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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Rare UK breeding success for the Slavonian Grebe

I read today that research is to be done into the behaviour of one of the UK's rarest birds.

The bird in question is the Slavonian Grebe which most birders see in its drab winter plumage and then stuck out to sea but in its breeding plumage is a little corker! Well all of the Grebes are little corkers.

There are 22 breeding pairs in Northern Scotland, the lowest level since monitoring records began.

This year has been a good one with for breeding with a total of 17 chicks. There six at Loch Ruthven where there were none in the previous two years.

According to Stuart Benn, RSPB Scotland's conservation officer for the south Highlands

What is clear is that while populations are thriving in Iceland and Norway, things aren't going so well here.

It would be good to find out why that is and what things we, as conservationists, could be doing to turn around the fortunes of Scotland's Slavonian grebe population.

To do this we'll need to focus our research on key areas such as the role of weather and climate, when and why chicks die and compare our results with other countries whose populations are faring well.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Fishing

With a holiday upcoming I decided not to head too far and went to Rye Meads

My decision was soon vindicated by a coule of Water Voles!







Outside the Draper Hide was a Little Grebe with three youngsters. The adult was fishing and then feeding the youngsters.





















Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Ham sandwich at Ham House

So where today? I was unsure whether to go to Barnes or Marble Hill House, as both were in the same direction I didn't need to make a descision.

I was heading along the M25 when I notice a Rabbit running along the verge!

So decision time and I headed to Marble Hill House, unfortunately I missed my turning! I saw a sign for Ham House so I thought I'd not bother turning around and go there instead.

Trish had mentioned she may go there so I rang to check. She said she'd be 20 minutes so I had time to read a 100 pages while I waited ROTFLMAO!!













So lunch! A rather sensible suggestion by yours truly to share a pack of Ham sandwiches (rather excellent I might add) and we cut the carrot cake and coffee and walnut cake in two (equally excellent!!)
























and some odds and ends
















I ought to add I'm usually rather derisory in my comments about London but the area around Ham House, Ham and Petersham is rather lovely.