Posts Tagged ‘Wildlife

29
Jun
17

Mammals

22 Mammals recorded on the recent mammal tour around the UK as well as over 100 bird species. Next May’s tour is now available for booking.

Badger – Scottish badgers are so much smaller than their English counterparts

Red Deer – Taking a cool dip on one of the very warm days we experienced

One of the Chillingham Wild Cattle – You wouldn’t want to get in the way of this big boy!

Wood Mouse – from the large to the small … we saw lots

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12
Mar
17

A juxtaposition of events

We went to watch ‘Kong – Skull Island’ the other night at the cinema. Give it a miss; thin non-captivating plot, mediocre acting and CGI worthy of no more than a computer game. It was a late showing so we drove back home quite late at night. I like driving in the dark. We went by the scenic route. Country lanes, field edges, roadside copses and overhanging trees. It was mild too. I expected badgers, deer, rabbits, hares and the odd owl. What did we get? … a single, lonely moth. Just the one!

And yet … earlier in the week we had been for a walk along the dunes to see the Grey Seals hauled out on the beach. We didn’t count them all but it was plain to see there were a lot. We estimated there to be 3000 over a mile or so of beach. It wouldn’t have been far from the true number. This is more than I’ve ever seen before… anywhere. The tide was high and it was a weekday with few people and dogs around. Seals will have been pushed here from the sandbanks off Yarmouth and there was little disturbance to push them back into the sea here so numbers would be at a peak. 3000 equates to 1% of the world population. Even this weekend when things were much busier with people I did a more accurate count on a lower tide and there was 1426. Less than half the number than a few days earlier but that’s still a lot of seal flesh perched on the sand. Nothing less than a wildlife spectacular. A scene from an Attenborough episode.

What a juxtaposition of events.

When we have such spectacles and numbers it’s easy to think everything is ok. To think things are on track; that nature is in balance and our wildlife is safe.

 

22
Sep
16

A Pair of Dotterel

It’s par for the course that golfers and bird photographers don’t always hit it off. A couple of Dotterel that turned up at the Sheringham course recently saw the patience of a few driven quite far. Some photographers had the balls to venture a little closer than others to bag a shot; leaving those that stopped a fair – way away a little more green with envy. I know … I know, but the situation just teed itself up.

dotterel-1 dotterel-2_z5a6894a dotterel-3

09
Sep
16

The Harvesters

It reminded me of a scene from a Benny Hill sketch. Anne, Simon and I were chasing around trying our best to stop them escaping.

I had been told Natural Surroundings (call in for a coffee it’s a great place www.naturalsurroundings.info) had a surplus of their captive bred Harvest Mice. I wanted to start a small colony here at Falcon Cottage so Anne and Simon kindly donated a few mice for me to release here in the wildflower area. I was lent a few containers in which to place them to convey them safely. The mice however had other ideas. That’s when the fun started. They did eventually succumbed to a little persuasion and were temporarily encased. I duly strapped the containers into the front seat of the car for the journey and on arrival home, before I did anything else, I released them.

All immediately ran off into the undergrowth but the last little critter decided he wanted to hang around … literally. I gave him a feed of seeds and a blackberry; although he eventually disappeared I was able to get a few snaps of him before he slowly clambered off.

Harvest Mouse

27
Jun
16

Not more bleating about the EU decision?

I used to be able to service my own car. I can’t now. It’s not just about changing the oil and spark plugs. It’s more about the electronics. A bit more complicated. More about changing computer boards than brake pads. I’ve never been able to fix computers. Ever since I was dragged kicking and screaming to a keyboard in the 1990’s I’ve been able to operate one; but I could never look under the bonnet and fix one. I get the experts in.

So which experts do you use? I was taught that firstly you do a little research around a subject and you refer for an experts opinion. You then judge that persons capability by talking to them, by asking questions and listening to the replies. Nobody can be an expert overnight. Knowledge on any subject takes years to accumulate. After assessing if an expert is a more capable ‘person’ than myself it’s easy to know if they are talking sense. This holds true regardless of what they are doing for me, be it fixing my computer, pruning my apple trees or setting up my mortgage. It’s one of the ways I make decisions. It’s how I assessed if Brexit was for me. I listened to the experts I trust. A negative plan; one that doesn’t want something rather than a plan to do something has never appealed to me. I simply cannot believe anyone really trusted Boris the buffoon or Ferage the philanderer?

It’s a democracy and we all voted on what we saw was important. For me it was, and is, the environment. After reviewing facts and listening to the people I trust who have lots of knowledge around wildlife and the environment as well as legislation, share price and industry I voted to remain in the EU.

The current problems with the environment are probably the most important things the human race have ever faced. But I guess the majority of the population just don’t ‘get it’. To me and many others it’s bloody blindingly obvious. These problems need to be tackled first and they need to be tackled now! Many don’t understand the global warming creeping up on us like a cancer will eventually kill us. They don’t understand that chemicals we put on the land in the name of greater production are decimating insect life supporting everything in the food chain above and subsequently leaching into to the sea causing havoc. They just don’t understand … or maybe they don’t want to understand. Maybe they realise they will be on the planet for such a short time and they are going to enjoy it while they are here and bugger the consequences. If that’s true, what a selfish attitude. Selfish and inwardly looking. Even a bit bigotry. A bit like the ‘Getting our Britain back’ comments I heard last week. Getting it back from what … from foreigners? This country has always been ours. It’s problems are not because of foreigners. If you don’t like it the way it is get off your arse and make it better. Do something positive for all … not just you and yours. Get out of your tin foil time machine and stop blaming others.

Everyone that ‘gets it’ knows we have now lost a mechanism to tackle problems that don’t have borders or nationalities. No more supportive cross border legislation. We now really need to do something. We must ensure that European legislation protecting our wildlife is updated and incorporated into British Law. Even that is now more complicated; though we ignored our European cousins when they told us we are stronger together we are now using the same phrase to Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales … and expecting them to listen. I guess maybe we ought to be talking of English Law rather than British Law. What a tangled web of uncertainty we have woven. No wonder the pound has lost 9% of its value in 48 hours. That’s like taking a 9% pay cut. I hope everyone that voted to leave can afford that?

Even if some feel they are surrounded by a majority of unthinking knuckle dragging Neanderthals we live in a democracy. Anybody hanging a hat on a a re-vote or a vote of no confidence in the result needs to get real. It won’t happen.

So… enough already.  Looking forward. How do we ensure EU drivers that protected us from the rape of our seas, ensured the quality of our air and helped against poor pesticide use are put in place?

We must now rely on organisations that have a voice. The RSPB perhaps, the Wildlife Trusts maybe or even the Green Party need to mobilise and lobby … and lobby hard … for new protective home grown legislation. These organisations and others like them now need to develop what they are about and what they do; maybe even change their very ethos … and step up to the mark.

Are these the experts you trust to do that?

Fulmar

Fulmar taken on our East Coast Seabird Tour last week. Numbers of many seabirds are reducing around the UK

15
Jun
16

Norfolk’s premier butterfly

The first hatch of Swallowtail Butterflies was in the air on a tour last week. This particular pristine individual played ball with us … approaching us to within inches.

2016 06 06 Swallowtail Horsey Norfolk_Z5A2777 2016 06 06 Swallowtail Horsey Norfolk_Z5A2794

28
May
16

Goosanders

Goosanders are just great aren’t they? – This one was photographed on our Mull tour this month. An itinerary for next years tour is available here. http://www.wildlifetoursandeducation.co.uk/tours/longer-tours-pelagics/

Goosander




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