MB

 

Members Login
Username 
 
Password 
    Remember Me  
Post Info TOPIC: Silent Skies


Status: Offline
Posts: 359
Date:
RE: Silent Skies


Sadly we were in the Buckinghamshire area for a few days recently " Silent Skies" there also with small numbers of Barn Swallow and handfuls of House Martin, five Swifts over the hotel each evening however Red Kite "all over" five over Aylesbury and four over Tring.

HS2 by far the common species with orange hi vis "all over" along with workers on the Cambridge/Oxford rail link.

We did manage to find a wood and meadow area with plenty of Marbled White, Ringlet, White Admiral, White-letter Hairstreak and Brown Hairstreak a Utopia.

Partrick Barkham wrote "that without motorways the journey to find every butterfly would be more arduous"



__________________


Status: Offline
Posts: 1511
Date:

The only consolation any of us 'oldies' can take is that we were here when numbers of birds were at least respectable. The new generation of birders (which I'm not sure actually exists) will never see the sort of things Vic mentions. Personally, at least in the area I live, it is not worth expending my ever decreasing energy in finding birds. Collapse of the whole natural pyramid is but a short time away.



__________________

While we exist, all else is at risk.



Status: Offline
Posts: 359
Date:

In 1975 I purchased a book " Nature Detection and Conservation" by Jean Mellanby I have read and thumbed this book many times and a few things always come back to me.

1) A section headed "Man the Menace" say no more really on that one.

2) One chapter includes " Pests and Pollution in the home" this covers overuse of detergents and disinfectants again not a lot to explain here except we are still talking about these issues today along with pesticides and insecticides.

3) Page 44 finishes by covering water supply in the UK  and the need to explore de-salination plants, in nearly fifty years only one has been built !

Sadly this was all written about in this book 51 years ago and in another 50 years someone (not me) may well be writing/discussing the same topic.

We have gone through Ice Age, Stone Age, Iron Age and the historians have missed Concrete and Tarmac Age which has been overlapped by the Don't give a crap Age.

   

 



__________________


Status: Offline
Posts: 182
Date:

Unfortunately Vic your observations and sentiments are mirrored by most of us across the country and further afield. I too have witnessed the decline of once common birds, amongst many is the loss of yellowhammers around Elton res. I can remember fishing there as a lad and they were all along the hedgerows. Another more recent loss, is in Portugal where we have spent many years on holiday. A once common site on scrubland next to the apartments were breeding bee eaters, at least 8 pairs used to nest in sand banks at the side of the road. Last years visit there were none.
Many more better qualified people will no doubt come up with theories and reasons for the loss, but in my mind the loss of insects which feed so many birds and youngsters seems to be one of the main reasons we are losing the smaller birds. Lets hope the powers that be and the companies that produce the insecticides get their act together and try something different- Not holding my breath with the rapid demand for more and more food to feed the predominant species on the planet.
Keep birding and enjoy what we can whilst still able to.

__________________


Status: Offline
Posts: 166
Date:

I am 76 years old and started taking an interest in birds at the age of 7. I lived just outside Broadbottom for the first 31 years of my life. Then in a more urban environment in Hyde and for the past 30+ years on the edge of Hyde close to a green belt which will shortly be built on. In the past 60 years I have seen the total demise or near demise of the following breeding birds in the area - Lapwing, Snipe, Woodcock, Barn Owl, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Willow Tit, Redstart, Wood Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Yellowhammer, Linnet and Tree Sparrow. Greenfinches and Chaffinches are in severe decline and I have not seen a Mistle Thrush whilst in my garden for over 12 months. 2 or 3 years ago I would have seen Mistle Thrushes at least passing overhead on an almost daily basis. One of my favourite places was Botham's Hall Wood aka the Great Wood (or now the Not So Great Wood) where Redstarts were numerous, all 3 woodpeckers bred and roding Woodcock were easy to record. Unfortunately, Tameside then took it over and it became an environmental disaster, despite them proudly displaying a board near the entrance claiming to maintain it. The first thing they did on taking over was to drain a large pond, which had 2 species of newt breeding and a patch of Northern Marsh Orchids nearby, which of course completely disappeared. They did reinstate a small part of the pond a few years later, but for the most it was too late. The large wood that had several open rides rapidly became an impenetrable jungle. It is heart-breaking to see the utter shambles it has become and I have not visited it for 2 or 3 years as I find it too depressing. 

It is the summer solstice and so far I have not seen a single Swallow, House Martin or Swift from my garden for the first time in my birding life of almost 70 years. Only a handful of years ago I would have seen a couple of dozen Swifts, a similar number of House Martins and 1 or 2 Swallows more or less every day from May onwards. Many other species of once common birds are in overall decline such as Meadow Pipit and Starlings. Most young birders will look upon Starlings as a mostly urban nesting species but in the 1980s, Botham's Hall Wood and Etherow CP's Keg Wood were full of breeding pairs. It is rare now to see them nesting in tree holes in the area.

Of course there have been some positives. The increase in the number of species in the heron family  now breeding in the past few years in various parts of the country and recent reports of increasing Cranes is a big plus. I can remember wandering about a long-gone sewage farm near Lytham in the early 80s twitching a Little Egret.  The reintroduction of Red Kites and White-tailed Eagles was just a pipe-dream  not many years ago.(I wish that Ospreys would be encouraged to breed in the Longdendale  Valley along the chain of reservoirs and that Red Kites will breed in the area before I pop my clogs!)

Sadly, it is not just the UK where birds are in severe decline. Today I received an email from SEO Birdlife in Spain stating that 30 million Sparrows have been lost in only 10 years. The illegal draining of Coto Donana by farmers, so that they can fill UK supermarket shelves with giant horrible sour winter strawberries is a disgrace, and even worse is the proposed development of the same area of what is (or was) one of the finest wildlife areas in the whole of Europe.

Vic C

 

 

 



__________________
Page 1 of 1  sorted by
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.

RODIS

 

This forum is dedicated to the memory of Eva Janice McKerchar.