Bird News for UK April 2014

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Red kites set up home at Cawdor Castle

Red kites set up home at Cawdor Castle

The Dowager Countess of Cawdor has expressed delight that a pair of rare red kites have set up home near Cawdor Castle. They are believed to be the first kites to attempt breeding in Nairnshire since the early part of the nineteenth century.

Lady Cawdor said, “As the guardian of this historic woodland I am thrilled at the return of the red kites, these birds are in a sense part of the history of this area. At Cawdor we do our best to promote and nurture the environment, our gardens have been organic since 1979 and we are keen to promote nature conservation wherever possible.”

The birds have built a nest in woodland immediately adjacent to the castle and are often seen from the castle flying to and from the nest.

RSPB conservation officer Stewart Blair confirmed the historic nature of the breeding attempt. “Records indicate that kites have not bred in Nairnshire since the early 1800s. Cawdor Castle has been the scene of many historic events over the centuries so it seems very appropriate that the grounds of the castle have been chosen by the kites. Red kites would, undoubtedly, have been a familiar sight to William the 3rd Thane of Cawdor, who built the Castle in c1370. It’s very rewarding to think that part of Nature’s historic fabric is slowly being restored.”

Mr Blair added, “After the awful events in the Black Isle when no fewer that fifteen kites were found dead it is great to have a bit of good news. Let’s hope the kites now go from strength to strength in Nairnshire and bring delight to even more people.”

Cawdor Castle is open to visitors this year from the 1st of May every day until the 5th of October.

First goshawk chicks hatch and viewers have ringside seats for Date With Nature

First goshawk chicks hatch and viewers have ringside seats for Date With Nature

The first three Date With Nature goshawk chicks have been born in the New Forest. The first chick is thought to have hatched at 5.20pm yesterday.

Webcam viewers were able to watch a hole appearing in the egg – followed by the chick. Another hatched overnight and a third is thought to have been born early today.

Nature lovers will be able to watch the unfolding drama of the New Forest goshawks chicks hatching and being cared for by their parents thanks to the webcam and mobile app.

The female goshawk has been sitting on the nest with its four eggs and the male has been bringing her food over the last two and a half weeks.

As well as making a visit to the New Forest Reptile Centre near Lyndhurst, keen viewers can keep up to date with the goshawk family through the webcams, which are available through the websites of Carnyx Wild, the New Forest National Park Authority, the RSPB and the Daily Echo in Southampton.

Jeremy Peters, the Date With Nature officer for the RSPB South East, said: "The exciting part of the Date with Nature season is about to begin with the hatching of three goshawk chicks. We hope to see the fourth egg hatch, and then watching the chicks grow over the next six to seven weeks will be a wonderful sight to see."

“I'd encourage people to come down to the Reptile Centre, in the New Forest, to watch the TV images of these goshawk chicks as they feed and grow. There are also all the reptiles and amphibians to see too."

Visitors of all ages can also enjoy Wild Wednesdays at the Reptile Centre, where there will be fun activities and extra trails to help all the family find out more about the New Forest. These events run every Wednesday during the summer half terms and the summer school holidays, with activities for the whole family on 28 May, 30 July and 6, 13, 20 and 27 August.
The forum can be viewed here: http://www.newforestgateway.org/Wildcam/LiveCameras/tabid/117/Default.aspx

The Birder's Market | Resource | Bird news for Britain / Rest of the World | UK Bird News | Bird News for United Kingdom 2014 |  Bird News for UK April 2014

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