Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Fly Flatts - Demise of the Twite

For a long number of years several of us have supported a feeding station for the Twite at Fly Flatts near the 'Round House'. Over the years we have put down Niger seed to supplement their natural food around their breeding habitat along with the RSPB and others who have been running the Twite Recovery Project in conjunction with local farmers and landowners.

Despite these co-ordinated efforts, during the last 2 years we have not had any Twite up there and it looks as if they have certainly gone from this area as a breeding bird and passage migrants don't seem to be dropping in either. Reasons seem unclear.

There has been a slow decline over the last 20 years or so, though up until 2010 we have records over the summer months and migrants March and into October with up to 30+ birds. Since then....
In 2011 max of 19
In 2012 up to 4
5 on 5th July 2013 were the last
Since then - not one record as far as I know though Brian Sumner and myself have continued the feeding programme.

We have decided with reluctance to curtail further attempts at supplementary feeding for the summer stayers and at tempting migrants down in March and October. We will still continue to monitor the site and surrounding area. It will be a real bonus if they return !

Thank you for everyone who has helped with this project. Please let me or Brian know if anyone has any further records for up there or to our Recorder Nick Dawtrey.
Thankfully we still have at least one area of Calderdale where Twite are recorded on a regular basis.
The last feed !!!

The last recorded Twite at Fly Flatts 12th July 2013


Nick Carter said...

So sad to read this especially after everyone's efforts over many years, from CBCG, the Calderdale Seeds Project, RSPB Twite recovery project etc down to the dedication of individuals such as yourself Dave, Brian Sumner, Tim Walker and many others. At least we can all feel comfortable in the fact that we gave it our best shot.

Dave Sutcliffe said...

Thanks Nick especially for mentioning all the organisations involved (I couldn't remember them all)!!
Tim's lot are doing ok I hear and still some ringing taking place before this years breeding season.

NTBR said...

Disappointing news Dave.
It wasn't for want of trying...............

Brian Sumner . said...

Well reported Dave though all is not lost. I,m starting putting good supplies of Nyger down up on the top road near to the new entrance to the quarry where I got Snow Bunting last up there.
Possibly it will attract moving Twite through the vis mig season and go on to invite Snow Buntings down later in the year.
The place, which I will show with photos after the weekend on my blog is much easier accessible so hopefully more people will join in without them having to trek down to the reservoir which us veterans do with ease.
Also seed can be put down in bad weather so there wont be long gaps between drops.
Thanks for all your efforts Dave, come next spring I,ll still continue to also use the original feeding station.