Bird Conservationists All A-Twitter at RAF Halton

  |  Published: Jun 2nd 2015
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Dave Short from the Motor Transport Section is RAF Halton’s Station’s bird conservationist. He volunteers on behalf of the British Ornithological Trust ringing birds.  He currently looks after approximately 30 bird and bat boxes and is in the process of training other personnel to assist.

There are a large number of bats in Halton House and 80% of the Station has bat roosts, so Station contractors must call Dave before they do any work to a building where bats are roosting, to ensure they have the correct licence if required.

Disturbing breeding birds and bats is a serious crime against the Wildlife Countryside Act of 1989, and can result in a £5000 fine per bird, per nest, roost or per egg and can also incur a six month stay at Her Majesty’s pleasure.

Dave said: “The rings were purchased by Station Contractors, Serco, and we’ve recently ringed baby blue tits, 10 here at the MT Section, eight at SHQ and still more to check at the wooded area of the airfield.   Ringing is done for scientific purposes and each ring has its own specific number. Each bird is done individually depending on size and ringing helps track longevity, habitat management and climate changes.  In 2013, due to very bad weather we had dead birds and cold eggs whereas 2014 was an exceptional year.  We have all sizes of bird boxes to accommodate birds such as blue tits up to tawny owls, barn owls and kestrels.”

Two other Station personnel have been training to ring the birds, Russ Barber who is also a conservationist and Steve Kelly who has been learning about the great crested newts.  There is also an ongoing European Dormouse survey. For further information or if you would like to get involved with any conservation in the local area you can email dave on daveshort@sky.com

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