House Martin Movement

The 7th of October saw around a huge passage of House Martin through South Devon with around 50,000 being recorded at Thurlestone.

Would anyone who has observed House Martins in Cornwall over the last few days please visit the link below and leave your sightings as a comment, more information can also be found on the blog: http://theweekendbiologist.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/house-martins-71012.html

Environment is a Barrier to Economic Growth! Apparently………..

The Chancellor, George Osborne, has launched an unprecedented attack on the environment in his Autumn Statement which was perhaps the most environmentally hostile for a generation. Put plainly, he thinks the environment is a barrier to economic growth and jobs: “we will make sure that gold plating of EU rules on things like Habitats aren’t placing ridiculous costs on British businesses”. Examples wheeled out for Cornwall in his speech failed to mention that studies found less damaging but financially viable options were available, local sustainable industries would be damaged and the public money required would have been better spent elsewhere if you wanted to create jobs for Cornwall.

The Habitats Regulations are one of our most important pieces of wildlife legislation. They protect 220 habitats, a thousand species (including, yes, otters), and many of the most special places we all love and value – from the chalk of Salisbury Plain, the heaths of Purbeck, East Devon and the Lizard, the uplands of Dartmoor, Exmoor, and Bodmin, the waterbird spectacles of the Tamar, Exe, Severn and Poole Harbour, to the seabirds on the Isles of Scilly. The weakening of environmental legislation will only make those special places poorer for wildlife, affecting the quality of your life.

So will you Step up for Nature this Christmas?

Here are 3 things you can do now:

1: Write to your MP – read the RSPB campaign page to see what to say, and find your MP here.

2: Write / email your local paper or radio station – let them know you care.

3: Get your friends, family, work colleagues, everyone you know to do nos 1 and 2.

More information can be found on the RSPB press release here.

Black-bellied storm Petrel – first for the Western Palarctic

Last night Madeira Wind Birds (Hugo and Catarina www.madeirawindbirds.com) sent a photo to the Scillypelagics team, taken off the back of a camera with a phone, during a pelagic off Madeira. Assuming it is a true representation, and there is no reason to believe otherwise, then it is a Black-bellied Storm-petrel and a first for the Western Palearctic. For further details see HERE.

Crisis in Cyprus: Illegal bird trapping reaches disastrous levels

BirdLife Cyprus has released its newest report on illegal bird trapping with data gathered between 31 August and 8 November 2010, showing a dramatic rise in such activity.
In this, its ninth year of systematic data gathering in the field by a trained team of surveyors, BirdLife Cyprus found a 75% increase in mist net use and an 89% increase in limestick setting compared to 2009 levels. While trapping levels remain lower than in the 1990s, they have been on an alarming upward trend for fours years which points toward an impending ecological disaster. Read More…………………………….