Friday, January 07, 2011


So everyone does it?

Okay so nobody wants to so everyone no one does, but it seems like quite a few birds have come to light recently that were suppressed. Now I know its an age old topic and one that will also continue as long as birding continues, but why does it occur?

Well there are private land issues. Or are there? Why when a rare bird turns up on private land and the land owner is informed do they instantly say that they don't want the news released? Well in truth they don't and most good birds that turn up on private land are well twitched and the land owner earns a tidy sum either for themselves or a local charity. So again, why would a land owner want a mega suppressed?

Well this would probably be because they don't want a load of people tramping all over there land just to see a bird and give them a quid. Many people would argue this case but I reckon the rich like to get richer. People who own land are rich and therefore want to get richer so you would think that they would allow a small patch of their many acres for a group of old men to wander over and get their fix over seeing a little bird, so why don't they?

Damn that would hurt  © Maxim Koshkin

Puzzling? Or maybe its just because land owners only ever hear of stories when a twitch on private land has gone wrong? Birders behaving inappropriately and land being damaged. Why would they want this, tyre marks on their pristine green grass, crops damaged and litter strewn about the place. Exactly. They wouldn't and so we miss out on mega birds like Little Bustard, Hawk Owl and Dusky Thrush. 

But why can't it be different? 

Why do twitchers have to park in the next field to the bird and only have to walk for 10 mins? What's wrong with parking 2 miles down the road, in a proper car park or along a suitable road off the private land and walking? (well that's because twitchers these days are too old to do that and I'm hoping they can't read this small writing or have the internet...(winky face)) I'm sure most twitchers are perfectly capable of walking a distance and would it not make the bird more enjoyable at the end? Ha course not, any walk greater that 500 m is considered a long walk, a long walk is 30km which is what us kids did/do on our duke of Edinburgh award and that's with the prospect of a wet tent and doing the same the next day at the end of it to look forward to. I'm sure it'd be a lot easier with the thought of seeing a Siberian Accentor at the end of it. 

© Jon Lewis

But even with this it wouldn't solve the muddy paths and litter, but you know what would? Well litter dropping is easy, don't do it, or if you see someone drop it make them pick it up, or deck them, simple. So as for muddy paths I'm sure that £5 a twitcher would make up for it. Proper accesible mega would probably mean 3000 people (minus the 10 or so that couldn't make the walk from the car) x £5 = £14,950 now I'm sure that could stop the problem of suppression on private land in most cases.

Only 1 problem, twitchers are stingey gets... oh wait no there not, chartering 2 planes to Fair Isle in a week, no worries. Private boat trip to South Uist, easy. (well) They just don't like to pay for things they feel they don't have to, well maybe they should start factoring this into their Trip Cost.

Unintentional suppression, well we can forgive that.

© Stephen and Patricia Daly

(so I'm guessing this is one of those posts that proves why young kids shouldn't have blogs, but I turn 20 on monday so felt I can get away with it being a teenager for now. Anyway, as ever feedback and followers much appreciated)

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Summary of 2010

Yer its late but that's because I'm a lazy student don't you know...

Birds = Highlights
Trips = Away from the usual

January- Birds; Bittern, Little Egret, Bewick's Swan, Goshawk, Woodcock and Corn Bunting
              Trips; Slimbridge and Shenstone
Febuary- Birds; Marsh Tit, Merlin, Great Grey Shrike, Tree Sparrow, Black-necked Grebe, Red-breasted Merganser, Hen Harrier, Snow Bunting, Twite, Lapland Bunting, White Fronted Goose, Waxwing, Long-eared Owl and Slavonian Grebe.
                Trips; Morton Baggot, Lincs, Rutland Water and Feckenham 
March- Birds; Lesser-spotted Woodpecker, Willow Tit, Brambling and Whooper Swan
             Trips; Ladywalk
April- Birds; Pallid Swift, Marsh Harrier, Bearded Tit, Med Gull and Sandwich Tern
          Trips; Suffolk
May- Birds; Whimbrel, Gropper, Garden Warbler and Red Kite
         Trips; None (A levels)
June- Birds; Marmora's Warbler, Whinchat, Mandarin, Spot Fly, Great Reed Warbler, Woodlark and Red-necked Phalarope
         Trips; Blorenge, Ilkeston and Cannock
July- Birds; Osprey, White-tailed Lapwing, Manx Shearwater, Balearic Shearwater, Chough, Sooty Shearwater and Storm Petrel
        Trips; Rutland, Slimbridge and Cornwall (holiday)
August- Birds; Puffin, Hooded Crow, Tystie, Barred Warbler, Rosefinch, Icterine Warbler, SEO, Arctic Warbler and Marsh Warbler
        Trips; Cornwall (continued) and Fair Isle
September- Birds; thunbergi Wag, Wyrneck, Grey Phal and Pectoral Sand
                   Trips; Fair Isle (continued) and Grimley
October- Birds; Pallas's Warbler and American Wigeon
                Trips; Kilnsea and Wheldrake
November- Birds; Red Grouse, Pied Billed Grebe and American Robin
                   Trips; Peak District, Hollingworth Lake, Flambrough Head and Devon
December- Mealy Redpoll, Bean Goose and Iceland Gull
                   Trips; Redhouse and Clifton Pits.

Well that was 2010, managed 32 lifers and 212 for the year list thrashing my dad by 25.

So what will 2011 bring?

 © Ken Harvard