Q and A: Wild New Forest Talk

On Wednesday 17th February Marcus Ward, chair of Hampshire Ornithological Society’s Scientific Committee and co-founder of Wild New Forest, gave us a fascinating insight into some of the birds of this beautiful area. If you missed it you can still watch it on our YouTube Channel.

Mya Bambrick ran the Q and A session at the end and managed to get through most of the questions but below are Marcus’ answers to the few that we didn’t have time for.


Question Answer(s)
1 Where does the hawfinch get his name from? No haws evident in his diet ! The scientific name for Hawfinch is Coccothraustes coccothraustes, which is derived from the Greek for kernel which is apt. As well as being the fruit of the Hawthorn, Haw is the old english for hedge so it could be the name is derived from Hedge Finch. However, Hawfinches do take the seeds from haws, as observed in Sussex this winter (when the locally preferred food, hornbeam, was not available due to crop failure).
2 Your map showed that Hawfinch IP was fitted with his tag some distance from his nest site. He didnt return there. Did you lure him to tag him? If so how? Yes, we lured the Hawfinch using bait, in this case black sunflower seed.
3 Are you in touch with Stuart Edmunds, Shropshire Wildlife Trust who is studying Pine Marten in Shropshire? No we haven’t, though we will be reaching out to all Pine Martin fieldworkers shortly to discuss techniques and methods
4 Have your read Rebirding, and do you agree that we should aspire for wryneck to return to the new forest? I must admit I haven’t read rebirding but I did meet with the author in the New Forest when he was doing research for the book. It would be fantastic to get Wryneck back as a breeding bird in the New Forest but it wouldn’t be a priority species for me for re-introduction.
5 Regarding recreational activities, would it be worth and possible to close some parts of the forest for public to help nesting? Yes, this does happen to an extent with the closure of carparks in certain areas to manage visitors. This makes some of the more sensitive areas difficult to access for casual visitors, however more can definitely by done and there is a lot of dialogue at the moment.