Cattle egret in England


This video is about cattle egrets following a tractor.

From the Rare Bird Network in Britain, on Twitter:

Cheshire: CATTLE EGRET 1 still today at RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands. …

11:11 PM – 27 Oct 2014

Sand martin flies from England to Senegal


This video is called Sand Martin Nest Building.

According to a Twitter message by the British Trust for Ornithology, David Norman from England ringed a sand martin in Cheshire. Mr Norman recaught the same bird 8 months later in Senegal in West Africa.

So, that bird had not been caught by the Cheshire Cat :) I hope all will go well with this sand martin‘s further migrations.

Rare dragonfly comeback in England


This video is called White-Faced Darter Mating.

From Wildlife Extra:

Rare dragonflies reintroduced into Cheshire

White-faced darter dragonfly back in Cheshire’s Delamere Forest

June 2013. One of the first stages of an ambitious five-year plan to reintroduce one of the UK’s rarest dragonflies back into the region – after a decade of absence – has been successfully completed.

The white-faced darter dragonfly was last seen in the wild in Cheshire over the pools of Delamere Forest in 2003. The Cheshire Wildlife Trust project team has now announced that in recent days they have seen adult white-faced darters flying, and recorded evidence of a number of other individuals emerging from the water in a specially selected pool where they were translocated earlier in the summer.

Improved habitat

The return of the dragonflies comes after several years of dedicated work to reinstate and improve lost habitats in partnership with the Forestry Commission, Cheshire West & Chester Council and a meticulous translocation process and carefully planned reintroduction. Such a scheme has only been attempted twice before in the UK, again with white-faced darters in Cumbria and with the southern damselfly in Devon.

It’s hoped the combined approach of creating suitable areas for the dragonflies to survive in pools within the forest, coupled with annual translocations and careful monitoring will see a self-sustaining population of white-faced darters back in the region within ten years.

Once common

The species is thought to have disappeared from the Delamere area following changes to the delicate water quality and levels of the pools they bred in during the late 1990s, but they would have been a common sight in the meres and mosses landscape of the North West in centuries gone by.

The project follows the successful reintroduction of the species in Cumbria, where Cheshire Wildlife Trust staff have been observing the techniques needed to achieve the ground-breaking move.

“We’re extremely excited after months of preparation to see this iconic dragonfly species back where it belongs”, said Dr. Vicky Nall who has been heavily involved in the extensive research behind the project.

“Our first challenge was to collect the amazingly colourful ‘highlighter pen’ green larvae – just a few millimetres long – from sites where Natural England has generously allowed us access at Fenn’s & Whixall and Chartley mosses, both National Nature Reserves.

“The work done by partners including the Forestry Commission meant that we were confident in making the translocation now, safe in the knowledge that the habitat is as good as it can be to receive the dragonflies.”

Once the dragonflies begin to emerge, researchers will monitor their numbers through tracking flying adults and also by counting the empty larval cases the dragonflies leave behind on vegetation emerging from the water.

See also here.

Pictures of damselflies and dragonflies: here.

 

British horse abuse


This video from England is called A slaughterman is shown beating the horses with a metal pole through the abattoir (throat cut).

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Undercover film reveals abuse at horse abattoir

Sunday 20 January 2013

Two slaughtermen have had their licences withdrawn after being identified in shocking undercover footage showing appalling animal welfare conditions at a horse abattoir.

Horses at the Red Lion Abattoir near Nantwich, Cheshire, were shown being beaten with an iron rod and sticks to encourage them into pens.

The film recorded during an eight-week investigation by the Hillside Animal Sanctuary group also showed horses crammed into slaughter pens in pairs before being illegally stunned together.

Under the Welfare of Animals Regulations 1995, horses should not be slaughtered in sight of one another because of the distress it causes.

Both the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and RSPCA charity are investigating.

The FSA withdrew the licences of the two men after viewing the footage, which means they cannot continue to slaughter animals, and is considering prosecuting.

See also here.

Good English squirrel news


This video from England is called Red squirrel DaresburyCheshire Mammal Group.

From Wildlife Extra:

Red squirrel sighted in Cheshire for the first time since 1980s

Has a Lancashire squirrel gone wandering?

December 2012. A red squirrel has been sighted in Cheshire for the first time since 1980s. Cheshire Wildlife Trust has described the sighting of a wild red squirrel in a Daresbury garden between Runcorn and Warrington as ‘extremely exciting’.

The rare mammal, which is mostly confined to Scotland and small populations scattered elsewhere across the UK, was last seen in the Cheshire region during the 1980s. The sighting was confirmed by members of the Warrington Conservation Forum and Cheshire Mammal Group, after a video was captured of the furry visitor making the most of local bird feeders.

A captive population of red squirrels is kept at Walton Gardens, but the nearest wild population is on the Sefton Coast, Lancashire. This group of red squirrels suffered a devastating recent drop in numbers after the squirrels succumbed to an infection of pox.

Adult squirrel

Expert Paul Hill of the local Mammal Group said that it was typical for young squirrels to explore beyond their usual territories during the autumn and winter, however the footage appeared to show an adult which was particularly interesting.

Special nut feeders

A team has now installed specialised nut feeders in the area which allow red squirrels to feed, but exclude the larger grey squirrel. Motion detection cameras will also be inspected over the coming weeks to see if the red squirrels return and to determine if there may be more than one.

Tom Marshall from Cheshire Wildlife Trust said: “This is a fantastic good news story and we really hope this visiting red squirrel is not alone. Our colleagues at Lancashire Wildlife Trust have worked hard on the recovery of red squirrels on the Sefton Coast, and to know that the squirrels are potentially exploring beyond this territory could be amazing for the Cheshire region.”

Red squirrels are continuing to suffer from the intrusion of their larger, non-native American cousins into their historical haunts in northern Britain. Bolder and more aggressive, grey squirrels are also able to exploit many nuts earlier in the season, reducing supplies for red squirrels.

Recent conservation strategies have included culling the non-native greys across a ‘firewall’ in parts of Scotland and northern England to try and minimise the northern spread in efforts to safeguard remaining populations of red squirrels.

If you think you have seen a red squirrel please try and capture a photograph or video to aid identification and share it via the Facebook pages of Cheshire Wildlife Trust or Warrington Conservation Forum. You can also e-mail info@cheshirewt.org.uk

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