Saturday, 22 August 2015

The Week That Was

I've had a busy week at work this past week, haven't we all I hear you say, and as such haven't been able to do much birding. We have had two sessions at the Swallow roost ringing a total of 105 Swallows, a Sedge Warbler and three Reed Warblers. We are now just six birds short of 500 Swallows ringed for the autumn.

The supporting cast at the pools during this weeks Swallow roost ringing sessions have been 25 Linnets, 3,000 Swallows roosting, four Little Grebes, a Buzzard, juv. male Sparrowhawk, three Kestrels and three Swifts.

My work has involved assessing some woodland planting in north Cumbria and below is a view from my office this week.

I have just started reading Inglorious - Conflict in the Uplands by Mark Avery and the title says it all. As I say I have only just started reading it and it is a riveting read, but for all the wrong reasons as you can imagine. The foreword by Chris Packham is thought provoking and heartfelt as you would expect from Chris and below is a snippet of what he says in the foreword:

"It is as if all the science, all the ecology, the knowledge, the respect and the understanding that we have so diligently and passionately evolved simply didn't exist. Aspects of this 'industry' seem to persist in a vile vacuum rooted in an ignorant, intolerant and inglorious past. And to try and justify its stance, it trots out a shabby litany of idiotic lies that may somehow have been believable to previous generations but are frankly embarrassing to this one, given the sophistication our public now has in ecological matters. For instance, in recent years a number of grouse moors have eradicated all the mountain hares on their land - they've enacted lagomorphicide - because the hares can transmit a prarsite to the grouse. There cannot be a single viewer of wildlife television who doesn't realise that such lunacy will have a profound effect on the ecology of that community, a community equally devoid of predators of all kinds; it will damage it irreparably. So when we are told by the shooting fraternity that they are 'looking after the uplands' the joke simply isn't funny any more. They burn it, drain it, poison it, denude it of any life that may possibly harm a grouse, and then kill the grouse themselves. How absurd."

Well said Chris! I came across a bunch of these idiots 'looking after the uplands' yesterday when I was driving over a notorious Hen Harrier killing zone and these tossers had the cheek and audacity to give me a hand signal to slow down. If I hadn't had my wife and mother in the car I would have been pulling over to have a few inglorious words with the tweed clad morons!

Anyway I need to cam down and focus on something positive that is the weather over the next couple of days. Based on the weather synopsis I can only imagine that birders in the northern isles and along the east coast will be salivating at the thought of what might turn up in the next couple of days. There is the possibility that over here in the impoverished west we too might see a half decent fall of common migrants with perhaps the odd scarcity thrown it. I'll let you know.


Warren Baker said...

Nice post mate :-)

I hope you get something nice in your nets from this promising weather :-)

The Hairy Birder said...

Thanks Warren.

The promising weather never materialised unfortunately! The weather is so changeable at the moment that it is hard to have any faith in the forecasts!