Thursday, 16 April 2009

Thursday 16th.April 2009

With rain forecasted for most of the day , I had an hour up on the Common , before it started .
It was quite bright when I arrived , and I headed off for the heathland area . As I got there , I had the most amazing , for that area , flyover . From behind me , came a pair of Mute Swans , just clipping the tree tops , not calling , but the sound of the wingbeats was incredible . I watched them out of sight , then noticed a Cormorant heading towards me , and veering off in the direction that the Swans had come from . The nearest water is Keston Ponds , and I have never recorded either species there , let alone over the Common . The nearest water where I have recorded Mute Swans was a pair at the Trout Fishery , but they only stayed a couple of days .
Very soon after this excitement , the first spits of rain could be felt . At least 2 Blackcaps were heard singing , and a Chiffchaff was singing high in the dead Pine . Whilst I watched it , it flew down in stages to a Buckthorn stand , and was greeted by another with wings flashing at the male . He did what was expected of him , and they both disappeared into the Gorse , very close to , and just below the Long Tailed Tit's nest .
With the spits becoming more like spots , I went over and had a look at the Brimstone eggs that I posted a few days ago . As I said in that post , many eggs are predated , and sure enough , those 3 eggs were no longer . If they had hatched , the nearest leaves would have been munched , but there was no sign of this . This Buckthorn is within 20 mtrs. of the Long Tailed Tit's nest , and now , probably , the Chiffchaff's , and with the number of eggs that I saw the female lay , it must be like the local corner shop for the birds . Undaunted , she has been around again , probably yesterday in the sunshine , as I found fresh white eggs as well as those that have matured to a creamy colour . I shall keep an eye on these , and hopefully some of them will make it .
When I was going to the Common , I noticed two chaps removing a Yew hedge on the corner of our road . They had removed all the branches and were grubbing up the stumps , and were still at it when I came back . After lunch , I happened to look out the front window at the weather , and there they were taking 3/4 mtrs. off the top of a row of Leylandii at the bottom of the garden .
Knowing that Collared Doves use the trees , and two pairs were steaming about like headless chickens , I phoned the Council re. cutting trees in nesting time . The answer I got was , it was illegal under the Countryside and Wildlife Act to disturb wild birds at nesting time - but they could not do anything about it as it was in a private garden . So I set off down the road to have a word with the two chaps . I asked if they knew it was against the Act to disturb nesting wild birds . They said that they had checked for nests and found none . I asked if they had noticed the agitated birds flying around , they said if there were any nests , and that they would be below where they were cutting , they would come back to them when they had gone , and that they could cut conifers at any time of year . I hasten to add that they were not tree surgeons , what I would call a 'couple of cowboys' , with no name on the vehicle .
Getting nowhere with them , I knocked on the house door , and was told by the wife that she had looked on the web , and conifers could be cut at any time , but best done in Winter because of the sap , and also that she was a bird and animal lover . I mentioned the Act to her , with the response that she hadn't seen any nesting birds . I said that if the work was done out of nesting period , no problem . Getting nowhere fast , I met the husband down near the trees , who's attitude was that vehicles worth X000s of pounds were parked in the paved over back garden and that the birds I was worried about s--t all over his vehicles and damage the paintwork , and anyway , he shoots birds .
I walked away , unable to make any difference to the situation . When the truck was full of cuttings , job about half done , it left , and the birds settled down again , until tomorrow . I just went looking for some of Warren's tablets .


Warren Baker said...

An all too familiar tale Greenie. Some of the people round here wonder why I don't give them the time of day, it's because they are ignorant , selfish, greedy, moneygrabbing twats!! They couldn't care less about anything but themselves, and I couldn't give a toss about them!! How about that for a rant!!!!!!!

PS sending some pills over

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Greenie.
As Warren says. some people on care about one thing, themselves.They might say they are animal lovers, but what they mean is, we like animals, and they look nice,blah blah blah, but we prefer our gardens to look there best, and they don't care who sorts it as long as it gets done.
If they did care, they would have put more thought into their garden project.
Apart from that, well done with spotting the Mutes on your patch.

ShySongbird said...

Greenie, that is absolutely disgusting. You have my blood boiling here and I think it's brilliant that you did everything you could think of to stop it but you were obviously on a hiding to nothing. Some years back a group of neighbours got together here and had a row of beautiful mature native trees removed because they were shading their greenhouses. The birds lost their habitat and a few years later the neighbours all got rid of their greenhouses. It makes me furious every time I think about it!!
Too many people only care about themselves, it's the same with farmers removing hedgerows, no wonder so many bird species are in decline.
Now I need some of those pills!!!

Warren Baker said...

Hey greenie,
Couldn't get a photo of the orchids today. But I did study closely the 20 or so spikes that were flowering. I dug out an old flower book and came to the conclusion they were early purples, as you thought. the flowers were dark crimson, with that mark in the 'throat' of the flower, and the way the flowers were sited on the stem suggested early purples too. I'll get a pic when the weather improves..........could be some time!