Saturday, June 23, 2012

Little good news in evidence!

Yesterday ( Friday ) was a dreadful day! From early in the morning mist enveloped the island and visibility from the house, even at its best, was only 200m., at its worst a mere 100m..  It also rained quite heavily on occasions and  flights were disrupted. With so many young fledglings around it does pose the question of how many perish when such bad weather descends and, for birds like Swallows, how difficult it must be to maintain a steady food supply for hungry youngsters.

It also seems that the Rio +20 Conference has been a not dis-similar "damp squib" occasion if early feedback can be relied upon. Doubtless further analysis and reportage will follow, but it seems that , all too often, these large world  political events result in  precious little.

Following in the footsteps of the ill fated Buzzard control proposals, the shooting and fishing lobby are now attempting to persuade DEFRA that measures are also needed in England for Cormorants and Goosanders, which are accused of depleting fishing stocks. It's a subject that's come up before, but the timing of it on this occasion appears a little strange, if not ill conceived, given the drubbing that DEFRA received recently. Time will tell.

For some reason the "Hen Harrier story line" seems to have been temporarily abandoned by both RSPB and  Natural England with no reportage on success or otherwise of the birds allegedly present in NW England this season. Such would be excellent news! Here on Islay, whilst birds are being seen and reported on,  I'm convinced the numbers overall are lower than in previous seasons. It would be a disgrace if the actions which have brought the English breeding population to its knees have similarly begun to reduce the numbers of birds    from farther north which move southwards in autumn. Thankfully it's still possible to see this magnificent raptor on Islay and Jura with relative ease!!

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