BIRDING THE LUNE ESTUARY, THE UPLANDS OF BOWLAND AND BEYOND

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CLOUGHA PIKE. UNTIL RECENT YEARS THE BOWLAND STRONGHOLD FOR THE STONECHAT

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Hobby Disturbance......

.....and a whinge about litter louts in the Trough of Bowland which I'll address first as the pic's to the right are the evidence found in the ever popular area around Tower Lodge. With regard to the remnants of some unacceptable activity and associated litter left in the area, the fire is one problem which needs to be eradicated, but with regard to this particular incident this 'party' was held within a very few metres from where a few days earlier I had staked out to observe a pair of Spotted Flycatcher's visiting a nest hole in a tree obviously feeding young. I'm pretty sure we can all agree this sort of activity does absolutely nothing for the welfare of these birds, more to the point in all probability it almost certainly put them in at least some danger if not critically so, bearing in mind to make matters worse the species in question is on the 'red list'. Despite signs in the area clearly indicating 'no fires' it is a classic example of a law being in place but nobody ever around or prepared to tackle those responsible.
There's nothing much to say about the other pic which illustrates another 'party' who had enjoyed a meal from a popular outlet but sadly couldn't be bothered to take their litter home. I've been in touch with the outlet in question to ask if an education programme on the packaging might be a good idea......I don't think any of us should hold our breath.
Like many other people I have recently received an e-mail telling me of the problems of so called birders/photographers who - despite the site of a successful breeding pair of Hobby in East Lanc's being rightly suppressed - have found out about the location and have been visiting it. Although the young from this nest are now fledged they are still around the nest-site and are still fully dependant on the parent birds for food. It doesn't really need someone like me to prattle on about the consequences of these people who I assume like to be referred to as 'birders/photographers' but these particular ones who are wilfully disturbing this Schedule 1 species and preventing the adults from feeding the young I personally want no association with them. Furthermore a recent incident regarding a rare bird to the Trough of Bowland brought about a call from a high profile (I prefer to call him but am not at liberty to name) birder to 'name and shame' these characters when they step out of line for their own satisfaction of achieving better than anyone else. Well I for one willing second this motion of 'naming and shaming' and the sooner the better.
The whinging stops here......well for now anyway!

6 comments:

Mike Watson said...

Hi Peter. Quite agree! I hate the morons who leave mountains of their rubbish at Tower Lodge but what to do? On the subject of the hobby disturbance this is an intriguing event. I have no idea where the nest is and neither do any of the keen East Lancs birders I talk to (Bill, Gary and Gareth for instance) so it does not appear to be such a well-known site. Knowingly standing under the juveniles' tree is certainly a silly and thoughtless thing to do.

Pete Woodruff said...

Thanks for this Mike.

Trying desperately to keep the blog a strictly 'birding' blog and also - you will have noted - to steer clear of controversy but I'm buggered if I'm going to keep my mouth shut on issues like these two.

I'm intrigued now you told me this about the 'mystery' Hobby breeding location, and whilst I would loathe to sound patronising if you four are not aware of it then its quite some secret.

Thanks for comments Mike and Good Birding.

Colin Bushell said...

Hi Pete,

I've found it increasingly difficult to keep to just 'the birding' when blogging of late. It's not just been thoughtless morons though as I've found some of the antics of unscrupulous 'birders' quite astonishing too. Mind you, I've not seen a lot of birds to write about recently.

Colin

Pete Woodruff said...

Good to see your interest in these two issues.

You won't need me to tell you things are about to change for the better in the coming weeks on the birding scene, keep sifting through those waders Colin.

Thanks for comments.

Pete Marsh said...

I'm worried that all the twitchable cowbirds were suppressed because of bad publicity about photographers and the like with zero fieldcraft and a lot of selfishness

Therefore I think it is really important to stress that we are talking about the law and rare breeding birds in this thread

It needs to be stressed that most twitches outside the breeding season are self-regulated or regulated by the information services professionals on site and even the most self-righteous thoughtless photographers are sent packing behind the 'line'.

The problems of thoughtless behaviour which is not challenged is with thinly-attended mid-week 'local' rarities where the photographers are not constrained

So please do not suppress that once in a lifetime mega on your birdtable - think of the deserving local charity which will benefit from the publicity. At least two of the 'cowbird villages' this spring have missed out on such a windfall

Pete Woodruff said...

Your considered reply to this post is most welcome Pete and has valid points as do the ones from Mike/Colin. I personally don't subscribe to 'suppression' in any circumstances (perhaps private property being an exception) as I always try to follow the 'Birdwatchers Code of Conduct' which guides us all to the birds welfare being paramount.

Thanks for comments.

Pete.