Spain: An analysis of poisoning cases in the Spanish side of the Douro canyon

No good news re: Forest of Bowland raptors

Terry-Pickford-ringing-4-peSorry for the delay in posting my latest update, I have been taking a few days away getting a well deserved rest.

Not good news I am sorry to announce. So far we have been able to establish there are no breeding Hen Harrier in the Forest of Bowland this year. In April I did observe a single immature male along with single female, but the two birds did not breed. As though it could not get any worse, we understand there may not be any nesting Hen Harriers anywhere in England this year. How terrible is that. Of course there is still time for a nest to be found, and if that happens I will let everyone know as soon as possible.

Continue reading No good news re: Forest of Bowland raptors

Forest of Bowland the flight of a Pallid Harrier during a setting sun.


 

Here we see England’s only migrant Pallid Harrier quartering moorland in the Dunsop Valley filmed from the official Harrier viewpoint in the Forest of Bowland last night at 7.30pm, 10/05/2017. Just as the evening sun was setting over Bowland’s moorland landscape our camera captured the beauty and dexterity of a Pallid Harriers hypnotic and choreographed flight.

Continue reading Forest of Bowland the flight of a Pallid Harrier during a setting sun.

Scattering of black vulture observations in northern France attests to the species increase in the country

In the last few days black vultures have been observed in some unusual localities in northern France: Two individuals were seen at La Chapelle-sous-Uchon in Saône-et-Loire on the 3th of May, while another Black Vulture and two Griffons were seen in Audrehem in Pas-de-Calais two days earlier.

Continue reading Scattering of black vulture observations in northern France attests to the species increase in the country

North Yorkshire Police appeal for information after Sparrowhawk found shot.

nyorks-police Appeal for information after sparrowhawk shot dead near Richmond

Some time during the last week of April 2017, a sparrowhawk was shot at Feldom, Richmond, specifically in the area of High Waitgate, close to the Marske to Newsham road.

X-ray-of-shot-sparrowhawkwe />

Continue reading North Yorkshire Police appeal for information after Sparrowhawk found shot.

Bearded vulture Roc Genèse came back to its natal area in the Pre-Pyrenees – his brother Flamadel could not be tagged

Roc Genèse, the first wild bearded vulture nestling ever tagged in the French pre-Pyrenees, came back to its natal area after months of wandering across the Central Pyrenees.

Continue reading Bearded vulture Roc Genèse came back to its natal area in the Pre-Pyrenees – his brother Flamadel could not be tagged

Forest of Bowland entertainers White-tailed eagle & Pallid Harrier

White-tailed-Eagle-flying

Male Pallid Harrier still showing well after three days in this location; also White-tailed Eagle again early on before flying north at top end of Dunsop Valley towards Whitendale Fell (SD658543). Park only at Dunsop Bridge and follow public footpath north for 4km to view; do not drive along track north of Dunsop Bridge. This is the second recorded sighting of a White-tailed Eagle in the Dunsop valley. The first record was in approx a decade ago; this eagle also flew north towards the top end of Stocks reservoir but was not seen again we are advised.

18156879_10213221765407475_2013222227189430894_n

Magnificent capture of Male Pallid Harrier Dunsop Valley by Craig Bell

Interestingly, a Pallid Harrier mated in the 1990’s with a Hen Harrier on Orkney, eggs were laid but then disappeared from the nest.

Forest of Bowland raptors being undermined by complacency and bad politics.

On an unusually warm sunny morning at the beginning of April two members of the North West Raptor Protection Group were watching a male Hen Harrier at a well known breeding territory in the Forest of Bowland on moorland owned by United Utilities.  Conducting their meticulous observations from an elevated position overlooking a potential territory the Harrier suddenly disappeared. A  shepherd calling loudly inducing his flock of sheep to follow him appeared on the scene driving a four wheeled quad bike onto the moor crossing the Hen Harrier’s territory. As the male Hen Harrier had not started to breed the shepherds activity was not illegal, however his actions witness by an RSPB officer was perhaps irresponsible at such a critical location where Hen Harriers had established their nests in successive years.

 

 

What happened next came as a surprise summing up graphically the bad politics at play in Bowland.

Making their way back down the established vehicle track over the heather covered hill located half a mile from where the male Harrier had been observed quartering the valley below, the two raptor workers were spoken to by the same official who earlier had witnessed the shepherd crossing the moor. The man was concerned that both NWRPG members had been sitting in heather suitable for breeding Hen Harriers. What this individual failed to appreciate before making his remark, at least 60% of heather cover throughout Bowland is suitable for breeding Hen Harriers, however due to the Hen Harriers continued persecution throughout the Forest of Bowland there are very few Harriers left to occupy or breed upon such moorland habitat, suitable for breeding or not.

How can anyone with a responsibility for protecting raptors in Bowland, object to where someone was sitting watching a Harrier from a safe distance? Then curiously on the other hand completely ignore a man made situation directly preventing Peregrines from returning to a breeding territory as depicted in this video?

4 Peregrine Chicks 2009

4 healthy peregrine chicks 2009. Image captured by Terry Pickford at the same eyrie as depicted in the video above.

Terry ringing peregrine

Terry Pickford ringing one of the 4 peregrine chicks  in 2009 at the same eyrie as depicted in the video above. 

Watch the video attached, and ask yourself why no one made any objection to United Utilities about the installation of the water monitoring stations or the erection of a crow trap just 100 metres distance from a historic Peregrine nesting cliff ensuring no Peregrines would return to breed at this site in the future?

In October of 2007 the late Duke of Westminster hosted a Hen Hen Harrier meeting at his Forest of Bowland Abbeystead estate.  During the meeting, the Duke and the then United Utilities estate manager had a disagreement on how best to manage the UU Bowland estate. In essence what the former Bowland estate manager told the Duke on the day was this. “As long as I am in charge I have no intention of returning gamekeepers onto the United Utilities estate in Bowland, because if this happened Hen Harrier would disappear within 6 – 12 months, as estate manager I have a statutory duty to ensure this does not happen.”

Abbeystead 2007

3 October 2007, Abbeystead Hen Harrier Meeting.  The late Duke of Westminster second left and Ian Grindy far right

In hindsight Ian Grindy, the then UU estate manager was correct. However, what no one expected was that Peregrines nesting on the estate at that time would also begin to disappear after the company had over-ruled their estate manager, returning not only gamekeepers, but also syndicate shoots to all parts of their Bowland estates.  As of this year we can stipulate with a reasonable degree of accuracy, ten former peregrine territories that existed on the United Utilities estates in the Forest of Bowland are now abandoned.

United Utilities have a clear statutory responsibility for the protection and well being of wildlife on the moorlands in Lancashire they own and manage. Resulting from the disappearance of  both Hen Harriers and Peregrines from their Bowland estate demonstrates this legal responsibility is not being upheld.

https://www.gofundme.com/help-save-the-peregrine-falcons

The Forest of Bowland offers no safe haven for grouse predating raptors.


On Saturday 22nd April Terry Pickford visited 4 abandoned territorial Peregrine nesting sites on the United Utilities estate in the Forest of Bowland. The results of what was found at the third site visited on Saturday are depicted in the attached video, with an overall update of this seasons breeding activity in the Forest of Bowland below.

Continue reading The Forest of Bowland offers no safe haven for grouse predating raptors.

United Utilities Forest of Bowland Estate: ‘Politics’ rather than ‘Protection’

In this latest video Terry Pickford recalls the way United Utilities responded to reported incidents of nest interference, where Peregrine chicks contained in two nests had disappeared suspiciously.

 

 

The first incident was reported after one keeper was interrupted by Terry and a colleague coming away from the first occupied territory after causing disturbance.

Continue reading United Utilities Forest of Bowland Estate: ‘Politics’ rather than ‘Protection’