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    Sparrowhawks and cuckoo decline

    I'm afraid I tend to only watch birds when they jump out at me and do something interesting. Last Friday evening (overcast) I was in Bushy Park London when a sparrowhawk and a kestrel got into a spat. The kestrel didn't seem particularly keen on having a sparrowhawk in the vicinity. I took a...
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    Kowa - Birdforum Photo Competition

    why prizes for the best photos? Why is it that manufacturers hand out equipment prizes to the best photos - presumably taken with the best photographic kit - when it's the worst photographers who need it most? Last week I took a low-light photo of a kestrel having a quick break from hassling a...
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    16th cerntury birdnames - what are they now?

    Excellent stuff! (And likewise the other posts). I had thought about a link between the "Irons" (not as West Ham supporters - though we are becoming another endangered species) but with "eyrie". Though turning to the OED myself I see that even herons could have eyries. And the difference...
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    16th cerntury birdnames - what are they now?

    Thanks for all of this - some hawks were highly prized (though falconry took a dip after guns got more accurate as hawks don't make exciting bangs) and certainly in the 16th century I wouldn't expect to see things like peregrines, hobbies and goshawks on an extermination list. Far too...
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    16th cerntury birdnames - what are they now?

    I've been reading Roger Lovegrove's "Silent Fields" and at one point (page 82) he quotes part of a 1566 Act of Parliament for the killing of various birds deemed injurious to agriculture. Most of them I can recognise but there are three which are problematic viz: Furskytte (he has this down as...
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    Male sparrowhawk v. woodpecker - who wins?

    It's a fair cop! As to "who wins?", well it wasn't the sparrowhawk. Towards the end of the second clip two things happened: I ran out of space on the mini-DVD :( and the yelling of the woodpecker attracted the attentions of the local crow family. The footage could have been even better :(...
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    Male sparrowhawk v. woodpecker - who wins?

    Not yesterday but a few days ago in Richmond Park London. sparrowhawk v. woodpecker - who wins? 1 and sparrowhawk v. woodpecker - who wins? 2 Sparrowhawks are fairly elusive round here so I'm not too familiar with the fine detail of their plumage. This was the first one I'd seen for some...
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    birds feast on flying ants

    Predictably all the juvenile green woodpeckers in the park were having a field day yesterday picking off the previous day's stragglers but I was surprised by how few other birds I saw obviously doing it i.e. thrushes. I've seen kestrels walking around collecting the winged ants off the ground...
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    Gyrfalcon in Richmond Park - or is it?

    The 4000 breeding pairs of wild barn owls were what I was thinking of in comparison to the alleged 3000 eagle owls in captivity. That's several metric tons of eagle owl. |8.| Probably dwarfed by the combined weight of all the wild tawny owls though. My suggestion that captive raptors would...
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    Gyrfalcon in Richmond Park - or is it?

    I've gone with the emerging consensus and updated the youtube titles. Many thanksd for your help http://www.youtube.com/view_play_lis...1D814C29F6A34D One thing I have picked up on since meeting an eagle owl is just how many captive exotic birds of prey there are in the UK. I've started to...
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    Gyrfalcon in Richmond Park - or is it?

    That would tie in with what the falconer DID say to me which was that it was a 9 year old rescue bird. Otherwise I can see a trend emerging here... Hopefully others can confirm it!
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    Gyrfalcon in Richmond Park - or is it?

    Does this help? Although it looks very brown actually there's an awful lot of white feathers underneath the brown.
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    Gyrfalcon in Richmond Park - or is it?

    I was watching a Sky TV team filming some hi-def 3D images in Richmond Park London. They didn't bring their own red deer but they did bring their own raptors. They used an eagle owl and a bird which I was told was a gyrfalcon. However it wasn't the falconer who told me that and although the...
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    Autumnwatch to Corpsewatch (x-post)

    This is a cross-post from an Autumnwatch 2009 thread relating to the death of a stag during the filming of the rut on Rum There's a message on the AutumnWatch message board from one of the BBC bods in Rum http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbsn/F14197738?thread=6974815&skip=0&show=20#p86615144 If...
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    Autumnwatch 2009

    From Autumnwatch to Corpsewatch There's a message on the \AutumnWatch message board from one of the BBC bods in Rum http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbsn/F14197738?thread=6974815&skip=0&show=20#p86615144 If there is a chance of a view of a golden eagle and a sea eagle sharing (0r contesting) the...
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    Autumnwatch 2009

    From Autumnwatch to Corpsewatch I have to admit to being quite a deer enthusiast - see www.youtube.com/deerisible - sadly the BBC webcam was still being set up when the big event of their Rum trip happened and one of the big stags got himself killed. It seems to me the AW people have a golden...
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    Tougher sentences needed for wildlife crime?

    I remember this story though not from the RSPB. As I recall the diary keeper was under age at the time of most of the offences and so did not even have a firearms licence in his own right. I felt that either he was inflating his figures (37 badgers in a year is possible, but 40 ravens? 102...
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    Birds of Prey and British Agriculture

    That's what I heard! So it must be true!
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    Birds of Prey and British Agriculture

    The BBC's Farming Today have been running a series this week on raptors which finished up today with the idea that peregrine falcons were "at saturation level" and would need to be controlled. See http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qj8q Topics covered include the success of raptors, the need...
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    Raptors as Goshawk prey

    It's a bit of a dumbass question but how are you assigning prey to predator? I see plenty of piles of feathers and occasional body parts but I find it hard to tell whether it is something that has merely died and been scavenged or what it was that did it in - there are a variety of candidates...
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    Poor Raptor breeding season?

    I have been wondering the same about Richmond Park, following the failure of the first definite long-eared owl and resident kestrel nests and have speculated about population fluctations in small mammals. The resident little owls seem to have produced less young than last year. One thing that...
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    Richmond mugging

    While out little owl watching in Richmond Park I was mugged by a family of crows... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tny_zuQlSf0 ... and then mugged again! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_ljxExStEI presumably putting a lifetime of nest-robbing to good use. Nothing if not thorough. You can...
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    Cassowary House.

    well-named ;)
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    Harriers herons avocets but no ducklings

    Sadly no, no mergansers for me. Friday was quite windy and a lot of things were staying well inside the reedbeds - I didn't see any bearded tits either which is another thing I'd seen there before. Needless to say I was told that Thursday had been very good, with almost no wind.
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    Harriers herons avocets but no ducklings

    I was back at Radipole in Weymouth for the first time since the marsh harriers had their moment of fame on the SmithsWatch programme - I was somewhat disconcerted by the stream of people with big lenses coming the other way as I wended my way to the north hide - if you're under 7 feet tall it's...
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