Wednesday 8 February 2017

Sky full of birds

Walland Marsh - cold, grey and grim, ne 2 - 0800hrs - For a change of scene me and the dog headed out for a wander around the Cheyne Court area of the Marsh, in less than inviting weather, and at times accompanied by a fine drizzle. However, we didn't meet another human in almost three hours; sometimes you just need to be alone with nature, and there was plenty of that on offer this morning.
  The name of the game was numbers with an enormous flock of 2,000 Golden Plovers and 1,000 Lapwings swirling over the wet meadows every time a Common Buzzard, Marsh Harrier or Peregrine threatened, which in turn also attracted hundreds of Common and Black-headed Gulls, corvids, Woodpigeons, Stock Doves and Starlings into the sky to make quite a spectacle.
  There were plenty of smaller passerines present too with Song Thrushes the most numerous thrush at 50, along with 20 Blackbirds and 10 Mistle Thrushes, but only a handful of Fieldfares. Also noted were small groups of Corn Buntings (20), Skylarks, Mipits, Pied Wagtails and Chaffinches.
  A rape-seed field held around 500 Greylags and 20 Canada Geese, plus 25 White-fronts and five Tundra Bean Geese, while amongst 120 Mute Swans were five Bewick`s Swans, although there could've been a few more in an adjacent field which was difficult to view without flushing the lot.

                                Midley drying barns

  On the way back to the coast I drove passed Midley to check on the bird feeders where the usual Tree Sparrows, finches, tits and the like were feasting on seeds and nuts. Further along the lane by the drying barns I was reminded of the down side of humanity when confronted with a fly-tipped load of freshly dumped building materials. I had a look through to see if there was anything of a personal nature in the rubbish in an attempt to identify who`d done the dirty deed, but could find none, and reported it to Shepway DC via their website when I got home.
  This kind of incident is becoming more and more common across the Marsh and there doesn't seem to be any way of preventing it, particularly in remote spots such as Midley, although I`m sure a more thorough analysis of fly-tipped stuff would better the chance of nailing the perpetrators. Apparently, the Magistrate Courts can dish out a maximum £50,000 fine or 12 months in prison (I wonder how often that is dished out?) and in exceptional cases, crush the vehicle (which is probably hardly ever done).


  1. The fly tip looks like the bird observatory kitchen c1977

  2. Fly-tipping is a normal part of the scenery now along the Harty Road on Sheppey.

    1. Just back from the Island Derek, I see what you mean about fly-tipping, its grim. However, we had a terrific days birding, see the latest post for details.

  3. Paul ,
    I agree with all you say re. fly tipping , but my own effort to get the persons responsible for a tip in a local car park produced less than expected . I was in woodland adjacent to the car park and heard a tipper truck come to a halt and the load being tipped . Through the trees , I managed to photograph the act , along with a close up of the number plate . I contacted the local council and an investigator came to my house and took a statement and copies of my photos and asked if I would be willing to attend court , to which I answered yes . Six months later and hearing nothing , I got back to the local council investigator who told me that the owner of the vehicle had said that he had let someone else use the vehicle on that day , and that nothing could be done about the situation . That was 3/4 years ago now , and nothing more has been heard from the council .
    Would I put myself out again ?

    1. That does seem ridiculous that the truck owner can`t be brought to book, even if someone else is driving it (a lie, of course). On a positive note the law was changed only last year, bringing in greater penalties. Personally, I`m all for crushing on a first offence. Keep the faith Greenie!