Archive for January, 2007|Monthly archive page

The Duck that won’t lie down

Some of you may remember my blog about Perky the Duck who survived being shot and spending two days in a hunters fridge.

Well Perky has undergone surgery to repair the gunshot wounds. Perky died briefly on the operating table when her heart flatlined for 20 seconds.

The duck entered surgery with vets confident that she would survive the procedure despite serious injuries to her wing, leg and beak.

But her heart failed during the operation, prompting senior vet David Hale to declare her officially dead.

“We lost her. You know, the bird’s dead and it’s over. I’m sorry,” he said of the operating team’s immediate reaction.

“And then, you know, up comes that head and the wings start flapping and, honestly, what, 20 seconds later, I mean the bird was, like, up.”

There were scenes of high emotion in the operating theatre, said Noni Beck of the Goose Creek Wildlife Sanctuary.

“I started crying: ‘She’s alive!'”

This duck really really wants to make it doesn’t she!


Disaster in Devon

If you read the popular press or watch the news you might think that  the beaching of the cargo shop MSC Napoli off the Devon coast is a modern Whisky galore with plucky brits beachcombing for lost treasure (or looting if you prefer).

But of course this hides a deeper tragedy. The RSPCA wildlife resue centre at West Hatch is working 07:00 – 23:00 cleaning 420 birds covered in oil. The manager admits its a demoralising task and that if 40-50 birds can be released they will be doing well. They’ve seen as many birds in the past 48 hours as they normally see 3-4 months!

Something good out of Iraq

Conservationists have long been concerned about the state of birdlife in Iraq, especially after Saddam Hussein drained 90% of Iraq’s Marshes. Since the invasion the marshes have been reflooded and Marshes restored to 40% of itrs 1970’s condition.

So far 3 winter and 2 summer surveys have been  undertaken . Although there is not sufficient data to say how well populations are doing comparatively, it appears no  species have been lost and the Basra Reed Warbler may no longer be globally threatened.

The survey recorded 150 or more species of birds, including six globally threatened species – among them the marbled teal, the white-headed duck, the Basra reed warbler and the greater spotted eagle.

One tough duck

A duck shot by hunter has not only survived being shot but, survived two days in a Fridge!!

The hunter’s wife got a bit of a shock upon opening the fridge as the duck moved its head.

The  duck is recupriating  at an  Animal Sanctuary.

Now as pleased as I am for the duck you have to ask why did the hunter said the duck to the sanctuary? He was obviously shooting for food? Obvioulsy its ok to shoot for food when you don’t have to look the duck in the eye and its going Quack at you!

Hanningfield Reservoir

I spent an enjoyable morning at Essex Wildlife Trusts Hanningfield Reservior.

It was generally a bit quiet but some nice tit flocks.

Birds seen:

  1. Great Crested Grebe
  2. Cormorant
  3. Grey Heron
  4. Mute Swan
  5. Canada Goose
  6. Greylag
  7. Shelduck
  8. Wigeon
  9. Gadwall
  10. Teal
  11. Mallard
  12. Pintail
  13. Shoveler
  14. Pochard
  15. Tufted Duck
  16. Goldeneye
  17. Moorhen
  18. Coot
  19. Lapwing
  20. Black-headed Gull
  21. Lesser Black-backed Gull
  22. Common Gull
  23. Herring Gull
  24. Great Black-backed Gull
  25. Wood Pigeon
  26. Green Woodpecker
  27. Great Spotted Woodpecker
  28. Dunnock
  29. Wren
  30. Robin
  31. Blackbird
  32. Long-tailed Tit
  33. Blue Tit
  34. Great Tit
  35. Jay
  36. Magpie
  37. Carrion Crow
  38. Chaffinch

Amwell Gravel Pits and Rye Meads

Spent the morning locally.

At Amwell

  1. Little Grebe
  2. Great Crested Grebe
  3. Cormorant
  4. Grey Heron
  5. Mute Swan
  6. Canada Goose
  7. Shelduck
  8. Wigeon
  9. Gadwall
  10. Teal
  11. Mallard
  12. Shoveler
  13. Pochard
  14. Tufted Duck
  15. Goldeneye
  16. Sparrowhawk
  17. Water Rail
  18. Moorhen
  19. Coot
  20. Lapwing
  21. Black-headed Gull
  22. Lesser Black-backed Gull
  23. Herring Gull
  24. Great Black-backed Gull
  25. Wood Pigeon
  26. Collared Dove
  27. Great Spotted Woodpecker
  28. Wren
  29. Robin
  30. Blackbird
  31. Song Thrush
  32. Cetti’s Warbler
  33. Long-tailed Tit
  34. Blue Tit
  35. Great Tit
  36. Treecreeper
  37. Magpie
  38. Carrion Crow
  39. Chaffinch
  40. Reed Bunting

At Rye Meads

  1. Little Grebe
  2. Cormorant
  3. Grey Heron
  4. Mute Swan
  5. Shelduck
  6. Gadwall
  7. Teal
  8. Mallard
  9. Shoveler
  10. Tufted Duck
  11. Moorhen
  12. Coot
  13. Green Sandpiper
  14. Black-headed Gull
  15. Common Gull
  16. Wood Pigeon
  17. Collared Dove
  18. Green Woodpecker
  19. Wren
  20. Robin
  21. Blackbird
  22. Blue Tit
  23. Great Tit
  24. Jay
  25. Magpie
  26. Rook
  27. Carrion Crow
  28. Chaffinch
  29. Goldfinch
  30. Reed Bunting

Environment Agency Poll – Hedgehog Top Icon

The Environment Agency has announced that the Winner is the Hedgehog. I think the Hog mafia are doing hop, skips and jumps.

England and Wales’ top 10 iconic species are the: Hedgehog (# 1), otter (# 2), red squirrel (# 3), oak tree (# 4), robin (# 6), brown trout (# 7), red kite (# 8) water vole (# 10), barn owl (# 11) and sparrow (# 12).

Interesting to see mammals dominating. I’ve never seen a live Hog (seen them on camera!!) or Otter seen the rest though. I can relate to Robin as top bird.


A trip to Barnes through up

  1. Mute Swan
  2. Canada Goose
  3. Shelduck
  4. Wigeon
  5. Gadwall
  6. Mallard
  7. Shoveller
  8. Teal
  9. Pochard
  10. Tufted Duck
  11. Ruddy Duck
  12. Little Grebe
  13. Great Crested Grebe
  14. Cormorant
  15. Bittern
  16. Grey Heron
  17. Sparrowhawk
  18. Moorhen
  19. Coot
  20. Water Rail
  21. Lapwing
  22. Snipe
  23. Common Gull
  24. Lesser Black Backed Gull
  25. Black Headed Gull
  26. Herring Gull
  27. Feral Pigeon
  28. Wood Pigeon
  29. Ring Necked Parakeet
  30. Green Woodpecker
  31. Pied Wagtail (on way home)
  32. Wren
  33. Robin
  34. Stonechat
  35. Blackbird
  36. Long Tailed Tit
  37. Blue Tit
  38. Great Tit
  39. Magpie
  40. Jackdaw
  41. Crow
  42. Starling
  43. Chaffinch
  44. Greenfinch
  45. Linnet

and a hybrid Tufty x Ring Neck

The world has gone mad!

Apparently Wells-Next-The-Sea Town Council in Norfolk are gassing moles becuase the council is concerned that children will trip over the mole hills and hurt themselves.

Sorry I can’t find an internet link confirming the story but the chap who reported it on wilbaboutbritain is not the type to pull a spoof.

You can write to the town clerk at

I mean come on !! Perhaps they should put a 20ft barrier up to stop people falling into the sea.

Anyway my email to the Town Clerk

Dear Mr Town Clerk

I have read that Wells Town Council is gassing moles because of concern that Children are at risk of falling over mole hills!

Perhaps it is a sign that I am getting old but as time goes on I feel more like a disgusted of Tonbridge Wells.

Lets us skip over the fact that the moles produce soft dirt which is easily raked away. And I am pretty sure there is someone on an order to do community service who could rake them.

I realise that in 2007 parents believe that accidents DON’T happen and that they are voters and you may not be interested in the views of a non resident. So may I point out that one of North Norfolks prime industries is tourism, you may have noticed large numbers of these tourists walk around with binoculars and are nature lovers. I think you’ll find that they are not going to want to spend there cash in a town that has so little regard for wildlife.



I am sure you have seen this little ditty before but I think it illustrates a point

If you were born before 1975…..


First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn’t get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking

As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts or air bags.

Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank koolade made with sugar, but we weren’t overweight because WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING ! !

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo’s, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD’s, no surround-sound or CD’s, no cell phon es, no personal computer! s, no Internet or chat rooms……. WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, g ot cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays,

made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and kno cked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them!

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever!

The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL!

If YOU are one of them . . CONGRATULATIONS!

Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn’t it?!

A few days in Norfolk

well I had 2 days holiday to use up so went to Norfolk.

I didn’t really rush about but still saw 96 birds.

There were lots of Red Throated Divers about and also saw Black Throated Diver (Holme) and Great Northern Diver (Titchwell) . Super views of Twite (Thornham).

As ever lots of “common” birds were seen including Avocet, Golden and Grey Plover, Knot, Sanderling and a cracking view of Water Rail (at Titchwell). No Marsh Harriers at Titchwell but they were at Cley. A nice Arctic Skua off the coast at Titchwell was a good find.

Snow Bunting were had at Salthouse. And a walk through Holkham park woods. Added Treecreeper and Coal Tit to the holiday list. There was very little at Choseley Barns.

A stop off at Lynford Arboretum add Hawfinch and Siskin.

The year list is at 108 and I’ve yet to see a Song Thrush or notice a Stock Dove. I don’t expect to pass last years total. I reckon 190-200 will be a decent total.