Archive for December, 2006|Monthly archive page

Last outing of the Year

First trip to Amwell quarry for a while. Highlights Water Rail, Smew (2 drakes), Goldeneye and Amwell patch ticks Pintail and Marsh Tit ( I was so busy watching it I missed the fly through Goosander that would have been an Amwell tick!!).

Only there an hour and a half and saw.

  1. Mute Swan
  2. Greylag Goose
  3. Canada Goose
  4. Wigeon
  5. Gadwall
  6. Mallard
  7. Pintail
  8. Shoveler
  9. Teal
  10. Pochard
  11. Tufted Duck
  12. Smew
  13. Goldeneye
  14. Pheasant
  15. Little Grebe
  16. Great Crested Grebe
  17. Cormorant
  18. Water Rail
  19. Moorhen
  20. Coot
  21. Lapwing
  22. Black-Headed Gull
  23. Herring Gull
  24. Lesser Black-Backed Gull
  25. Great Black-Backed Gull
  26. Common Gull
  27. Wood Pigeon
  28. Pied Wagtail
  29. Wren
  30. Dunnock
  31. Robin
  32. Blackbird
  33. Song Thrush
  34. Marsh Tit
  35. Blue Tit
  36. Great Tit
  37. Magpie
  38. Carrion Crow
  39. Starling
  40. Chaffinch

Hanningfield Reservoir

I headed for Hanningfield Reservoir. I did run into some big tit flocks and there were lots of ducks including female Scaup, Goldeneye (males and females) and Ruddies!!

And the list was:

  1. Mute Swan
  2. Greylag Goose
  3. Canada Goose
  4. Wigeon
  5. Mallard
  6. Pintail
  7. Shoveler
  8. Teal
  9. Pochard
  10. Ruddy Duck
  11. Tufted Duck
  12. Scaup
  13. Goldeneye
  14. Great Crested Grebe
  15. Cormorant
  16. Grey Heron
  17. Kestrel
  18. Moorhen
  19. Coot
  20. Lapwing
  21. Black-Headed Gull
  22. Herring Gull
  23. Lesser Black-Backed Gull
  24. Great Black-Backed Gull
  25. Common Gull
  26. Wood Pigeon
  27. Pied Wagtail
  28. Wren
  29. Dunnock
  30. Robin
  31. Blackbird
  32. Goldcrest
  33. Long-Tailed Tit
  34. Coal Tit
  35. Blue Tit
  36. Great Tit
  37. Magpie
  38. Rook
  39. Carrion Crow
  40. Starling
  41. Chaffinch

Threat to Scottish Red Kites

RSPB Scotland says landowners are still laying poisoned baits and shooting Kites. This is because they are often seen as a threat to game, poultry and livestock.

This is particularly daft as Kites are carrion eaters !

Hatfield Forest

I headed to Hatfield Forest. Enjoyable stroll pity about the dog walkers who don’t understand that keep dogs on lead in lake area refers to them!! Stopped for a cup of tea and a healthy breakfast 🙂

Birds seen

  1. Canada Geese
  2. Mallard
  3. Pochard
  4. Tufted Duck
  5. Grey Heron
  6. Kestrel
  7. Moorhen
  8. Coot
  9. Black Headed Gull
  10. Stock Dove
  11. Wood Pigeon
  12. Great Spotted Woodpecker
  13. Green Woodpecker
  14. Dunnock
  15. Robin
  16. Blackbird
  17. Mistle Thrush
  18. Fieldfare
  19. Redwing
  20. Goldcrest
  21. Long-tailed Tit
  22. Marsh Tit
  23. Blue Tit
  24. Great Tit
  25. Nuthatch
  26. Magpie
  27. Jackdaw
  28. Carrion Crow
  29. Chaffinch
  30. Greenfinch
  31. Goldfinch
  32. Bullfinch

ASDA responds – the quacks ain’t impressed.

Dear Mr xxxxxxThank you for your email regarding the house sparrows which have entered into our Great Yarmouth store.

I understand that you are very disappointed with the way we have decided to remove them from the store, and can fully appreciate your feelings on this. I would like to assure you that matters of this nature are not
decided lightly, and we do require our colleagues to explore all possible alternatives before a final decision is made.

I have spoken to my colleagues at the store who have confirmed all necessary organisations were contacted to seek advice on how to remove this protected bird safely from the premises. They have discussed possible
solutions unfortunately, these were rejected as it compromised the security and health and safety of the store, its colleagues and customers alike.

It is always to difficult to deal with such issues and sometimes we have to make tough decisions we might not entirely agree with, but due to the hazards surrounding fresh produce we have within the store my
colleagues have agreed this would be a necessary course of action. I know you will remain unhappy with this and must apologise but would also like to assure you they had no alternative. I would also like to point out
that as a company we put great emphasis on high standards of animal and wildlife welfare.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact us, although I am sorry that I cannot be of further assistance on this occasion.

Yours sincerely
ASDA Customer Relations

well I’m sorry ASDA I am not impressed.

The health and safety argument doesn’t wash. Ok its possible that a Sparrow may shit on your Apples but I think you’ll find that in the real world birds do that. Only in the supermarket world of perfect food is everything clean and without blemish. Still what do you expect from a company owned by Walmart.

Excuse me while add ASDA to the bunch of corporate tossers file.

“Virgin births” for giant Lizards

Given the time of year this seemed an apt story.

Two Komodo dragons have produced eggs/off spring without any contact with a male Komodo.  The two komodos are in captivity. For the full story.

Patch Birding

Well I awoke at 7:2o this morning I should have thrown back the sheets and gone birding somewhere further a field but I just pulled the duvet up.

So anyway I went to Rye Meads, its not often I go in the mornings these days. The hedgerows were alive with birds. Not seen so many Chaffinches there for a while. For a change I went through the one way turnstile on to the HMWT bit of the reserve.

I didn’t seen anything rare but had a thoroughly enjoyable morning.

  1. Mute Swan
  2. Canada Goose
  3. Gadwall
  4. Mallard
  5. Shoveller
  6. Teal
  7. Tufted Duck
  8. Pheasant
  9. Little Grebe
  10. Cormorant
  11. Grey Heron
  12. Moorhen
  13. Coot
  14. Green Sandpiper
  15. Black-Headed Gull
  16. Lesser Black Backed Gull
  17. Common Gull
  18. Feral Pigeon
  19. Wood Pigeon
  20. Collared Dove
  21. Great Spotted Woodpecker
  22. Green Woodpecker
  23. Pied Wagtail
  24. Wren
  25. Dunnock
  26. Robin
  27. Blackbird
  28. Song Thrush
  29. Redwing
  30. Goldcrest
  31. Blue Tit
  32. Great Tit
  33. Long Tailed Tit
  34. Jay
  35. Magpie
  36. Crow
  37. Rook
  38. Chaffinch
  39. Goldfinch
  40. Reed Bunting

Wildlife numbers sharply up in Kashmir

The insurgency in the Indian-administered Kashmir has led to big population increases in native wildlife (between 20-60%) .

It is believed the increase is due to the government asking locals to deposit guns with local police stations. This was meant to stop misuse but it also meant local hunters had no weapons.

For the full story.

Albatrosses on temperature watch

Albatrosses are being used to gather sea-surface temperatures in the Northern Pacific.

The birds are equipped with small data loggers that track their movements and record water conditions when they touch down to feed or rest.

Asda Declares War on the House Sparrow

The Great Yarmouth branch of Asda has got a licence to shoot two house Sparrows holed up in the branch.

I can understand that they want to remove them but they have really tried all options? Bad publicity. Don’t think I’ll be shopping with Asda soon.