Thursday, 18 July 2019

Licence to Kill, Bond, Vagabonds..........

General Licences and Birds of Conservation Concern 4.

Much is said about General Licences whereby individuals and organisations can apply for a licence to control (kill) numbers of certain species, namely birds. I'd be the first to admit, that there may be situations where there will be benefit which results in the better good from a conservation status. However, I believe that killing certain species, purely to enable large numbers of introduced and artifically managed populations of game birds, solely so humans can then kill the game birds, is a practice best left in the past.

Each year, introduced pheasants and red-legged partridges in numbers thought to be between 41 and 50 million birds, an old estimate, it could be many, many more, are released into the wild in Britain. This equates to a biomass of 45,000 tons, more than double that of our native breeding birds, wow!

Unkown to me earlier, these came along later on Thursday. The Wild Justice challenge is comprehensive and deserves reading, click to open.

Wild Justice challenges gamebird releases  and this Competence of pheasants as reservoirs for Lyme disease spirochetes. A scientific paper showing pheasants host Lyme Disease carrying ticks.

I won't rant here, instead I've posted a photo of each species of bird covered by the three SNH General Licences and looked up the BoCC4 rating, the current (2015) conservation status. Note, Stock Doves aren't in the general licences but are included as they are likely to be a mis-identified casualty.

Links to the licences and a 2017 Defra Report.

GL 01/2019: To kill or take certain birds for the conservation of wild birds

GL 02/2019: To kill or take certain birds for the prevention of serious damage to livestock, foodstuffs for livestock, crops, vegetables and fruit

GL 03/2019: To kill or take certain birds for the preservation of public health, public safety and preventing the spread of disease

Wild Bird Populations in the UK, 1970 to 2017: Defra



Canada Geese, introduced species, BoCC4 Amber list



Carrion Crow, BoCC4 Green list



Collared Dove, BoCC4 Green list



Feral Pigeon, BoCC4 Green list



Great Black-backed Gull, BoCC4 Amber list



Greylag Geese, BoCC4 Amber list, only feral populations covered



Herring Gull, BoCC4 Red list



Hooded Crow, BoCC4 Green list



Jackdaw, BoCC4 Green list



Jay, BoCC4 Green list



Lesser Black-backed Gull, BoCC4 Amber list



Magpie, BoCC4 Green list



Raven, BoCC4 Green list



Rook, BoCC4 Green list



Woodpigeon, BoCC4 Green list



Stock Dove, Amber list




Monday, 15 July 2019

Hen Harriers 47 (plus) - Scottish Government NIL

I'm expecting delivery of a T-shirt I bought in support of Hen Harriers, it has the names of FORTY-SEVEN harriers killed or disappeared in suspicious circumstances. Unfortunately before it has been delivered another three have been reported...so far. 

I've added a link to an article about the latest one below and a separate link to a video detailing its fate, and lack of any apparent actions to stop the slaughter.



Another Hen Harrier butchered, read article here

Hen Harrier Suffers Savage Brutality, video, click here



On a lighter note, I managed to catch up with the adult Mediterranean Gull at Arbroath, my House Martins all fledged successfully (they don't eat grouse) and a few photos I forgot about!


Adult Mediterranean Gull, West Links, Arbroath


Grey Heron fishing at Whiting Ness, photo into the sun



It had to move as the tide came in



House Martin, I'm waiting to see evidence of a second nesting attempt. In past years they've been successful in raising two broods



I've no idea about this moth which was even better hidden than in the photo. I edited it up a bit to see the features. I'm jealous of my neighbour who photographed a pair of Garden Tiger Moths, no attempt to blend in by them



Friday, 12 July 2019

Moving pictures, is it the future?

Following on from the previous post when the House Martins took top billing by fledging on camera. 

The first two videos were taken on Thursday and show how the House Martins "fledge" then return to the nest from time to time. They'll be evicted soon when the pair start a second brood as they've done each year recently. Note, I'm not seening as many nests this year, probably due to the weather early on when they were arriving.

The Spoonbill had been sitting behind the tree on Miss Erskine's Bank when it appeared on the top of the tree as if trying to dry in the wind. I was a fair bit up the path, around 200 metres away and looking into the sun. The second Spoonbill video was from the Lurgies path again but opposite from where the Spoonbill was preening and leaping around.

The last video of an early returning Black-tailed Godwit was kept as the bird is ringed and thought to be a regular, ringed as a juvenile in 2015. The early return is a sign of failed breeding unfortunately.
I'll have a go at enhancing the oriinal video to see if the rings can be made more apparent.


House Martin fledglings being tempted out by an adult, click here for video

The Clash, "should I stay or should I go now" click here

Spoonbill in a tree, in the wind, 200 metres distant, click here

Spoonbill preening and basically hopping about, click here

Black-tailed Godwit, with rings, click here


and for those of a certain age, like my age, how good this is, even now, click here