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Monday, March 5, 2012

The plight of the Twite

                                  Twite, a real upland bird.
                                   The Fly Flatts feeding station.


Hopefully this year will bring a good number of summer Twite to the area with 6 birds already arrived at an early date. Up to 1994 Twite numbers and sites were good  but after 1995 many sites were lost completely and bird numbers fell dramatically then holding steady until 2008 after which numbers declined at Fly Flatts each year even with regular supplies of nyjer seed being put down to try to encourage them back to the area.
Breeding has been proved in the Calderdale area so it shows is it possible to get the numbers back up to what they were 18 years ago.
In 1994 Fly Flatts had a maximum flock count of 150 Twite with regular groups of 40 + which also applied to many sites around the area. Leeshaw reservoir over the hill was Bradfords stronghold for Twite with regular 3 figure numbers and now there are none.
These are some maximum count figures for Fly Flatts over the years :-
1994..............150+                      2004...............28
1995..............70                          2005...............20
1996..............20                          2006...............25
1997...............40                         2007...............20
1998..............11                          2008...............35
1999...............30                         2009...............23
2000..............25                          2010...............14
2001..............38                          2011...............11
2002..............10                          2012...............6 just arrived
2003..............30

So if you find yourself braving the elements and heading for Fly Flatts just slip a handful of nyjer seed in your pocket to sprinkle up there and lets try get Twite a common sight on our moors once more.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch things have been rather quiet apart from the cold spell getting the gulls active again with 22 Commons and 5 Black Headeds in Foxhill midday and a steady flow of LBBs over >NW with just 1 Herring gull seen heading >W.
What a sickener when following a lousy wet Sunday the sun comes out daylong on Monday when we,re back at work!
BS

3 comments:

Brian Sumner . said...

Spoke to NK today re Twite and he remembers birding with his dad on Soil Hill and seeing several Twite nests in the heather up there.

J.uttley said...

Well done Brian. It would be interesting to know if there were any large moorland fires in the 'bad' years. certainly in the last 2 years there were. Hopefully their new fire-fighting machine will be fit for purpose.

Brian Sumner . said...

Theres always been small moorland fires in the area over the summer months but nothing on the scale of the Ogden/Ovenden Moor one.