Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Here To Stay....Gone For Good.

Here To Stay.

It was good to find both of the Common Terns on Conder Pool again on Tuesday. 

Common Tern. Conder Pool. 26 May. Pete Woodruff.

Following their arrival here last Friday they are obviously here to stay and hopefully to breed for their second year. When I arrived at the pool and first saw them, the bird on the right of the picture above was inside the right hand box of the ones in place on the island....Brilliant stuff.

Gone For Good.

Of all our birds, the Skylark epitomises the dramatic fall in farmland bird populations more than any other.

Towards the latter part of the 20th century - maybe more than for any other species since the Whitethroat in the early 1970's - alarm bells began to ring when a drop of 60% in numbers of Skylark was shown and an intensive study began into the decline.

I've seen and heard the Skylark at Cockersands on every visit made there recently, and when I was there again on Tuesday I did my own study, one which I do each year around this time and in particular at this location, which cost me absolutely nothing save a couple of hours of observations and with no science or intense study necessary. These were observations anyone could have done on a visit to the countryside in thousands of locations up and down the land, all with the same result. 

May Harvesting. Pete Woodruff.

This huge field was one of at least six I found having been cut, machine placed into neat lines ready....

May Harvesting. Pete Woodruff.

....for the man and his army of tractors and trailers, to hoover up the grasses, along with all the nests, eggs, or young the Skylarks would have had.

The results of the lengthy, costly, and intense scientific studies....'seem to be largely due to the adverse effects of changes in agricultural practices'....well there's a surprise!!

For a little more impact 'clik the piks'....they're quite good. 


Derek Faulkner said...

Silage, which appears to be the crop being taken off the field in your picture, is a traditional and important source of food for farm livestock in the winter. Unfortunately it has to be cut around about now, when the grass is lush and green and obviously, when some wildlife is using the same field. Presumably you are suggesting that the farmer in question should not actually farm but should simply sit back and admire the view, while his income and valuable food for his livestock disappear.
He will now possibly allow the grass to re-grow and hope for a later hay crop off the same field, or even graze it - both, in order to maintain his living.
In a perfect world, farmers would never touch there fields, wildlife would multiply and all naturalists would be happy but unfortunately farmers and the country, need farmers to farm and unfortunately it does come into conflict with wildlife, especially now that habitat becomes more and more compressed by massive housing estates.

Bob Bushell said...

Thanks Pete, given me an insight of the life of the Skylark. Great. I love the photos as well.

Pete Woodruff said...

Derek....You're a bit off the mark on at least a couple of points, but I'll address them some time soon on the front page of Birds2blog.

Meanwhile thanks for your comments which I appreciate, very few of my critics come on here as they don't like their mates to know they read my stuff, but I know very well they do.

Bob....Always appreciate your comments and thank you for that.

Derek Faulkner said...

OK Pete,

Look forward to your replies.

Derek Faulkner said...

Springwatch did a nice piece on Hen Harriers in Scotland last night but completely overlooked their plight in England.

Pete Woodruff said...

Not sure what Springwatch had to do with spring in last night episode, which mainly focused on subjects like - for example - two guys falling over themselves to get a look at a pod of Orca off the Shetlands, how to save the Hedgehog in your garden, how to keep Badgers off the scrape to eat Avocet chicks - the RSPB recently shot several Red Deer to keep them off their reserve a Leighton Moss in Lancashire - and Chris Packham taking the piss out of Micheala Strachan now and again.

Warren Baker said...

Same happens here Pete,

Bleedin' useless modern day farming practices!

PS nice to see you're taking some flak from Mr Faulkner, keeps him off my back :-)

Pete Woodruff said...

I'm sat at the computer sucking at my peace pipe Warren, so nothing to add to your comments for the time being, save thanks for looking in on Birds2blog again.

Derek Faulkner said...

Warren's attitude towards farmers is really weird, he seems to believe that either they shouldn't exist at all, or that they should be harvesting crops by hand with scythes. Mind you, he doesn't like most things these days, he doesn't like horsey people, dog walkers, children, agricultural students, gardeners, people in general, me, etc. etc.

The Daily Telegraph today (Sat 30th)in it's Weekend section has an interesting 2 page piece on Ian Botham and Gerry Francis's views on Hen Harriers, Sparrowhawks and the RSPB, that will probably upset you.

Pete Woodruff said...

A pretty scathing attack on Warren Derek, which I'd much sooner had been made elsewhere than on Birds2blog which I have tried to keep clear of too much political and such debate, not always succeeding I might add.

As for Botham he's just a silly old has been cricketer and otherwise does'nt know what he's talking about. Problem there - as is always the case - he has too many followers who believe in what he says....he's an 100% idiot and a danger to wildlife as a whole.

Good to know you're still looking in and following Birds2blog Derek....Thanks.

Derek Faulkner said...

It wouldn't of been on here if I didn't feel the need to respond to his remark mentioning me on here.

I'm willing to read anybody's blog, regardless of whether I agree with their views, we can't all think the same. I do however, get a bit agitated when blogger's regard their views as unquestionable, refuse to even debate a different point of view and simply classify people with different points of view as idiots or morons.