Royal Society for the Protection of Birds Arne Peninsular, Isle of Purbeck

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It was founded in 1889, the RSPB has grown into Europe’s largest wildlife conservation charity, and it has more than 1 million members. Its offices are across the UK, the RSBP has widened its sphere of influence to include a huge range of issues that affect both wildlife and habitats.


The RSPB was formed to counter the trade in grebe fur. This was the skin and soft under-pelt of a great crested grebe’s breast feathers, which were used as a fur substitute in ladies fashions.

Once this caught on, the superb head frill feathers of the adult’s grebes breeding plumage became highly fashionable in the military trade. The feathers could only be taken by killing the birds. Due to that, the numbers of grebes fell dramatically. The style for decorating fancy hats with wild-caught feathers was declining before legislation could be put in place to prevent their uses.

Across 1860, the great crested grebe was close to extinction in Ireland and Britain. Legislation, changing fashions and raise in the number of lakes available for the breeding resulted with the increase of great crested in Ireland and Britain up to 1000 pairs.

The RSPB was formed in reaction to a real conservation problem- the threatened extinction of the great crested grebe- rather than to the cruelty of the millinery trade. Throughout the society history it has been guided by sound conservation principles rather than sentiment. The RSPB progressed from early success to develop into one of the most influential conservation establishments.

Brief note of work in the field done by RSPB:

1. Variety of habitats

*densely planted borders providing cover for insects and shy birds

*ponds and boggy areas are build providing a magnet for wildlife

2. Shelter

Most animals need to hide from predators and many hibernates.

*plant climbers against walls

*tidy up borders in spring

*fixation of bat roosting boxes

3. A place to breed

* a pond for frogs, birds, and dragon flies.

* Trees, shrubs and nest boxes fro birds

* Nettle patch

4. A place to feed

Native plants are provided, for the wildlife as food source. Variety of food provided.

Two species of bird encountered:

Wading bird: Dunlin

Dunlins are great to look at; they live and depend on our wild, windswept estuaries for at least part of their years.

The dunlin is the commonest wading bird found on uk shores. Estuaries are a rich feeding place for dunlins, they gather in winter on the coasts by the estuaries. They eat rag worms and little snails called Hydrobia. They need so much energy during winter that they must eat all daylong just to survive.

Dunlins in the Uk

*Breed on out wet upland moors

*Winter on our estuaries and coats

*Passage migrant using coasts and estuaries to rest and feed

Other wading species: Sanderlings

Migratory bird: Ring Ouzel (Turdus torquatus)

Male ring ouzels are distinctive with their black plumage and striking white breast band. They are slightly smaller than a blackbird. Female are browner with a pale barred chest band.

Ring Ouzel arrives in March and April again in September. They favour spot are shorty grass areas. They breed in upland areas with open moorland and in the UK they like crags, gullies. They feed largely on the ground in spring and summer, eating mainly insects and earthworms. In autumn they switch to eating various fruits such as blackberries.

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