Wednesday, September 23, 2009

River Mersey

A feasibility study looking at harnessing the tidal power of the Mersey has been launched by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) and renewable energy developer Peel Energy today (September 22).

The NWDA said that the comprehensive study was intended to identify a single preferred tidal power scheme that delivered the maximum affordable energy, while taking into consideration its impact on the environment, shipping, business and the community, including options for mitigation or compensation.

Peel, in partnership with the NWDA and the Mersey Basin Campaign, recently completed a pre-feasibility study, "Power from the Mersey", to consider viability, technology and options.

After identifying a preferred scheme, the two bodies hope to submit a planning application by 2012, with completion of construction and operational commencement scheduled for 2020.


Migration weekend

This weekend is, it seems, migration weekend. On the birding side we have VisMig and on the butterfly /moth side we have BMM (butterfly and moth migration).
VisMig, or Visible Migration, is an increasingly popular aspect of birding where one selects a site and then diligently records all passing migrants. Secretly it has been going on for years but, in more recent times, it has increased its profile. This weekend it is trying to co-ordinate activities, not only across Britain but across Europe, to have an interconnected set of observers recording active migration. There is a very readable article on Birdguides ( and the growing fraternity of VisMig'rs have a website at
Some of our most familiar butterflies and moths migrate - red admiral, painted-lady, clouded yellow and hummingbird hawkmoth to name a few. This weekend is the 'peak' for migration and so Butterfly Conservation is asking all that can to get out and record migrating butterflies and moths. In some cases individuals have been marked (the butterfly equivalent of bird ringing) and participants have been requested to look out particularly for these marked individuals. More information can be found at

Migrating Tree Sparrows - image from Birdguides article, copyright Clive McKay.

Monday, September 14, 2009

100 years of bird ringing.

With 100 years of bird ringing being celebrated this year there are lots of opportunities for publicity of the event - some of this will be at a local level and some nationally. Circumstances last week brought the two together in that a 'local' lad appeared in the 'national' press (the Times no less) for an article on ringing.
Local ringer David Fletcher, a ringer for 35 birds, just happened to be in the right place at the right time to be preserved in history himself!