Thursday, 21 August 2014

Those of a nervous disposition should...

The Safari was out not long after first light this morning and heard the local Robin singing its winter song. The days are quickly drawing in now and we're getting to be going out with Frank at the time of sunrises, must take camera out in morning and it'll be fully dark by 9pm in only a few days time. Autumn will be on us in a jiffy, and it feels autumnal today with a very blustery cold wind. The average August daily maximum temperature is 19C today it has struggled to reach 15C and in that wind it feels like 9C  - decidedly flippin chilly and a long way off 'summer'.
Here's some pics from a few of our recent family events.
There's a bonus point if you can spot a member of the Next Generation Birders in the netting throng 
The little girl seems to be trying to identify just what she had found! All that training in the construction industry when we were but a nipper seems to have paid off.
Many thanks to Family Learning's JS for the pics and an 'interesting' quote.

Not a lot of chance to have a look at much today but the briefest of visits to Patch 2 was rewarded with about 10 Manx Shearwaters a few of which were reasonably close inshore. They'll be heading off to the sunnier shores of southern Brazil before too long the lucky devils.

The ban driven grouse shooting petition approaches 16000 signatories but we think it should be far more than that. There were 22000 people at the Birdfair and the total number of signatures before then was about 13000. Lets say 1/3 had already signed, that leaves 14500 peeps that  hadn't, say an extremely generous half of those are infiltrators from the game industry that still leaves 7250 people who must have seen 'Harry', listened to or learned of the speeches by Chris Packham et al yet since the bird fair the number of signatures has only gone up by about 3000; it should be well over 20000 by now  - come on folks where are you or had nearly every one who went to the Birdfair already signed it? 
Let's get our upland wildlife and it's habitats back to something resembling a functioning ecosystem for more than a handful of people to enjoy. If you think our uplands look good be aware of the shifting baseline syndrome, particularly as this baseline is shifting downwards! European uplands have trees, scrub and even wildlife in them surely we should have more than just a massive over population of Red Grouse, a few Meadow Pipits and too much rather pretty Heather.
Don't think it affects you, well you pay for removal of peat colour from the water that comes through your tap, some of which is caused by grouse moor drainage, and you pay increased home insurance premiums for flooding some of which is exacerbated by grouse moor drainage (allegedly) and you think you pay too much tax some of which goes to pay for huge agricultural subsidies to among the wealthiest in our society mentioning no names but one of them has her pic on all the stamps, is a grouse moor really agricultural land? OK it might have a few sheep on it but is grazing of sheep its primary purpose - of course not! 

Where to next? Family day tomorrow but there's bound to be something to see.
In the meantime let us know who's enjoying the craic in your outback.

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