Why is Scotland losing its breeding waders? The latest WaderTales blog with a Scottish flavour is a story from Strathallan, based on observations by Mike Bell.
“If you’ve taken the A9 north of Stirling, through Strathallan, perhaps you might have noticed displaying Lapwing, Oystercatcher, Curlew and Redshank? Over a 25-year period, the number of breeding waders in this valley and another one that runs northwest and that can be seen from the B827 has dropped from 600 pairs to just 76 – that’s a loss of 87%, or over 20 pairs per year.”
And here are five more uniquely Scottish WaderTales blogs
Waiting for the wind – spring flocks of Black-tailed Godwit on Scotland Observations from Tiree by John Bowler and others gave a unique insight into what happens if northerly winds set in at migration time.
Establishing breeding requirements of Whimbrel focuses on the different habitat needs of adults and chicks in Shetland.
Oystercatchers: from shingle beach to roof-tops details significant declines in Scotland, at least partly explained by predation. An increasing number have now taken to nesting on roofs.
UK Dotterel numbers have fallen by 57% presents the results of an RSPB survey that was published in Bird Study.
Prickly problems for waders explains how SNH are trying to deal with introduced Hedgehogs in the Outer Hebrides, where they are a major problem for breeding waders.
And here are another nine which may well appeal to Scottish birdwatchers:
- Conserving British-breeding Woodcock focuses on worrying results from the latest GWCT/BTO survey and work to reduce losses during the shooting season.
- Why do Turnstones eat chips? asks why we sometimes see waders feeding on unusual foods. Is this opportunism or desperation?
- Snipe & Jack Snipe in the UK and Ireland compares the migratory strategies of the two species and laments the decline of Common Snipe, as a breeding species.
- NEWS and Oystercatchers focuses on the waders that winter on coasts, instead of estuaries. It was written to promote the 205/16 coastal survey run by BTO.
- Is the Curlew really near-threatened? considers the plight of breeding Curlew. It’s easy to understand why RSPB and BTO are focusing on this species.
- A place to roost discusses the importance of safe, high-tide roosts, especially in terms of energetics. What are waders looking for?
- Which wader, when and why? summarises the annual migration patterns of over 40 species of wader that visit Britain and Ireland.
- The not-so-Grey Plover focuses on the moult of the Grey Plover but the principles are relevant to determining the ages of birds of other species.
- Interpreting changing wader counts looks at the links between local and national wader counts, with consequences for site-based species protection.
There are over 40 WaderTales blogs. The intention is to add one or two new blogs each month. You can sign up to receive an e-mail notification when a new one is published.
Graham (@grahamfappleton) has studied waders for over 40 years and is currently involved in wader research in the UK and in Iceland. He was Director of Communications at The British Trust for Ornithology until 2013 and is now a freelance writer and broadcaster.