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News - Bird News

The Bittern Monitoring Programme has published a summary of the 2018 breeding season. The number of booming males in Somerset has increased from 49 to 55, and the county had the highest figures.

For the full report, click here.

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The British Trust for Ornithology and Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust have recently started a project to understand more about the home ranges of three species of waders (Curlew, Redshank and Dunlin) and a range of duck species on the Severn Estuary between Newport and Cardiff. As part of this work the Redshank and Curlew have been colour ringed and Dunlin and some ducks marked with yellow dye. In addition state-of-the-art tracking devices have been put on some of the Curlew, Redshank and Shelduck, which is providing fascinating information about how birds use the estuary through the winter during both the day and the night. Work is ongoing, with the aim to mark more birds of these species and additional duck species during January and February.
The BTO have asked us and other societies to publicise the project. Full details may be obtained by clicking here. This blog also has information on the project.

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You may already have heard about the second breeding record of Avocets in Somerset. This year it occurred at the new WWT reserve at Steart, where a pair hatched four chicks. The birds were last seen in late July when both adults and three well-developed juveniles were present. This is a great result for the reserve, which is already proving to be a superb benefit to Somerset birding.

Check out their website at, where there is useful information on the reserve and a Twitter feed with bird news.

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The lifeblood of birding and other wildlife organisations is sustained by a regular supply of young people with an interest in nature. Both Avalon and Carymoor are leading organisations in helping to awaken and nurture that interest and it is a concern that both establishments have had to revisit their ideas for redevelopment funding with Viridor Credits. Viridor have, in the past, been champions of green issues such as these and so we will be watching closely how the respective ‘second rounds’ progress.

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Become a Member of Somerset Ornithological Society.