Month: May 2015

Upcoming: Raptor ID Day

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On June 20th we will be hosting a ‘Raptor ID Day’ at the International Centre for Birds of Prey in Newent. This day has been designed to support birders and raptor enthusiasts to help to improve their identification skills as well as field work skills, and will include;
– Information on identification and behaviour of common UK raptor species
– Information on habitats and food sources
– Flying demonstrations of birds
– Field technique
– A chance to observe the species at the centre
The day will cost £15.00 and numbers will be limited. We’re currently smoothing out a few final parts to the day and we will release more information soon. Keep the date free!

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GRMG badges now available

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Badges4It’s now possible to show your support for GRMG with one of our GRMG badges. These 16mm nickel plated clutch back badges, bearing the GRMG logo, are a premium badge and look almost like a piece of jewellery, not too dissimilar from a gentleman’s cuff-link. All proceeds raised are used towards things such as nest boxes, rings, printing annual reports, etc. Head over to the shop to purchase your badge!

The usefulness of grid references

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Raptor sighting distribution - Dec 2014 to April 2015
Raptor sighting distribution – Dec 2014 to April 2015

This map gives an impression of where you are reporting seeing various species of raptor to GRMG via our online submission form. Click on the map for a large view. It doesn’t represent a complete picture of raptor distribution, but merely where people are seeing them and choosing to report them to us. There is further recording going on in the county outside of GRMG, but all sources are collated to give a clearer picture. What this map does show however, is that GRMG has already established a presence in all corners of the county. More usefully, we can produce similar maps at a higher resolution, for specific species to identify hotspots and ‘notspots’, or to compare year by year records to notice trends in frequency or distribution of records over time.
This kind of analysis is only possible thanks to the grid references that you provide with your records. Over 70% of all the records we’ve received to date contain grid references, which is great. Finding the grid references for your sightings is made really easy with this site – simply click on the map and you’re given the grid reference. Many thanks to everyone for their on-going efforts in reporting their sightings to GRMG.

Kestrels in Gloucestershire

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Kestrel (c) Ben Locke
Kestrel (c) Ben Locke

Andrew Bluett has been examining the records received by both the county recorder and GRMG, of Kestrel sightings in the county, and has compiled a factsheet on the species. The document is planned to be updated periodically as further records are received, but it is available to download now from our documents page, or by following this link. It’s a particularly informative document, drawing on 15 years of records, discussing their decline in the 1970’s and the subsequent fluctuations in population since then, the need for continued monitoring and recording, and the need to establish breeding success when monitoring. Distribution and abundance maps are included, along with some excellent photographs documenting a forest nest site. Download the PDF.

Homes for Hooters

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Tawny Owl (c) Andrew Bluett
Tawny Owl (c) Andrew Bluett

With materials bought with a grant from GNS, and using facilities at ICBP, Rich Harris and Jimmi Hill are busy making Tawny Owl nest boxes. In the Rich’s words, they have made many “first class homes for hooters”, tweaking their designs to maximise the number of boxes they can make with the available materials, whilst at the same time providing boxes that any Tawny Owl would be proud to call home.

April records

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Honey Buzzard (c) Dave Soons.
Honey Buzzard (c) Dave Soons.

Apologies for the lack of updates on the website over the last month. Needless to say, the group has been very busy what with the ongoing county Peregrine and Goshawk surveys, amongst other things which we’ll soon be able to provide news about. It’s been another great month again with regard to the number of records that have been submitted via this site, with perhaps the most notable record being provided by our very own Gordon Kirk. A week ago, on the 24th April, Gordon was in the Westonbirt area as part of the Goshawk survey, and noted a juvenile Honey Buzzard which he was able to observe for around ten minutes as it drifted around aimlessly before heading off in a south-westerly direction.