Home Forums Discussions Breeding bird declines along the Lune

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  • Jean Roberts
      Post count: 54

      The section referred to is from Crook o Lune to Skerton Weir.

      Every year I do a Waterways Breeding Bird Survey in which all species seen and/or heard within 200m along a set route are counted on 2 visits in the breeding season. The visits are kept to the same dates as far as possible and done at the same time of day. I compared 2021 results with those from 9 years ago (I happened to have the 2012 results on my computer!) In 2012 I recorded a maximum visit total of 468 birds of 55 species, in 2021 it was down to 254 birds of 47 species. I didn’t manage to detect Curlew, Kestrel, Kingfisher, Little Ringed Plover, Raven, Siskin, Shelduck and Willow Warbler in 2021. On the other hand, species seen in 2021 but not seen in 2012 were Greylag Goose, Jay and Stock Dove. It is easy to miss seeing or hearing species as this is just a snapshot in time but the fall in numbers must be real – it’s almost halved!

      Another example is the rookery at Halton. In 2013 I counted 15 nests in the trees near the junction between Quarry Road and High Road.In 2018 there were 12, in 2021 there were 9.

      The causes of the declines are various (eg habitat loss in the case of LRP, increased disturbance in the case of Kingfisher). On the other hand some species have increased in number such as the House Martins nesting under the eaves on the higher rise buildings at Halton which have increased from nothing (when the houses didn’t exist) to 42 nests last year. But they are the exception. Birds are increasingly thinning out, some to the point where they disappear altogether such as Little Ringed Plover which hasn’t been seen on this stretch since 2012.

      It will be interesting to see what it’s like in another 9 years….

        Post count: 124

        It’s interesting to see the facts, Jean. Whenever we go out we say there are less birds than there used to be but I have not checked evidence in this way, so that’s just anecdotal.

        Jeff B

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