As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Sunday 6 October 2013

Red-backed Shrike breeds again in Dartmoor National Park

Posted on: 01 Oct 2013Expires on: 31 Dec 2013
The RSPB has announced that two Red-backed Shrike chicks have fledged on Dartmoor this year, after the species failed to breed in 2012.

The only breeding pair of the species in England nested this summer at a secret location in the National Park, and have been under close watch to guarantee their safety in a project managed by the charity, with support from the police, the Forestry Commission, Natural England and local conservation groups.

Kevin Rylands of the RSPB said: “This is now the fourth year they have returned to Dartmoor, but they failed to breed successfully last year, probably due to the awful weather. A lone male visited the previous breeding site in May this year but failed to find a mate. Fortunately though a pair was found at a new site in June and this bodes well for the future of the species on Dartmoor.” Red-backed Shrike was driven to extinction as a breeding bird in Britain by the end of the last century and egg collecting remains a major threat.

“As in previous years we used a combination of volunteers, staff and sophisticated wildlife surveillance equipment as part of site protection and monitoring. Although it’s been hard work, the efforts have been rewarded, with two youngsters fledged. We are particularly grateful to the volunteers involved and to Devon Birds for funding some of the cameras used on site as part of Devon and Cornwall Police’s Operation Wilderness.”

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