Thursday, 3 June 2010

RSPB Silly Season Continues

By the time I left home this morning at 06-00, it was already a bright, warm, cloud & windless summers day but from the cemetery there was little to report save for an adult Goldfinch feeding its young. Along the Radipole bye-pass at least 2 Blackcaps were still singing, and as I reached the reserve it was good to hear again the songs of Cetti's Reed and Sedge Warblers.

Even better was to encounter a small group of c6 Bearded Tit just north of the concrete bridge, both 'pinging' and feeding.

Passing a couple of Great Crested Grebes and a male Gadwall displaying to 2 females, I reached Edward's Folly (the shelter built by Lorne) and watched a Marsh Harrier hunting over what is left of the northern reed bed. Quartering the reeds and stopping momentarily, legs extended at what must be sighting of potential prey, has to be one of the great avian sights.

As I joined the main path I watched this Mute Swan delicately turning its eggs (at least 2) in a nest that has appeared since I went away.

It was also here I came across, not unexpectedly, the first 'strimming' of the year! This solid gravel path, throughout its full length, is on average 5 feet wide and quite adequate for any wheelchair activity ( they could in fact Troop the Colour there if they wished to do so), so why then the need for yet more disturbance by the RSPB. Unleashed dogs and cyclists are actively discourage by RSPB staff (albeit only occasionally) in the name of eliminating disturbance, but once again at the height of the nesting season we have this seemingly compulsive act of mowing the verges. In more years than I care to remember as a visitor to Radipole I have only ever seen 2 Cetti's Warbler nests (I doubt many including RSPB staff have ever seen one) and both were among these wild plant and sedges. How many of us annually harass various local councils to stop grass cutting during these vital weeks in an attempt to save recurrences of, for instance, the loss of the colony of Lizard Orchids at Farmer Palmers close to Sherford Bridge, while the 'wildlife vandals' of the RSPB continue strimming unhindered. I just don't get it, but feel confident that a FULL and THOROUGH SURVEY was carried out as part of their Risk Assessment Strategy.

A pair of Lesser Black-backed Gulls were sunning themselves on a waterside rail, while

ever present Canada Geese moved serenely up the lake.

Unfortunately, Ille's holiday is nearly at an end, meaning we have to travel to Stansted Airport today to meet her flight tomorrow. We are again staying overnight at the Radisson Blu so it is likely there will be no 'Post' tomorrow, but bare with us, we will return!

Lost 3 of today's best pictures, one of which was a dead Carp of an estimated 10 pounds.

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