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BIRD NOTES With Julian Hughes.

A FEW years ago, I was involved with a group raising funds to sponsor work by BirdLife International for the Night Parrot.

This flightless nocturnal parrot had not been seen for almost 100 years. Although once common in Australia's deserts, the expansion of farming, foxes and feral cats led many to assume it was extinct.

Raising money for a species not seen by a living person seemed an odd thing to do.

Then two corpses were found, and efforts were renewed to find the Night Parrot.

In April, one was found in southwest Queensland, and photographs were released last week. Now, a conservation group is working with the state government to acquire 56,000 hectares of habitat to protect the only known population from fire and introduced predators.

When we raised money a few years ago, it seemed a fruitless effort, but the message is: Never Give Up. There is one last chance to save this special bird from global extinction.

Closer to home, check out coastal scrub and woodlands: warblers are on the move. Blackcaps, reed and sedge warblers appear in habitats away from their nesting areas, feasting on berries and insects before they continue their journey to Africa.

Other migrants on the move include an Osprey spending a few days on Anglesey's Cefni estuary, Spotted Redshanks here and at Connah's Quay. Pen y Gogarth (The Great Orme) hosted Tree Pipit, Redstarts, Whinchat and Yellow Wagtails at the weekend, while Ruff, Sandwich Terns and more Redstarts were at RSPB Conwy.

A Little Gull has been showing down to a few yards at Colwyn Bay's Porth Eirias.

Although regular in southern Britain, Great White Egrets remain rare in North Wales, but this week found birds at Lake Fyrnwy and over Enlli (Bardsey), heading towards Ireland. Bardsey also hosts a Hooded Crow, with another at Llanfachraeth.

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A Night Parrot |Pic: Steve Murphy

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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Date:Aug 20, 2015
Words:313
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