Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Something of a coincidence!

Ferruginous Duck 

You may like to look up the connection to this little tale I'm about to tell, if you would like to you'll find it HERE 

By something of a coincidence -  irony even - on Sunday morning I hear of a Ferruginous Duck found at Mullaghmore Lough in Co Monaghan, Ireland which was later shot dead. This follows on from a Blue-winged Teal that had met the same fate recently also in Ireland. 

So....void of over labouring the issue, here's the irony....

I was employed to 'do my bit' on Sunday at high tide as a counter for the BTO WeBS Survey which I've been involved with for a year or two now and despite the restrictions of my birding of late to such an extent that I got out for the first time only last Friday since 14 October 2011 I chose to try to continue my involvement with this important survey and succeeded in doing so last month. On Sunday when I arrived at my allocated viewpoint overlooking Glasson Marsh I immediately clapped eyes on two 'sportsmen' on the marsh complete with guns and mutts. Now if you did decide to access 'At it again' - or indeed if you know me - you will have already worked out my next move which was to depart the location just 2 seconds after I had applied the handbrake on the motor having not even had the time to switch off the engine.

As you can imagine I've been in touch with the said BTO and told them I just made my last count - or attempted to -  for the WeBS Survey on the principal that I don't subscribe to the shooting fraternity and my conscience won't allow me to try to count birds whilst they are being shot at.....The story ends there, though I could go on. Of course with these two around there was no birds to count anyway....of course!

Smew. Copy Permitted.

Always worth another look, the smart little 'redhead' Smew on the Lune Estuary on Sunday.

Smew. Cliff Raby. 

And definitely always worth another look, the even smarter drake Smew with thanks to CR for the excellent photograph.

Putting a smile into birding....On 11 January a Great Blue Heron was reported at Kirkwall, Orkney apparently present for its sixth day....the bird was later identified as a Grey Heron! 


Pete Marsh said...

I find your posting a bit disappointing

There is even more need to count if there is disturbance, be it jetskis, dogs, shooting, canoeists or a.n.others

Its a good job I didnt give up when my Birds of the Estuaries Enquiry count stretch (WeBS predecessor) on Lough Foyle was bisected by Magilligan Internment Camp, leading to a significant 'no-go' stretch of estuary, in the early 1970s

Please dont be put off by two shooters - it only creates another headache for Jean as she tries to find another counter. It also means that someone will have to go out on the tide sequence before the end of the month to retrieve it (e.g. for January survey data as well as WeBS)



Warren Baker said...

I'm totally sickened and fed up with hearing about shooters Pete, I'm almost on the verge of giving up birding entirely - whats the point I ask :-(

Pete Woodruff said...

Two interesting and completely differing comments on this issue about my terminating my voluntary status with BTO.

I think everyone knows by now I don't allow Birds2blog to become political, religious or go too far down the road of discussion, and have fought desperately at times for it not to be controversial on my part and in the main have succeeded in it not doing so.

Pete. As is often the case, your comment could have come to me via e-mail but you decided to share it with everyone, most - if not all - will have found no interest in it whatsoever.

Warren. We are of two minds yet again.