Month: January 2015

Rob’s Goshawk Diaries

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Juvenile Goshawk, Forest of Dean (c) Ben Locke
Juvenile Goshawk, Forest of Dean (c) Ben Locke

Rob Husbands has been out observing Goshawks for the past couple of weekends. Many reading this will be well aware of Rob’s experience with this species, but even he is still learning new things about them through observation. Although the main period for displaying Goshawks is generally March through to early April, Goshawks can be seen high soaring in any month, so with this in mind Rob went to an unsurveyed patch of the Forest of Dean to see what activity, if any, was going on. Click here to read about Rob’s experiences.

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Species information

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A quick note to inform that the species pages have been further updated. Each species now has short sections covering a basic description of the bird, its habitat, diet, breeding and survival, as well as some local information on distribution and population. This information will be expanded on over time. Each species now has at least one video too – some picked for informativeness, others for the excellent photography which aides identification, and some purely because there wasn’t much available to choose from! Many thanks for the excellent response to the appeal for images for the galleries too. It’s much appreciated!

A request to photographers

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Hen Harrier Juv The Barringtons Dec 2011 (c) Jon Watson
Hen Harrier Juv, Dec 2011 (c) Jon Watson

Only a month or so since creating the gallery, and it was already starting to become apparent that in time it was going to become something of a disorganised mess! Furthermore, it was suggested by some at the January meeting that it would be potentially useful, particularly for novices, to have more information on each species on the GRMG site. With this in mind, the original gallery format has been replaced with individual pages for each species. These pages are already populated with some basic statistics and descriptions, along with photographs. Over time, it is hoped that these pages will become of more use, containing relevant local information and data, along with identification tips. For the sake of completeness, we still need some photographs of certain species, and would like to call upon the photographers amongst you to kindly help us fill in the blanks. Ideally photographs should be of birds in Gloucestershire, but it’s not essential. Full credit will of course be given anywhere on this site that the photo is used. We’re currently lacking any photos at all for Merlin, Eagle Owl, Montagu’s Harrier, Raven, Honey Buzzard and Long-eared Owl, but also if you have any photos of the other species that you’d like to see on the site, please send them to Ben at mail@benlocke.co.uk.

Meeting slides

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Juvenile Peregrine Falcon. (c) Dave Pearce
Juvenile Peregrine Falcon. (c) Dave Pearce

We would like to express a huge thank you to everyone who attended our first meeting today. As promised, we will shortly be in contact with everyone who attended. In the meantime, this is just a brief message to say that the slides shown prior to the discussion are now available for download, giving better opportunity to study the maps and figures that were presented. Please see the documents page to download a copy.

Meeting information, January 17th

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Gloucestershire Raptor Monitoring Group would like to remind everyone that it is our inaugural meeting on January 17th at St. Peter’s RC High School (Stroud Road, Tuffley). This meeting will start at 10am and tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided.

The meeting will be held in Pavilion at St. Peter’s. This is located at the bottom of site so when you arrive be sure to drive down past reception (bearing right) and follow the road to the bottom where there is plenty of parking. The Pavilion is the grey building in front of the tennis courts near the car park. Once you are there you will need to go upstairs.

If you can no longer attend, please let us know.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Seen a Barn Owl?

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Hot on the heels of the launch of the Gloucestershire Raptor Monitoring Group, we now have another new group dedicated to the monitoring of one special species – the much-loved Barn Owl. The Gloucestershire Barn Owl Monitoring Programme (GBOMP) comprises a number of the members of GRMG, along with Andy Lewis and Richard Harris. Today, the public face of GBOMP has been launched in the form of its new website, at www.glosbarnowls.co.uk. The group can also be found on Twitter (@glosbarnowls). The group is looking for volunteers and is keen to hear about your Barn Owl records.
NB. if you already submit Barn Owl records to GRMG, there is no need to duplicate them to GBOMP, though you are welcome to.

5 years of Peregrines at Christ Church

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Peregrine Falcon, Christchurch (c) Dave Pearce
Peregrine Falcon, Christ Church (c) Dave Pearce

We are very grateful to Dave Pearce for providing us with two articles about the Peregrines of Christ Church, Cheltenham. The first gives a great insight in to the lives of the birds and their breeding patterns, from pre-laying activity to laying, hatching, feeding, first flights, and eventual dispersal of young. The second article details a day in the life of one month old Peregrine chicks. Please head to our documents page where you can download these and other documents.