Ahead of BBC TV’s Springwatch series this month, springwatching in Dorset has already begun in earnest. Two more stunning birds of prey have become reality TV stars, as Dorset Wildlife Trust introduces what is believed to be the UK’s first live online buzzard webcam. Buzzards are becoming something of an iconic bird in Dorset, now seen on a daily basis across the county soaring above the countryside, sitting on telegraph posts in town or digging for worms in fields. Dorset Wildlife Trust hopes that this exclusive and intimate view of their nesting habits will reveal much about this spectacular bird.
More about the buzzard pair
To celebrate the royal wedding, the buzzard couple have been affectionately named “Wills and Kate” and are now looking after a single precious egg. There are high hopes for a chick successfully hatching within the next few weeks, watched by viewers who have visited the Dorset Wildlife Trust spring raptorcam page over 17,000 times already.
Nicky Hoar, Communications Officer at Dorset Wildlife Trust, said: “Buzzards are one of my favourite British birds and it’s great to see them get the attention they deserve. Numbers and range have increased dramatically in Dorset but it is a real treat to be able to see and study them at the nest for the first time. If you are a fan of Springwatch, then there is no doubt you will enjoy watching our raptorcams.”
Where can I watch the live raptor cameras?
Dorset Wildlife Trust’s raptorcams also feature old favourites “Bob and Brenda” the barn owls, who, to date, have 4 out of 6 eggs hatched, but the popular tawny owls “Twit and Twoo” have recently seen their brood of 3 successfully leave the nest for the surrounding trees.
Nicky added: “The new buzzard couple will be a welcome addition for anyone missing the tawnys, but be warned watching the cams can become addictive!”
Notes to Editor
For more information please contact Nicky Hoar at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01305 264620.
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About Dorset Wildlife Trust www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk
Working for a secure future for Dorset’s wildlife enriching the quality of life Dorset Wildlife Trust works to champion wildlife and natural places, to engage and inspire people and to promote sustainable living. Founded in 1961, DWT is now the largest voluntary nature conservation organisation in Dorset, with over 25,000 members and over 40 nature reserves. Most are open daily and there are visitor centres providing a wealth of wildlife information at Brooklands Farm, Lorton Meadows, Kingcombe Meadows and Brownsea Island Nature Reserves, The Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve and the Urban Wildlife Centre at Upton Heath Nature Reserve. DWT plays a key role in dealing with local environmental issues and leads the way in establishing the practices of sustainable development and engaging new audiences in conservation, particularly in the urban areas.
The reason why this has not been achieved before is the difficulty in filming a buzzard nest. It took months of planning - starting before Christmas 2010. Although quite common now, buzzards don’t necessarily use the same nest site every year and usually have several nest sites to choose from (with old nests still in them). The cameras had to be set up on several trees in two separate locations (involving climbing incredibly high and dangerous trees and dangling on ropes to put in the cameras). Luckily the buzzard pair picked one of the camera trees! Another difficulty was setting up a wireless connection to a central unit so that the pictures could be broadcast live online, requiring external batteries that need to be changed on a regular basis. Dorset Wildlife Trust is pleased to acknowledge this great achievement by Jason Fathers of Wildlife Windows and thank him for his persistence.
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The Wildlife Trusts (TWT) www.wildlifetrusts.org
There are 47 individual Wildlife Trusts covering the whole of the UK and the Isle of Man and Alderney. All are working for an environment rich in wildlife for everyone. We have more than 800,000 members including 150,000 members of our junior branch Wildlife Watch. Our vision is to create A Living Landscape and secure Living Seas. We manage around 2,300 nature reserves and every year we advise thousands of landowners and organisations on how to manage their land for wildlife. We also run marine conservation projects around the UK, collecting vital data on the state of our seas and celebrating our amazing marine wildlife. Every year we work with thousands of schools and our nature reserves and visitor centres receive millions of visitors. Each Wildlife Trust is working within its local communities to inspire people about the future of their area: their own Living Landscapes and Living Seas.