Thursday, 14 February 2008

Comparing Breeding Birds 1800AD with 2000AD

This evening Bob Scot, a former Warden of Dungeness RSPB Reserve and recently retired RSPB reserves manager, gave the KOS a fascinating talk, comparing the breeding birds of the year 2000 with those in 1800, 200 years before. Some species had declined, five had become extinct as breeders and some had done well with increased numbers. Below are some of those that have increased.

The Woodpigeon is probably the only farmland bird to have increased. It has done this by adapting to the changing world and becoming a bird of gardens, towns and parks as well as the countryside.

In 1800 Fulmars were restricted to breeding on the rocky isle of St Kilda.

Birds that can use man made bodies of water, like to Tufted Ducks and Pochard above and the Greylag Goose below have also done extremely well. The huge increase in gravel pits and reservoirs during the 20th Century have provided a massive increase in this habitat while during the 200 years under consideration most of our other wetlands have been drained. This has lead to enormous losses in populations of birds such as Black-tailed Godwits, Corncrakes and Snipe.
The Greylag has both a genuine wild population in Scotland and a feral population in the rest of the country.

1 comment:

Simon said...

Nice post Tony. Would of liked to have gone to the talk Thursday evening (my first KOS meeting) but couldn't because I had a college evening class!