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Latest Sightings.

250 Yellowhammer, 20 Chaffinch, 8 Reed Bunting, Cuckoo, Lesser Whitethroat - Castle Eaton - Matt Pri...
3 GREENSHANK, OYSTERCATCHER, Peregrine, Pintail, 25 Teal, 9 Wigeon, 3 Shoveler, 3 Common Tern, 4 Cet...
Nightingale - Westbury - Slag Lane, Westbury - John Osborne Wheatear - Cley Hill - Phillip Delve 7...
Redstart (1st spring record), Little Owl, Tree Sparrow - Monkton Deverill - Alison Rymell Wheatear,...
4 House Martin - Beckhampton - Heather Collins Nightingale (1st spring record) - Slag Lane, Westbur...
Whinchat (1st spring record), 2 Wheatear - SPTA centre - Rob Turner, Paul Fox MERLIN, 2 Grey Partri...

If you see any 'smart' behaviour from Rooks, please share your observations in a new BTO study.

Rooks have been observed acting as 'tool-makers' and cooperatively between individual birds. The BTO is intererested in receiving any observations of any such behaviour.

More details can be found here:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-28105964BBC Rooks

Crane chicks born at Slimbridge are the first recorded for 400 years

Crane web

 

A recently-hatched crane chick has given conservationists fresh hope about seeing a new generation of wild cranes in the west of Britain.

The crane chick was spotted on Sunday at WWT Slimbridge in Gloucestershire, where its parents were hand-reared.

Conservationist Nigel Jarrett said it was "incredibly exciting", especially after the same breeding pair lost a chick last year due to the weather.

For more info, please follow this link http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-gloucestershire-27466509

 

Tree Sparrow conservation on Marlborough Downs goes from strength to strength

 

Matt Prior, WOS Conservation Officer is a driving force behind a flagship campaign run by the farmers of the Marlborough Downs Nature Improvement Area (MDNIA) which is having a positive impact on endangered Tree Sparrows.  

The MDNIA was set up by a group of local farmers who in 2012 won funding under the government’s three year pilot scheme to encourage bio-diversity and wildlife-friendly farming methods – and get more people into the countryside.

It covers just over 25,000 acres south of Swindon down towards Marlborough on one side and Avebury on the other.

Their Tree Sparrow campaign involves planting suitable trees, providing nest boxes and food. Marlborough News Online has been seeing how two generations of young people have been helping the tree sparrows.

Recent event involving students from Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester and Swindon schoolchildren involved Matt Prior coordinating tree-planting, demonstrating bird-feeders and assembling nest-boxes.

 

With thanks on behalf of everyone at WOS to Matt Prior, more information can be found at Marlborough News Online via this link:

http://www.marlboroughnewsonline.co.uk/features/general/2809-marlborough-downs-farmers-are-bringing-tree-sparrows-back-from-catastrophic-decline-with-some-enthusiastic-helpers

Sand Martins provided with unique bank of 150 nests which includes a hide in Notts

 

Work to complete a hide and nesting bank for Sand Martins has been completed at Attenborough Nature Reserve in Nottinghamshire.

It is believed to be the first of its kind, incorporating an artificial nesting bank made of clay pipes and breeze blocks and a hide.

Cameras inside the 150 nesting tunnels will transmit images into the hide.

Here's link for more information:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-26684497

 

Complete archive of WWT's 'Wildfowl' Magazine is now available free on line.

 

The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust has created free access to the entire catalogue of papers published by WWT in its scientific journal, Wildfowl.

The new online resource is the culmination of months of work by volunteers to digitise printed copies of Wildfowl dating back to 1947, when it first appeared as the Annual Report of the Severn Wildfowl Trust.

WWT hopes that budding researchers and waterbird enthusiasts will be encouraged by opening the vaults on some of the most significant moments in ornithological history.

Wildfowl online is fully searchable, giving the work of contributing scientists a far greater reach and influence. Here is a link for more information:

http://www.wwt.org.uk/news/news/2014/02/wwt-news/available-to-all-wwts-entire-history-of-scientific-publishing/

Many thanks to WOS member, Shane Faulkner for this news story.

 

Red-Flanked Bluetail in Wilts/Gloucs is now Britain's longest staying bird

The first winter Red-flanked Bluetail, discovered on the afternoon of 3rd February, as well as being a remarkable sight, has become a remarkable multiple record holder. Not only is the stunning bird the first for Wilts and South Gloucs by obligingly hopping to and fro across the border each day, but also the first UK record in February and from 16th February, it has represented Britain's longest-staying individual.

The story of John Barnett's discovery of the bird can be seen via this link.

 

http://www.birdguides.com/webzine/article.asp?a=42

 

The watcher watched! Film of Cranes at Slimbridge checking out a hide.

Three birds from The Great Crane Project are a regular sighting at Slimbridge WWT at the moment, and dramatically for warden James Lees, the birds came very close to the hide at The Lake to have  a close look inside. The film starts with loud calling of the birds, but it's worth keeping the sound on to hear them tapping the glass!

Follow this link to the short film:

http://t.co/ykjlANJ2W5

Do some migrating birds have an innate sense of impending weather?

The study of satellite tracking of some migrating species of birds has led to some conjecture that there might be an innate ability to use approaching weather systems to save energy. As Atlantic fronts bring autumn sqaulls it would be interesting to think that birds migrating offshore find them helpful!

More info here: http://thewildlifewriter.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/skyscanner.html

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