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Post Info TOPIC: Gains and Losses

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Posts: 1436
RE: Gains and Losses

Well there you go , I think because its been very delayed , we all thought it was lost, but now we are going to gain 5 years of reports , and Ian I think we all doff our caps to you for the excellent work you do, and how you fit it in to your busy life is a credit, but if we can help in any way please let us know .

And as a interested positive GMBRG member I would love to be involved in any way to see the return of the Lesser spotted report. heehee just a joke ian .

Keep Birding


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Posts: 11966

Whoís decided weíve lost the annual report all of a sudden?

Yes, itís delayed, very delayed but plans are underway to catch up (and have been for a while) which I am always happy to discuss should genuinely interested and positive folk wish to and they will be discussed with GMBRG members very soon too, just as soon as I can find a spare minute to be quite honest; which Iím always struggling to Iím afraid.

Needless to say there are NO plan, nor ever have, to cease the report; quite the opposite in fact.

Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)

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Posts: 1436

Very interesting, and I am sure a few fellow members of the (old farts club ) would agree with these gains and losses, but we can also look at it another way, we have gained The Internet, the Forum, Text Alerts , ( we do like these ) Digital Cameras, and optics that are far better than they were in the past, who would have thought birders would be using a phone to take a picture of a bird.

Yes we have lost the report, but is that a sign of the times, with the digital revolution , do we need a paper copy, has the blog and the website seen the death of the old fashion report.

My gripe is habitat, I think we have lost a lot of that and everywhere is so tidy, no wild places any more, The main thing is we have not lost our love of birding or nature and have gained a wealth of experience so we carry on wondering what the future will bring .

Keep Birding†


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Posts: 226

Didn't Turtle Dove use to breed at Astley ?

More recently (and just out of GM) they used to breed at Risley Moss; I have a photo of a juv in my previous garden adjacent to Risley Moss !


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Posts: 829

Pete. A timely and authoritative appraisal. It's hard to tell what is happening these days without an annual report to refer to (although there may be other ways to access what is breeding in the county that I don't know about). All I know is that going out birding no longer has that year-round pull.

I would add whinchat to your list, certainly as a breeding bird, as it was once one to see on Ludworth Moor alongside some of the other dearly departed that you mention (cuckoo, yellow wagtail). Some people think that the arrival of colonists from the south somehow makes up for the losses suffered, but one bad winter and they would be set back badly (if this one was prolonged, Cetti's might well retreat south for a time). Then we would see how badly off we are now. It's so sad.


To all Politicians, Heads of State, Businessmen, Landowners, Farmers etc... thanks for ruining my retirement.

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Posts: 464

2 years ago I watched the unholy alliance of a Peregrine and a Raven both leave their nest sites and chase off a Buzzard soaring overhead, when the Buzzard had been chased off the Peregrine turned its attention to the Raven, letting it know who was boss until both birds returned to their nests, this happened in GM, 40 years ago the closest areas this would have† been possible would have been mid Wales or the Lake district. another few to add to the list of gains locally (not sure about the rest of the county) we did not have Nuthatches until the early eighties, Sparrowhawks only returned late seventies, Green Woodpeckers were gained and have since been lost and Kingfishers now abound on our local Rivers and streams, five years ago I did my own study on Kingfishers and found six nesting sites on local rivers and streams without going anywhere near the local flashes, a known hotspot. this species is drastically unrecorded in GM, if a species as brightly coloured as the Kingfisher is unrecorded what is the possibility other species are also highly unrecorded†


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Posts: 636

Having birded the GMC area(and elsewhere) for longer than I want to remember(and definitely a fully paid up member of the old farts club) I thought it might be interesting to list the birds we have lost and those we have gained in the last 30 years or so for people who perhaps have only taken up birding in the last few years.
Gains in no particular order(start off on a bright note)

Cetti's Warbler,the first record was only a few years ago but now established as a breeding bird around the western flashes and slowly expanding.
Little Egret,the first county record was in the mid 80's, now a regular visitor and although not breeding yet, (as far as I'm aware) it can't be long before breeding occurs in the county.
Mediterranean Gull,in the 80's virtually the only way to see regular Med.Gulls was to take a trip to Seaforth,now they are seen regularly and have have bred in the county.
Hobby,once a extremely rare bird in the region but now sighted regularly in summer and breeding in small numbers.
Peregrine,even a better success story than Hobby!!
Buzzard,25 years ago you had to go to North Wales to guarantee to see Buzzard,now I see them almost daily over my house.
Raven,once there were only two pairs in the county, now fairly widespread, another bird I see regularly over my house.
Dipper,once confined in the county to one or two upland streams,but as rivers have got cleaner now a lot more widespread with sightings on both The Mersey and Irwell.
Goosander, another success story ,once very rare but now widespread and probably breeding, again I'm sure due at least in part to the cleaning up of our rivers.


Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, never widespread, but now virtually extinct in the county.
Water Pipit,once a regular winter visitor with flocks of a dozen birds or more at favored sites.
Corn Bunting, now virtually extinct in the county, once there were flocks off over 50 birds wintering in several areas, and good numbers breeding.
Pochard,wintering flocks of up to to 3,000 birds at Chorlton Water Park which were of national importance have all but disappeared once their feeding area at the docks was destroyed.
Yellow Wagtail,almost disappeared as a breeding bird, now making a slight comeback, but certainly not the flocks of 250+ birds we used to get in September roosting at Chorlton Ees.
Turtle Dove, once a breeding bird in small numbers, now very rarely seen at all
Grey Partridge, once fairly common, now virtually the only sightings are birds released for shooting.
Ruddy Duck, well they've all been shot!!!
Golden Plover, once several winter roosts in the county held more than a thousand birds in total, now all but disappeared.

Lots of other species have declined considerably, but still turn up in small numbers, Cuckoo being an example of birds which are just about hanging on in the county, There are many more, unfortunately a trend which seems set to continue.

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This forum is dedicated to the memory of Eva Janice McKerchar; rest in peace mum.