Sunday, 22 November 2009

A Brief Reflection

Having completed the last of my seven early timed tetrad visits for the BTO Atlas a couple of hours ago and just done uploading the data I thought I'd post a couple of random thoughts from the time I've spent.

Greenfinch - Where are they all? Several tetrads without any, none with more than three. Chaffinch numbers seem pretty poor too.

Footpaths - There should be a requirement on landowners to maintain visible footpath routes and way markers. If it already exists then there is a few folk around here doing their level best to ignore it.

Farming & Wildlife - It appears to me that, at least in the limited sample areas I've covered, that most of the farmers are doing almost nothing to maintain or encourage biodiversity. Leaving a few metres around field edges is all well and good but there is no huge benefit if what is growing there is of poor value. I see more effort going in to maintain Pheasant numbers than any native species, I wonder why? There is a some spin off benefit of the supplementary feeding that goes on and some of the planting specifically to help the Pheasant but it is not particularly intentional.
The last couple of weeks have reinforced my belief that expecting farmers to voluntarily look after biodiversity is ludicrous. If we want it to happen we have to make them do it and be prepared to pay them for doing it - period.


Stewart said...

Here here with the Greenfinches Alan. A once common bird they have recently succumbed to a virus that has almost wiped them out on my feeders. I hhave had 2 today. 10 years back I would have had more Greenies than Spuggies..

As for farmers, don't get me started. Custodians of the countryside! I wouldn't let them look after out back yard. They care not one jot about the countryside, only how much coin it can bring in. And they call anyone who isn't a farmer a townie. I've never lived in a place with more than 2 shops in my life so what does that make me? Toonie, I think not.

Alan Tilmouth said...

The Greenfinch decline has been incredibly rapid and obviously impacted massively on the population, surprising that there hasn't been more about it in the media.

Stewart J said...

Ditto on Greenies now a very scarce bird here on the South Tyne, havent had any on feeders for weeks!

Anonymous said...

Now you`ve mentioned it, Alan, Greenies have been noticably absent down here in Barnsley. Looks like it`s more serious than we thought.

Martin Kitching said...

Recent winters we've had ~6 Greenfinches regularly in our garden, and flocks of 20+. This winter our high count is 3. And they're not hiding in the 76ha of woodland behind us, because we've checked in there as well.