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Old Monday 16th April 2012, 09:20   #17676
Lawts
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The RSPB should spend its money on buying land and creating the habitat for the birds, making something out of nothing. Rather than aquiring ready made reserves or land which is already adequately protected.
I can't disagree with this. If you put it in that context and it was a straight race between "doing up" Swilly or creating a reserve from scartch out of derelict wasteland then it's an easy decision. I'm not sure how available such land is, and at what cost but it's food for thought.

I did say at the outset it was possibly a selfish viewpoint. I don't bird Swilly regularly as I just don't enjoy the experience. It ought to be my local patch but I'd rather spend twice the time driving to Teesside, or visiting thge Barnsley reserves.
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Old Monday 16th April 2012, 10:20   #17677
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Having waded through all 69 pages of the first draft of the St Aidan's plan, I can't say I'm too optomistic about the RSPB's impending takeover. There is far too much emphasis on stuff like delivery and visitor experience and not enough about birds for my liking. That said, it is always going to be a difficult site with regard to access (both legal and not).

I only hope that the hard work put into the area over many years is properly valued and given full credit.
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Old Monday 16th April 2012, 10:53   #17678
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I dont know the site myself but with regards to the bridleway, im told there is a public footpath that runs right through the middle of an area at fairburn but its not widely publicised and so is very rarely used. People will tend to stick to the routes on the visitor trail boards (unless they already know of the route).

Edit:

Can anyone link me to the St Aidens plan? Cant seem to find anything online. Does anyone know when its due to open?

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Old Monday 16th April 2012, 12:01   #17679
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Thanks for your help on where to buy bono,s. we had a ride up to saltholme on Sunday and got the chance to view some bins. As for the saltholme experience I find it's all very nice these flash buildings are expensive but I do think there needs to be a balance between spending money on conservation and on the 'visitor experiance' because not all people want to carry large scopes expensive binoculars there are a lot of people who would not give to rspb if it where not the facilties like what's on offer at saltholme because they just would not go. Having said all that I was a bit perplexed when I found out that saltholme a special optic site do not carry zeiss or Leica in stock only having demo models due to costs of them. standing in a buildind costing millions I would have thought carrying 3k of bins would not be out of the way.
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Old Monday 16th April 2012, 16:17   #17680
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Can anyone link me to the St Aidens plan? Cant seem to find anything online. Does anyone know when its due to open?
The site will open once the problems of flood management are ironed out. There's a sluice upstream of St Aiden's that needs to be constructed before the site can be handed over to RSPB mis-management. The hold-up seems to be the fishing ponds close to the sluice, the guy being worried that his ponds will be flooded if the river overflows too much or something like that.
Not sure about whether the draft plan is in the public domain Andy.
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Old Monday 16th April 2012, 21:43   #17681
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I was at Fairburn on Saturday with 2 friends who have known the site for over 40 years, and the consensus was the reserve has vastly improved under RSPB management. Given that, I feel the majority of Aire valley sites between Fairburn and the city should be managed primarily for the wildlife. But there are strong historical pressures to 'develop' these sites for 'recreation' (going back to the time of EYE on the Aire and the LDC). Development is proposed as a counterbalance to the spread of the city and the Enterprise Zone, and I suppose the RSPB is seen as an ideal partner.
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Old Tuesday 17th April 2012, 04:01   #17682
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Trumpeter Swans, Eagles, Wood Ducks, Mallards

Greetings,
My relatives were from Yorkshire, England and came across the Pond in 1853. They were James and Mary (Whitfield) Garth. He was the son of Thomas.
So I really enjoy seeing the wildlife from the area. I would like to visit the Dales Museum some day.
Here are some video of U.S. birds. The Trumpeter Swans and Eagles are my favorites. http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...ature=view_all
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Old Tuesday 17th April 2012, 16:39   #17683
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Had first Swallow over my back garden yesterday 16/4 .... 8 days earlier than last yr 23/4 ( that includes an extra day for the Leap year)
At least 5 Wheatear, 10 Mipit, 1 SEO, 1 calling Golden plover heard whilst walking the tops in Dales yesterday.
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Old Tuesday 17th April 2012, 18:18   #17684
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Greetings,
My relatives were from Yorkshire, England and came across the Pond in 1853. They were James and Mary (Whitfield) Garth. He was the son of Thomas.
So I really enjoy seeing the wildlife from the area. I would like to visit the Dales Museum some day.
Here are some video of U.S. birds. The Trumpeter Swans and Eagles are my favorites. http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...ature=view_all
Hi and welcome Will, my brother's in-laws live in Iowa. He's been a few times but he isn't into wildlife that much. He did photograph a couple of cranes on his phone and was impressed with the bald eagles though.
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Old Tuesday 17th April 2012, 18:27   #17685
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Hi Will, which part of God's Own County did your relatives hale from?
I'm sure if possible we could get a few photos of the area online for you.
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Old Tuesday 17th April 2012, 19:38   #17686
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ldv

A cracking last few days on the local patch,Osprey,pintails,redshank,woodlark,gadwall,loads of wheatear but all male's! SEO's still performing well, up to 6 seperate barn owls and a superb black tailed godwit. well happy
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Old Wednesday 18th April 2012, 08:46   #17687
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Lower Derwent Valley Whimbrel project

Some interesting summaries of the ongoing Lower Derwent Valley Whimbrel project (which started in 2004) can be found at:

http://ldvnnr.blogspot.co.uk/

Over the years 100 birds at the Wheldrake Ings roost have been fitted with colour-rings, whilst several have been radio-tracked and four have been fitted with satellite trackers.

This year the first birds were seen back in the LDV on the 13th and numbers should start building up at Wheldrake Ings shortly. The Whimbrel roost is best viewed from Swantail Hide at Wheldrake Ings.
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Old Wednesday 18th April 2012, 18:19   #17688
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Nice surprise in the garden this morning.
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Old Thursday 19th April 2012, 12:14   #17689
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Nice surprise in the garden this morning.
Nice surprise for you and an excellent pic too....... Not seen one this time yet.......
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Old Thursday 19th April 2012, 20:58   #17690
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Went up Arkengarthdale earlier this week and got great views 8 cock Blackgrouse scoped from road.We then crept over the Durham border to the Stang for great close up views of Crossbills and displaying Buzzards,nice trip out.
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Old Friday 20th April 2012, 22:03   #17691
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Finally seen the a tawny owl outside my house after 5 years of hearing the occasional hoot before they give me the slip!
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Old Friday 20th April 2012, 22:26   #17692
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LDV whimbrel

Three Whimbrel back at the Lower Derwent Valley NNR this evening - found in the usual feeding fields off the reserve before flying off to roost on Wheldrake Ings at 8pm.
The roost usually lasts until mid May with up to 100-150 birds at the peak in early May - probably best watched at the moment from Tower Hide although this may change with recent flooding.

All three birds tonight had been colour-ringed during previous years at the wheldrake roost - one in 2006 and two during 2009. The results from satelitte tracking birds from this site suggest thier annual journeys to be around 16,000km to breeding sites in Iceland and Sweden/Finland, and the wintering areas in Africa. That means the one originally rung in 2006 may well have clocked up 96,000km since we caught him - and he's ended up in the very same field!! As the RSPB would say - 'aren't birds brilliant'.

you can keep up to date with information on other birds at

http://ldvnnr.blogspot.co.uk/
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Old Saturday 21st April 2012, 11:18   #17693
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Blackcap singing at the bottom the garden this morning, which made the chore of pegging out the washing more pleasant.
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Old Saturday 21st April 2012, 19:37   #17694
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Saw my first Whitethroat of the year at the back of Pugneys today. Also 2 male Blackcaps fighting it out! Other bird of note today was a lovely male Wheatear over on Calder Wetlands.
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Old Sunday 22nd April 2012, 15:46   #17695
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Right time of year - wrong location in so much that any Yorkshire White Storks are blighted by the birds that are/were at Harewood. If there are not any regularly at Harewood now, may actually be worse as they've moved elsewhere and could account for the record.

I think it's unringed which is good - there's just no way of knowing with these birds. It's a bit like Hooded Merg - even the gen. birds may be from re-introduction or feral populations on the continent. I know Holland had a WS re-introduction.

Unless you are on the south coast and you watch a couple of distant spec's fly north over the Channel, and they turn into White Storks any other carries some suspicion.

The problem even with the right time of the year is the captive birds at Harewood would take to the air at this time of year as instinct kicked in.

All you can do is see as many as you can and stick it on your list unless it's an obviouse escapee and it let's you feed it Hula Hoops.

I do think that people have got into the mindet of Yorkshire = escape, whereas other counties don't suffer the same viewpoint.

There was only one report and no mention today so may have gone.
Keep your eyes peeled http://www.birdingtoday.co.uk/white_...shire_116.html
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Old Sunday 22nd April 2012, 16:05   #17696
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Having waded through all 69 pages of the first draft of the St Aidan's plan, I can't say I'm too optomistic about the RSPB's impending takeover. There is far too much emphasis on stuff like delivery and visitor experience and not enough about birds for my liking. That said, it is always going to be a difficult site with regard to access (both legal and not).

I only hope that the hard work put into the area over many years is properly valued and given full credit.
So what's new. I haven't seen the plans, but I bet I can have a good guess.

I imagine that it will start with removing the hides and replacing them with glass structures that allow the birds full vision of everyone inside, designed by top-rated and top-priced archtitects and costing enough to manage the reserve for a decade. They will ensure that these have windows that don't open properly to prevent the use of scopes.

Next they will build a platform for people to feed the ducks in the middle of the reserve, thus attracting lots of people who have mistaken the reserve for a public park and use it to exercise their noisy kids, who run, jump and scream along what used to be quiet paths. While they are at it they will clear away most of the scrub and willow carr from around these paths so the birds can't miss the screaming kids and to make sure that biodiversity is reduced by about 50 per cent, along with breeding populations.

Next they will fell every bush within a mile radius 'so that crows can't nest in them'. This will make sure that cuckoos abandon the reserve as they have no look out posts.

They will then see if there are any decades-old LEO roosts in the neighbouring hedges, and be sure to fell these hedges at the first opportunity. They will make especially certain to do this if the roost can be observed from a hide without any risk of disturbing the owls.

If there are any mature trees near the visitors' centre thay will fell these too for good measure. If any of them contain a little owl, clearly visible to the public, they will open a conference centre next to so that it gets scared away to an area the puiblic are not allowed. It's also imperative that they remember to build a classroom for school visits so that it blocks any view of neighbouring arable land where grey partridges feed.

Finally, they will raise the water levels during wader passage to ensure that no mud is visible. This will, they assure us, allow better breeding success of the local ducks. It's not like any site they manage used to be a major staging ground for passage waders before they came along.

And, finally, of course, they will ensure that birders can only visit after 10am, so we can't make early morning visits any more, when the birds are at their most active. They'll also lock up at 5pm in summer, because who'd want to bird after that?
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Old Monday 23rd April 2012, 07:39   #17697
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That's some series of pics! What's the story there then?
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Old Monday 23rd April 2012, 09:13   #17698
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@Alcina - you forgot the large car park and gift shop.
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Old Monday 23rd April 2012, 15:28   #17699
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That's some series of pics! What's the story there then?
A farmer found a group of 9 birds in his fields. If they're not from across the Channel then I'll eat my hat! Also 6 birds reported over the Llandudno area today so presumably part of this flock continuing north.

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Old Monday 23rd April 2012, 19:27   #17700
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Alcina - I think I can detect a slight hint of antipathy towards the RSPB in your post.
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