The status and breeding biology of the Dotterel Charadrius morinellus in northern England during 197295
Author: Strowger J.
Source: Bird Study, Volume 45, Number 1, 1 March 1998 , pp. 85-91(7)
Publisher: Taylor and Francis Ltd
The status of the Dotterel in northern England as a migrant and breeding bird is considered. Data for spring and autumn passage were largely from information collated by local recorders and data on breeding were collected by a few enthusiastic individuals. The pattern of spring passage has changed since the 19th century. Few birds are now seen on the coastal plain of northwest England, 76% of birds being seen in the uplands above 300 m. In total, 41 breeding records were available for analysis and it is suggested that in good years up to five pairs may breed. Potentially the breeding capacity of northern England would appear to be much greater; even on recent evidence breeding has occurred on a minimum of 12 fells, but never on more than three fells in any one year. The mean date for completion of first clutches of 23 May and the mean clutch size of 2.85 are little changed from previous periods and comparable to the situation in the central Grampians, Scotland. Where full nest histories were known, hatching and fledging success were 1.45 chicks hatched and 1.07 chicks fledged per clutch. Reasons for the failure of Dotterel to colonize northern England to a greater extent are discussed; possible factors include habitat changes linked to increased acidification of soils and larger numbers of sheep on the hills in spring and increased recreational use of the hills. The status of the Dotterel in northern England still remains that of a regular spring migrant but a scarce breeder with a tenuous foothold in the region.
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 1998-03-01