The Safari hasn't been able to get out much this week although yesterday we did have a family event. The bug hunting was out due to the weather so we did our best to accommodate everyone round the pond...it was a bit busy!
A most enjoyable hour or so which included a huge back-swimming Waterboatman, caught be the ever present E, and the largest two front swimming Waterboatmen that have ever been caught from the pond by the two lads on the far left and the girl at the far end.
Hurricane Bertha hasn't been very nice to us, the salt laden winds have hammered any vegetation in her path - this is what she did to our beautiful green and leafy Cardoon plant.
The leaves might be withered and shriveled but the flowers are still providing plenty of nectar for the bees, not that there's many bees about in the cool blustery conditions this week.
|Get stuck in!|
We tried a Patch 2 watch at lunchtime but the sea was already crashing over the wall and we got a soaking without seeing anything more spectacular than a Gannet.
In other news today is the 12th of August when it really isn't safe to be a 'surplus' Red Grouse. Now we aren't squeamish and we don't mind living things being killed for the right reason, we're not vegetarian or anything like that but killing for fun is an anathema to us even if it is 'legal'.
Take this scenario for example; a youff has an airgun and gets a bit bored and want's some 'fun', he takes the gun down to the local park and takes a pop at the local family of swans on the lake killing one of the adults. Imagine if you will the headlines in the local paper and the venom of the comments below the article.
Now the other side of the coin is in the national papers today when the 'top' echelons of society and a variety of multimillionaires who made their money (exactly how???) dressed in a 'uniform' of tweed do exactly the same to a flock of Red Grouse but somehow that's acceptable, celebrated even glamorised as somehow 'Glorious'. Some will say that the grouse are 'bred' for it, the habitat/ecosystem is severely managed to provide that surplus at the expense of almost everything else. You could also argue that the popularity of the swans mean that they get excessive amounts of un-natural food from the punters and their population is far in excess of what it should be, but that still doesn't mean the lad should have shot it, so why should the others. OK the lad had no intention of eating the swan and the grouse probably will get eaten, for an extortionate amount no doubt, but it;s the fun of killing that attracts the clientele to the eating, the fee to do the killing is far in excess of the price of the birds will fetch in the fanciest restaurants.
The worst of it is the scorched earth policy of habitat and ecosystem destruction that goes to produce the necessary surplus. Nothing but nothing must get in the way of as many grouse as possible, be that protected birds of prey, generalist avain predators such as crows, small mammalian predators, rare Juniper scrub or any other vegetation for that matter, carbon sequestering blanket bog, people who get water delivered to their taps pay extra to have it cleaned of colour that the drainage of the bogs adds to the water through raised water bills and in extreme rainfall conditions even flooding of downstream towns can result leading to higher insurance premiums for all of us...and they get paid by our taxes to do all this, as if they need it! They're supposed to be the richest people in the land why on earth do they need our money too? And if they're breaking the law shouldn't they be in prison? Oh that'd be at our expense too.
They will tell you they're good for Curlew, Lapwing and Golden Plover but they sure ain't any good for Whinchats, Stonechats, Snipe, Peregrines, Short Eared Owls, and especially Hen Harriers and that's before you take Adders, Common Lizards, and a whole host of the less mobile invertebrates into consideration.
If you can't run a business without the need to break the law than it surely must be time for a serious change in business plan or an intervention ie a total ban! There must be better less destructive ways of managing our uplands that can be funded with the same public money we're spending now.
Enough is enough!!! Please sign the petition only another 86000 needed to have it raised in parliament. Sounds a lot but you lot can do it.
Where to next? Another dose of pond dipping and bug hunting tomorrow and we might get a dry Patch 2 watch in too.
In the meantime let us know who's blowing the house down in your outback.