Friday, January 31, 2014

A Curlew And A Yellow Submarine

Back home from two weeks in Lanzarote with a seemingly endless list of things to do so I put together a blog post until we’re truly up and running. 

One of long list of my holiday emails waiting for catch up concerned the recovery of a Curlew ringed a few years ago. 

Turn the calendar back two and a half years to 9th June 2010. Will and I are in the hills above the market town of Garstang on the western edge of the Bowland hills where we are on the lookout for wader chicks. We found a couple of broods of Curlew chicks that day, eventually tracking down the youngsters despite the frantic and determined efforts of the adult birds to see us off their home patch. 

Curlew

FC79566 was one of a brood of three healthy chicks ringed that day.

Curlew chicks

Flip the calendar forward to 13 January 2014 and Liverpool John Lennon Airport alongside the estuary of the River Mersey, 7 kms southeast of Liverpool city centreand some 62 kms from Garstang. An airport worker is conducting routine checks of the runways to ensure the safety of planes landing and taking off when he comes across the freshly dead corpse of FC79566. 

 The Mersey Estuary and Liverpool John Lennon Airport - http://www.airliners.net/photo//0832289/L/

I contacted the Operations Planner at the airport Andrew Hepworth who told me that the bird was probably hit by an aircraft but as no pilot reported a possible strike the cause of death could not be confirmed. Andrew went on to say that due to their proximity to the Mersey estuary this time of year does result in large numbers of Curlews close by. Groups of Curlews regularly fly over the aerodrome fence boundary and settle on the airfield. As a result the resident bird control operators are constantly shifting them back over the fence and back to the shores of the estuary below. 

Curlew
 
“As you appreciate we do get our fair share of dead birds/strikes and these tend to be curlew, woodpigeon, gull species, swifts during the summer, and the odd kestrel.” 

In 2002 Liverpool Aiport was renamed in honour of John Lennon, a founding member of The Beatles, 22 years after Lennon's death. A 7 ft tall bronze statue stands overlooking the check-in hall, and a tribute to the Beatle’s well known song Yellow Submarine graces the entrance to the airport. 

Yellow Submarine at Liverpool John Lennon Airport - Wikipedia

I’ll catch up with fellow bloggers soon and post pictures of Lanzarote. 

Also, as soon as I can find precious time for a determined read, there is a review of a stunning new book Ten Thousand Birds - Ornithology Since Darwin. 


21 comments:

Christian Perrin said...

Our Curlews dont breed in Australia so i've not really looked much at their chicks - they're terribly cute! Shame that this one ended up colliding with a jumbo :(

eileeninmd said...

The Curlews are cool birds, love the cute chicks! Awesome photos, Phil! Happy weekend!

David Gascoigne said...

Very interesting account. I am sure it's relatively infrequently that banders get to follow a bird they band until its ultimate demise. I was also interested to learn of the airport dedicated to the memory of John Lennon. I had no idea it existed. Many, many years ago I flew from Liverpool to Rotterdam and the airport I used was Speke. I wonder if it still exists or perhaps it has been renamed too.

eileeninmd said...

PS, Thank you for linking up to my Saturday's Critters. Phil, have a happy weekend!

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Yea welcome home and I just know that you ans Sue enjoyed your holiday in the sun...however, I see no evidence that you sent any of that sunshine in my direction which is forgivable, but next time...ha ha ha;) Actually, I just heard that we may hit 60' today, but that is following bitter COLD for past 2 weeks.
Too bad about the Curlew, but it did have a nice spot of freedom for a while and it lived free and so one can be thankful. We had a huge mes of Snowy Owls being struck by airplanes, and in Michigan they gave the approval to capture the remaining Owls and place them hopefully out of harms way. Happy weekend~

Unknown said...

always and forever a bird favorite are they the sandpiper family ??or close??

Snap said...

Your curlew shots are wonderful. sad about the Curlew.

EG CameraGirl said...

It's sad that so many birds are hit by airplanes isn't it? I didn't realize the airport at Liverpool had been named for John Lennon.

Beth @ E. Lizard Breath Speaks said...

i love the young ones. so cute. really really love the yellow submarine ...what a cool thing to see in person. neat-o. ( :

nice to meet you through "Saturday's Critters" ... have a lovely weekend!

Anne (cornucopia) said...

Great mix of photos!

TexWisGirl said...

love the little guys. :)

Carol L McKenna said...

Welcome back ~ Great shots as always ~ favorite are the 'chicks' ~ adorable ~ Happy Weekend ~

carol, xxx
www.acreativeharbor.com

Gunilla Bäck said...

The chicks are so cute.

Karen said...

Oh those chicks are precious. Now, I am singing "We all live in a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine"!

Wandering Wren said...

What a fascinating post, birds and planes never a good combination...
Wren

Choy Wai Mun said...

The chicks are adorable. Too bad about what happened to the adult. The submarine certainly is eye-catching.

Anni said...

This post is so bittersweet!!! To have the babies and all their cuteness...and then to read of the short lived curlew found near the airport!! So sad.

The yellow submarine is pretty cool. And to have an airport named after John Lennon is quite a tribute.

Can't wait to read more on your 2 week trip. Now....go get that unpacking done, and do the laundry. [insert wink]

Christian Weiß said...

It is great that you have so many curlews and fascinating that they live so close to an airport, here they are very shy birds don't go close to human structures.

Anni said...

ps...you left this as part of your comment today---"Don't worry about the washing and ironing, I have Sue doing it right now."....I hope she's like me then, doesn't want you around when she's busy. rofl [teasing]

Russell Jenkins said...

I guess many waders are victims of runways around the world with the requirements of flat expanses by the seaside. My hometown is in the process of getting a new airport but it's in the mountains. That, and a new motor bypass all call for habitat destruction. It will help make my visits home easier and I'll be grateful but fear the loss of many things. It's all progress at a loss.

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

Sad to say, but collisions usually occur where there a people to recover the remains and the ring, so I assume that such places are important in tracing the movements of the birds.

Related Posts with Thumbnails