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Help needed for Gull Roost Count on 21st January 2018

CWP Coordinated Gull Roost Count

The last coordinated count of gull roosts in the CWP was undertaken in winter 2005/06. In conjunction with the BTO Winter Gull Roost Count in 2003/2004 and a series of casual observations, these data confirmed that the CWP supported an increasing winter roosting population of gulls, in particular black-headed gulls, common gull, lesser black-backed gulls and herring gulls, with smaller numbers of med gulls, yellow-legged gulls, greater black-backed gulls, Caspian gulls etc and occasionally a white winged gull to liven things up. Furthermore these surveys highlighted that the CWP supports, in winter, an internationally-important population of lesser black-backed gulls, which at the time equated to over 5000 birds. 

Bird Atlas now live

Expired

A new Atlas section has been added to the web site. This shows distribution and abundance maps for most of the birds that can be found in Wiltshire.

To access the Atlas, select Atlas from the menu items at the top of the page and follow the on-screen instructions.

Peregrine chicks fledge

The two peregrine chicks being raised on Salisbury Cathedral have fledged.

An orphaned chick, featured on Springwatch, has been raised by the pair of peregrines on the Cathedral who had one chick of their own. The orphaned chick was the slightly older of the two and fledged successfully on Wednesday 28th June with the natural chick fledging on Sunday 2nd July. We wish them luck, the life of young raptors is precarious.

Salisbury Cathedral peregrines foster an orphaned chick.

In early June, three peregrine chicks were rescued from a nest in Shropshire after the parent birds were found dead having been illegally killed.

The three chicks, two female and one male have been fostered with the male going to the Salisbury Cathedral nest site where a pair of peregrines has been raising one youngster of their own. The foster chick has been accepted in the nest and both young birds are now being fed by the adult pair.

New Incumbents

At the WOS AGM on 5th April, Matt Prior was elected as Chairman, Martin Cook as Treasurer and Nick Adams as Wiltshire Bird Recorder.

James Ferguson-Lees 1929-2017

We are very sorry to have to announce that James Ferguson-Lees, President of the Wiltshire Ornithological Society, died on the 11th of January at the age of 88. James moved to the village of Rode in Somerset in the late 1970s, and in 1984 he carried out a breeding bird survey of the Longleat Estate and later he became involved, together with John Pollard, a founder member and long-time Treasurer of WOS, in a project to install Pied Flycatcher nest boxes at Longleat.

Chris Packham petition

.....to Parliament seeking a moratorium on the hunting of critically declining wading birds. Woodcock, snipe and golden plover are shot in the UK despite serious, ongoing population declines. Chris is proposing that a moratorium should be imposed to allow the impact of shooting to be established by independent scientific investigation and any necessary regulation introduced to ensure that shooting is sustainable. 

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/167410  

Matt Prior Wildlife Champion 2016

At the recent Marlborough Downs NEP Spring Celebration, Matt Prior, Conservation Officer for WOS was named as MDNEP Wildlife Champion 2016. MDNEP is a farmer led project which aims to enhance this superb area of Wiltshire farmland for wildlife, community and access. Matt was one of several speakers during the evening and gave a talk about the ringing and monitoring of farmland birds.

British Birds – new monthly newsletter

Many members of the WOS will already be subscribers to British Birds or may have taken up trial offers. Whether or not, you may like to receive their free e-newsletter every month. This offers a flavour of what has been published recently and what is in the pipeline in areas such as book of the month, news and comment, the rarities section and special offers.

High Conservation Concern for 27% of our birds

Birds of Conservation Concern 4, compiled by a coalition of conservation and monitoring organisations, has just been published. Species which occur regularly in the UK are assessed for inclusion on one of three lists, Red, Amber, Green with birds on the Red List being of highest conservation concern. 

There are now 67 species on the Red List, 96 on the Amber List and 81 on the Green List.

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