Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Shotton Common Tern colony


Merseyside Ringing Group are custodians of the Common Tern colony at Shotton. In 2003 815 chicks were ringed. In 2004 this fell to 740 but, I have just heard, that this year they have ringed an massive 1032 - a record - which may go a little higher before the end of the year. Posted is a chick just about big enough to ring. Notice the small white egg tooth at the end of the bill.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Seabird numbers and breeding Britain and Ireland 2005

This report has just been released on the JNCC website and, although not a report that one would read every word, it does make interesting reading for those species that one does have an affinity. For me it is those species for which I write the accounts for the Lancashire Bird Report, and for the Common Terns at Shotton of which the Merseyside Ringing Group are custodians. The report is free to download so might be worth a ten minute look.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

I suppose we must be grateful...

...for small mercies. The recent issue of BTO News #265 has an article on Wild Bird Indicators for the English Regions. An interesting read which becomes more interesting particularly when you look at the results. Comparing percentage changes between 1994-2004 the North-West, as a region, has shown the greatest increase in both woodland and farmland birds over this time as compared to any other region. We've always known about an economic north south divide so the fact that we have more bird species, and appear to be hanging on to them (as compared to the south) brings a small smug smile to my face. Nationally, as you would expect?, the trend in both woodland and farmland birds is still down on comparison to 1970 (the index year) although the trends do appear to be less severe and may even be leveling out.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Initial thoughts

This is my first, and probably only, venture into the world of 'ether' diaries. My full time employment is in Medical Research and not, as many believe, as a full-time member of the British Trust for Ornithology. My role as the Regional Representative is purely voluntary, my survey work I undertake as a volunteer and my ringing is done in what is left of my free-time.
I take my role reasonably seriously - following the line that if you're going to do something do it well or not at all. Thus I am also a member of the BTO Regional Network Committee and the BTO Atlas Working Group for the new 2007-11 Atlas.

My hopes for this blog is to use it as a vehicle to keep all those interested in the BTO in Merseyside up to date with what I, the BTO, and other birding organisations are up to in Merseyside (and maybe bits of Cheshire where I ring).