I was there again later in the week (Thursday 24th) on a fine Spring-like morning with a warm southerly wind and the number of Tree Sparrows had further reduced to only 26. I had my first displaying Lapwing of the Spring on the Moss and also a flock of 300. Later in the day I had my first Bee of the year in the form of a Honey Bee and not the usual early emerging queen Bumble Bee sp. that I would expect.
Siskin on the garden feeders was another sign of Spring. It's habitat management at the 'obs' for Ian and I tomorrow in preparation for the Spring ringing season that will hopefully commence over the first weekend in March.
Siskin (Ken Hindmarch)
I was reading the latest edition of British Wildlife (cracking publication by the way if you don't already subscribe) and I was incensed by a report under the 'Mammal' section of 'Wildlife Reports'. Andrew Branson, who writes the mammal column, was summarising the results of the fifth national Otter survey of England completed by the Environment Agency with co-funding from the People's Trust for Endangered Species, and wrote "...once Otters started to recolonise the rivers it was not long before fishery-managers and anglers began to express concern about the predation impact of these mammals. As the report points out, this has led to significant coverage in some of the angling press and on websites, which has promoted a debate about the impacts of Otters on wild fish populations and calls for controls on Otter numbers. To my knowledge, some fish-farm owners have also threatened to cull Otters".
Cull that Otter, it's eating a fish!
I think this is absolutely shocking! Otters are a protected species but that doesn't seem to matter. Anglers catch fish for a giggle and Otters catch fish to feed. So we can't have the anglers fun being spoilt can we. I would suggest that we cull some anglers!