Ingham’s World 13th November-Black grouse on the increase

The spectacular game bird, the black grouse, is now confined to very few parts of moorland in England.  So when John Ingham went to RSPB’s Geltside reserve in the Cumbrian Pennines one cloudy spring morning he was rewarded.  The males were locked in a dance over who got to mate with the females, flying into the air and and then landing on their attacker.  Since 2008, beer named the Black grouse had raised 600000 pounds for black grouse conservation at RSPB reserves in Scotland, one of the black grouses last strongholds.  At the same time the numbers of male dancing black grouse have risen from just 18 to 59!  But unfortunately farmland grouse  have declined by 54 percent since 1970.  But successes include cirl buntings arriving, yellowhammer, grey partridge and tree sparrows have having conservation help.  Waders like redshanks have also made an increase in RSPB reserves.  And our rare bittern, a type of reed coloured heron, has soared in numbers 660 percent in 25 years.

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