    Good news for Swifts in Kendal

    As part of the redevelopment of the shopping centre on the old K Shoes site, Travelodge have agreed to install 15 Swift bricks as part of the project, following concerns raised by a local conservation group, Kendal Swifts. The site is close to the town centre Due to a lot of old buildings...
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    Cruise to Spain, Madeira and the Canaries

    The impressive eastern peninsula, Madeira. Lots of Berthelot's Pipit and Canary here.[ click on photos to enlarge] The path from Fuencaliente, La Palma. A good mixture of habitats and plenty of birds to be seen-including many Chough. The path heading south west of San Sebastian, La...
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    Changing habitats in Cumbria

    The planting of trees in the Cumbrian uplands continues apace. Following Storm Desmond, one plan of action was to convert almost bare slopes from sheep farming to woodland. This should help reduce the fast run-off of water during periods of heavy rain, to help avoid flooding down below. I've...
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