Sunday, September 28, 2008

Cleared out

Early morning there were a few bits and bats in the Saltwick area, one Redstart, one Pied Plycatcher, one Pink-footed Goose went over low. JB had worked the ground the previous day and found little.

Best bird of Friday was a Yellow-browed Warbler near Robin Hood's Bay heard by JB.

However, this morning, Halifax Crew arrive, walk in to Hawsker Bottoms and in a few minutes have found a Red-breasted Flycatcher. Well done, Nick. JB slightly miffed as he'd spent a long time working the very spot the previous day.

I had to pack up early in the morning but late afternoon we worked west of Hawsker and managed to dig out a Garden Warbler. There was a smart Red-throated Diver in summer plumage on the sea. At dusk two skeins of Pink-footed Goose, a 90 and an 18.

Apparently one too many

Bumped in to one of the farmers today and immediately he was "There's too many hawks." "They blame farmers for all the song birds going but it's not us it's the hawks."

Songbird Survival et al are spreading their misinformation far and wide, it's time they were countered more effectively. They provide the agricultural community an excuse for their more damaging practices allowing them to say they don't impact on farmland bird populations and it encourages the shooting fraternity to pop at anything with hooked bill and claw.

If there are "too many hawks" and they are damaging song bird populations how is it that Greenfinch, Goldfinch and Siskin are doing so well? These are prime prey items. Of course Sparrowhawks have changed their diet, they no longer enjoy the coarse flavours of Greenfinch and will only accept Skylark grilled lightly garnished with rocket and basil.

5 comments:

darrell j prest said...

saltwick nab? i thought whitestone point was the place in whitby?

Alastair said...

They're not so far apart, it's Whitestone's new name.

darrell j prest said...

thought so,but 2 miles is a fair way.i hope no one trys to see the birds at 'saltwick' very cheeky

Alastair said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alastair said...

It's not two miles it's about 1km to walk and 500m as the Pechora Pipit flies. We have an access problem and regular birders will lose access if we encourage parking on the private land where we have fragile permission to park. There is non-contentious parking at Saltwick and it is within the area that we watch (Med Gull there on the fields by the caravans last weekend). If something serious turns up we will make access arrangements. Unfortunately last time this happened the directions were not followed and local inhabitants were mighty pissed off leading to the loss of access to one site, access that has not been regained. If I call it Saltwick area casual birders will park at Saltwick Nab and walk, if I call it something else they'll start driving down farm tracks and cause us a problem - they'll use their map to find the location. I will put a link to a map on the blog soon or on connected pages to help with access for the future. I have been asked to refer to the area as I have been doing and am politely following that request - I really like birding Saltwick area and don't want to fall out with those who live there. Hope this explains the situation satisfactorily.