Great crested grebes in England

This 5 August 2016 video from England is called Great Crested Grebes at Saltersford Locks in Cheshire 5/8/2016.

It shows both adult and young grebes.

Robin sunbathing in England

This video from England is called Robin sunbathing on road next to Trent & Mersey Canal in Cheshire 4/7/2016.

Sedge warbler sings in England

This video from England is called Sedge Warbler Singing at Saltersford Locks in Cheshire 1/7/2016.

Reed bunting sings in England

This video from England is called Reed Bunting Singing at Dutton Locks in Cheshire 3/6/2016.

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.

Endangered Brazilian parakeets born

This is a grey-breasted parakeet video.

From Wildlife Extra:

Critically Endangered parakeets hatched at UK zoo

Three of the rarest parrots in the world have hatched at Chester Zoo.

October 2013. It’s only the second time grey-breasted parakeets have ever been bred in a UK zoo – with both breeding successes being at Chester.

Just 250 birds left alive

As few as 250 grey-breasted parakeets, which are native to Ceará in northeast Brazil, are believed to remain in the wild. Habitat loss and the illegal pet trade are blamed for their devastating decline. However the new arrivals have given conservationists fresh hope in the fight to haul the species back from the brink.

“These little additions are very significant indeed,” said Andy Woolham, Chester Zoo’s team manager of parrots and penguins. “Chester is the only zoo that works with grey-breasted parakeets in the UK and we’re absolutely thrilled that we’ve been able to breed them, not least because there is real concern about the long-term future of the species in the wild.

Habitat loss

“Just 13% of their original habitat now remains as it has been cut down to make way for coffee plantations. That, coupled with what is thought to be their main threat, the illegal trade in captured individuals, has resulted in a dramatic reduction in their numbers. Sadly, they really are being pushed towards the very edge of extinction. However these hatchings give us hope and the challenge now for us is to replicate our breeding successes; try and establish a safety net population of these birds and help make sure that the future of this wonderful species is safeguarded.”

The diminutive grey-breasted parakeet (Latin name Pyrrhura griseipectus), which is listed by Birdlife International as being critically endangered, grow to around 22cm tall and reach just 50g in weight.

Mr Woolham added: “When our chicks first hatched they were the size of 50 pence pieces. For the first 11 weeks they remained in their nest box where they were well looked after by their parents until they started feeding themselves, just as they would in the wild. But now we’ve finally been able to get a closer look at them.

“We’ve also been able to take a tail feather from each of the chicks, which will now be sent off for DNA sexing. It’s vitally important that we know their genders so that we can work out who to pair with who in the future. These birds are extremely important and hopefully both will one day go on to have chicks of their own.”

The chicks hatched just six weeks after a new purpose-built breeding facility for rare parrots was opened at the zoo. The zoo also supports a project which is working to protect the species in the wild.

Chester Zoo has also achieved breeding successes with several other threatened parrot species, including Mount Apo lorikeet, Ecuadorian Amazon, hyacinth macaw and Philippine cockatoo.

The grey-breasted parakeet is considered the most critically endangered parakeet species in Brazil. Once regarded as a sub-species of the white eared parakeets (Pyrrhura leucotis) they were recently given full species status. The chicks hatched on July 22.

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 19 January 2013 video from England says about itself:

Footage shows stunned horse waking up just before it is about to have its throat cut

Two slaughtermen have been sacked after an undercover investigation exposed shocking cruelty to horses at an abattoir. The disturbing video shows them being beaten with metal poles and illegally stunned in groups of up to three at a time before being killed.

In one horrifying moment a stunned horse appears to regain consciousness, only to find itself hanging upside down and about to have its throat cut. They also saw horses which appeared to be sick or injured and hadn’t been immediately put down.

Founder Wendy Valentine, 63, told MailOnline: ‘We rescue around 700 horses a year and we were concerned about where we were saving them from.’ ‘It’s unbelievably depressing there. They shouldn’t be stunned or shot in front of each other like that. ‘It’s total disrespect for animal welfare.’

The scandal emerged as several British supermarkets have been exposed as selling frozen beef burgers which contain horse meat. The alert was first raised by Irish food watchdogs after horse DNA was found in burgers sold through Tesco, Iceland, Aldi, Lidl and Dunnes in Ireland. It subsequently emerged that burgers from the same batches were sold in the British outlets of both Tesco and Iceland. Incredibly, the beef content in one Everyday Value burger sold by Tesco was actually 29 per cent horse meat. The horses at the Red Lion Abattoir are believed to be butchered for European food markets.

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.