Sunday, 29 September 2013

Sunday September 29

A moderate south-easterly breeze and clear, reasonably bright, conditions promised much. Dave was able to join me and we spent quite a while birding around Netherstead Farm.

There was a fair amount of visible migration taking place, and we amassed totals of 44 Swallows, 21 Meadow Pipits, and four Siskins all heading south-east. We suffer from being fairly low-lying when it comes to viz mig, and it may be that the totals would have been higher had we gone up one of the hills to the east of the site.

Summer migrants are now at a premium, and apart from the Swallows we only recorded six Chiffchaffs, a couple of unseen "tackers" (probably Blackcaps), and a single Whinchat which remains by the main pool.

The Whinchat
It is also too early for the winter migrants to arrive. Apart from the Siskins, we found four Wigeon amongst 46 Teal on the flashes, and six Golden Plovers which flew north as we were heading back to our cars.

The flashes also contained 110 Greylag Geese, a Green Sandpiper, seven Lapwings, and 21 Snipe, while the pool hosted 15 Tufted Ducks and a Little Grebe.

We met John who was a bit agitated following an uncompromising conversation with a man with several out of control dogs. Apparently he has rented the fields for dog training (which John believed was a reference to the coming shooting season). It sounds as though the next few months could be a little awkward.

1 comment:

  1. Richard,

    The 'dog man' does indeed have rights at Netherstead and is associated with my shoot.
    He will be organising some 'dog training days' for Field Trials which involve flushing and shooting legal species and observing/marking how gundogs work.
    Though possibly intrusive from your perspective, the people involved will value and then improve the wild habitat at Netherstead which was largely created under the 'fieldsports' banner.
    I am happy to discuss such activities at any time, and although I don't know much about the specifics of their activities, I do know it will encourage diversity and wildlife beyond the normal driven game shooting mentality.
    I hope you are able to support the wider aims of all this and help your colleagues understand that the conditions at Netherstead and elsewhere locally did not come about by accident. The various unusual records you capture are an inevitable and happy by product of good game management techniques.