Latest nightjar count reveals decline, robust science needs to establish why?

The annual ‘census’ or count of nightjar on Thorne, Goole, Crowle and Hatfield Moors has been completed.    Numbers are down on Hatfield Moors, but one more churring male has been recorded from Thorne Moors this season.

Thorne and Crowle Moors received two visits each and Hatfield three.  These visits were undertaken in June.  On Thorne, Goole and Crowle Moors 54 territories were mapped, on Hatfield there were 33 which is five down on 2013 numbers.

Site 2005

 

2006

 

2007

 

2008

 

2009

 

2010

 

2011

 

2012

 

2013

 

2014

 

Thorne 23

 

 

36

 

 

34

 

 

30

 

 

37

 

 

32

 

 

34

 

 

34

 

 

40

 

 

41

Crowle

21

 

 

20

 

 

13

 

 

12

 

 

15

 

 

16

 

 

13

 

 

12

 

 

13

 

 

13

 

 

Hatfield

 

 

27

 

 

33

 

 

32

 

 

29

 

 

31

 

35

 

 

36

 

 

42

 

 

38

 

 

33

 

 

Total

 

71

 

89

 

79

 

71

 

83

 

83

 

83

 

88

 

91

 

87

 

The table above shows the population trend over the last ten years.  Courtesy of Natural England.

Whilst recognising that the methodology is an accepted standard one it does not evidence breeding or fledging success. The last research undertaken on the Humberhead population was back in the last decade, 2000 to be precise. Given the ever increasing numbers of wind turbines then one might reasonably expect some robust science to be commissioned particularly in light of the additional pressure created by increased visitor numbers (dog walkers, bikes and horses and even three quad bikes on Sunday) subsequent to the Dedication of the NNR as Open Access?

ALIEN SPECIES

Definitive evidence of Reeves Muntjac on Thorne Moors was captured on camera by a sharp eyed observer, Rob Watson on 8 June.  Natural England are keen to receive records of sightings, please take as much details as possible and contact their NNR office or staff directly with sightings.

CAMPAIGN UPDATES

We are pleased to report that the attempt to privatise the Land Registry has been abandoned.

The Cabinet reshuffle has taken place and casualties have been recorded across a variety of media, but one of the departures which will perhaps be being celebrated in many quarters is that of the badger hater, Owen Paterson who has been culled, or perhaps temporarily translocated?  Who could forget the suggeston of replacing ancient trees with 100 saplings, the neonictiniod saga and discounting the evidence based science when it didn’t agree with his plan?    There is an excellent report and analyses of his tenure as Environment portfolio holder which can be found through ‘a new nature blog’.  Miles King provides a series of issues which Paterson will be remembered for and asks if there were any redeeming features?  Mark Avery too provides a political perspective on Paterson’s 22 months in office and reminds us that there are only 295 days left to ‘christmas’.  In the interim we must make sure that his replacement Liz Truss is left in no doubt about the importance of the natural environment and the expectation that it will be protected not offset by biodiversity mitigation to silence those who previously championed safeguard.

NATURE NOTES

A recent visit to Thorne Moors was rewarded by a Forester Moth as the first species recorded after stepping out of the car, Forester is a delightful moth and has also been recorded from Crowle recently.

Record shot, which flew as I moved in for the close up!

Record shot, which flew as I moved in for the close up!

Phil Lee did a better job  in terms of close up with his Crowle specimen.

Phil Lee did a better job in terms of close up with his Crowle specimen.

 

It was pleasing recently to receive a report of Emperor Moth sightings near a fishery on the eastern periphery of Hatfield Moors.  Is this iconic species expanding its local range or is it a case of an increase in observers?

This stunning image by Tim Melling shows a female Emperor Moth.

This stunning image by Tim Melling shows a female Emperor Moth.

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