Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Above : What a pointless exercise ! One small tree on a fence line and it gets flailed! Great use of labour and machinery from the poor overworked and cash strapped farmer :-)

No change in the weather from yesterday, still grey and dull, but quite warm, despite the blustery SW wind.

Once again I walked over to the scrub and Lakes area this afternoon, but barely a bird was seen on the way, and certainly none could be heard against the wind in the trees. On the lake today there was a bit of a change, a CORMORANT was sat on an overhanging branch, but thats as far as the change went, the normal MALLARDS and MOORHENS were also present.

A quick look around the scrub didn't yield a single summer migrant, just the odd COAL TIT and GOLDCREST, so I headed off over to Migrant Alley, via the Tree Nursery and and the adjacent sheep field, over which hundreds of HOUSE MARTIN were seen, in fact they were spread all over the sky as far as I could see. A look at the run off pool there, revealed a the first summer migrant of the day, a CHIFFCHAFF. I decided to move up the side of the Maize crop in the pub field, and saw a small brown Warbler fly up and dart into the hedgerow, I waited a while to see if I could get another look at it, but it disappeared, it may have been a Sedge Warbler, would of been a nice addition to the Sept list.

I went across into Migrant Alley, and found a flock of at least 200 STARLINGS, feeding on a paddock, along with a few JACKDAWS and ROOKS. The only birds sat on the fence lines were WOODPIGEONS and two LINNETS. SWALLOWS and MEADOW PIPITS were out in the sheep pasture, and more House Martins were higher up, a superb looking male YELLOWHAMMER was seen in the boundary hedgerow with the Greenhouse Complex. I watched another Cormorant go low over, as well as both BLACK HEADED and HERRING GULLS, but then I heard that sound I dread every Autumn - the hedgerow destroyers, this year they are at least a month too early, the track that goes through the north end scrub was being flailed, and along with it any late breeding birds that happen to be in the way. Once again natures larder will not be available to the winter birds this year. I dont know who is responsible for the flailing, it could be the Hadlow college people, in which case they should surely know better, or it may be the local council - spending my council tax, or more accurately wasting it !

The sight of all that destruction always makes me get wound up, so rather than sit and watch it, and get more and more angry, I headed off home early :-(


Bob Bushell said...

Yea Warren, it's so frustrating to watch men chopping down the tree, it makes me want to vomit, in the right way of course.

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Hi Warren

UNbelieveable that this nonesense still goes on and only a week or so after the publicity campaign by the RSPB asjking people not to cut hedges now. Last year they devastated Lancashire and removed all the food and cover just in time for the bad winter. They should know better by now but they just don't seem to get the message - watched a contractor wazz all the flowers of a butterfly fillerd buddliea hedgrow the other week for nothing no where near the sight-lines of the nearby road - total waste of nectar butterflies and money - makes me mad!!!


Derek Faulkner said...


That photo of that pathetic little bush being flayed wants sending to your local paper - are they idiots?

Warren Baker said...

The only way round it, as far as I can see, is to pay them more for not chopping up the countryside than they get for chopping it up!!

Greedy bastard farmers, landowners, and contractors. They all get a cut from the local council budget - snouts in troughs comes to mind.

They will tell you it has to be done for health and safety reasons, or access provision........dont believe it!!

Pete Woodruff said...

Not your usual subject matter on your blog Warren but brilliant stuff with some expected reaction from your contributors with which I couldn't agree more.

Craig said...

Hi Warren,
Same on my patch i'm afraid, the farmers been busy mowing everything within an inch of it's life around his field edges this last week! Obviously he's very busy at the mo! I guess this kind of mindless 'field management' is taught at all good agri colleges to the future of the faming generation. As my local tenant farmer said to me late winter/early spring a few springs ago, whilst flailing hedgerows valuable scrub etc. (N.b This was to bring previous skylark rich set aside back into crops, now he wasn't going to get paid for doing nothing to it any more!)
Farmer "seen much" my reply "not much", Farmer "looks tidy now don't it, much better" What do you say to that kind of mentality! There bloody clueless!

Anonymous said...

I`m gonna keep this short Warren and not go off on one and agree with what everyone else has said. Sickening, isn`t it ?

Derek Faulkner said...

Some farmers make a mockery of the various green subsidies provided. One farmer here on Sheppey was paid for digging "wader scrapes" on his grazing marsh and has since corn fed these scrapes to attract ducks and then charge people to shoot them.
Another used some of the set-aside strips round his fields as a convenient way of driving to his farmyard without going through the crops, so no nesting Skylarks there.