Wednesday, 8 May 2013

MY LOCAL SPARROWHAWK..PART2

I'm fuming, really angry and massively suspicious now, everything started off great, I found one of the Sprawks collecting nesting material as you can see from the image below, rather shoddy image, poor light,dark wooded area and what light was flooding in was coming straight at me, but posted it just to illustrate the bird is starting to build it's nest.
So that's good news, surely? Nope!!!
The nails are back, ok these are more standard nails then the ones I removed last night, but they are in the same tree, only going to about 7 foot up the tree but in exactly the same manner as the last lot, of course I removed them (again) but seeming as I removed the last lot about 8-8:30pm last night and I discovered these on my morning walk...not much time gap! I gave the police a call, only to be met with "unless an actual crime has been committed we cannot do much"..fair enough, thanks for f**k all wouldn't want to disturb your coffee break, prevention better then the cure in my opinion, can I get anyone else interested...what do you reckon?
So I got chatting with a local fisherman whom I know, this bloke last year approached a bunch of kids who were shooting geese and coots with an air riffle and got shot, he was telling me about our eastern European friends whom have drained the lake of most of the carp, he saw them last night after I left (he doesn't miss much) walking towards were the sprawk is, to further back this up around the base of the tree are "foreign" branded cigarette butts (I loved Columbo as a kid lol), who ever it is knows a bit about nature as they've already realised (before me!!) where the sprawk is nesting. So I've done two things a) I've left a note with one of the nails attached simply saying "we're watching you" b) I've brought my trusted knuckle duster out of retirement...I WILL NOT TOLERATE A RAPTOR COMING TO HARM ON MY PATCH. I fear this is going to end in tears and not for me...really,really angry.
So I took my other hound, the Australian Shepherd with me this afternoon, he's not very "people friendly" and could come in handy, I started of by taking some images of the park, firstly some Bluebells, though I think these are the Spanish variety, we've not had Bluebells on the park before...
And the one illustrating how now the footie season has ended the council are letting the grass grow long, hopefully they'll leave it though seeing as they're doing it due to cutbacks rather then a nature friendly reason they could be round with the mowers at any time...see the tracks running through the grass from the vehicle...a police BMW X5 4x4 did that...cutbacks hey, shame it's a 2013 plate vehicle..not cheap.
And my favourite place on the park, the reedbed, with the reedwarblers starting to show a bit more, also the trees around the lake are currently home to good numbers of common species such as Great Tits,Greenfinches and Blackbirds but also some Willow Warblers and a "never-heard that on here" single male Blackcap, you can make out the reedbed if you squint hard enough, taking landscapes isn't worth trying with a 300mm and 1.4 teleconverter lol.
Now I'm going to step up "patrols" of the nesting site and have also received help from the fisherman (name withheld so he doesn't get implicated), however I have to think hard now....Did the culprits read the blog? Or had they been observing me? There are some houses very nearby but I think it could be when I was up the tree removing nails, someone saw me...not good either way, if only there was a national organisation that could help with protecting birds hey?!!


12 comments:

  1. Sorry to hear about the threat to the Sprawks, Doug. I suggest smearing a thick layer of car underseal or black grease round the trunk, and/or replacing the heavy-duty headed nails with a mass of uncomfortable wire nails (driven in backwards?), that will tear hands and clothing. Alternatively, buy yourself a crossbow!

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    1. Not sure about how friendly the car underseal/grease will be to the surronding fauna,pehaps that anti-climb grease might be friendlier, but do like the wire nails idea, as for the crossbow, sadly not,less trouble if I get stopped by the police with a knuckle duster then a crossbow, plus a couple of years back some kids shot a Canada goose with a crossbow on the park and the poor thing spent the entire winter with a bolt firmly lodged in place for the winter, flying between Eastfield and Abington Park, so some might think it was me.

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  2. That's really bad news Doug. Surprised the law didn't want to know; I thought they all had a wildlife crime unit these days.
    Apart from what you are doing yourself, the only thing I can think of would be a call to the local press? If you can get one of them on board, then some publicity might deter these bastards.
    Failing that, do you know of any farmers that enjoy a bit of 'shooting sport'?

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    1. I was surprised and our wildlife crime unit is normally quite good, I really don't want press involve, pluc the no-one reads the Chronicle and Echo now it's only published once a week. Farmers...hmmm, one of my suspects (of five in total) is a gamekeepre who's son lives on the estate, he travels 15 miles from his rural location to "walk" his dog, twice a day on a dodgy housing estate..makes me wonder! Plus he has one of those "BASC" stickers on his 4x4, guess who my number one suspect is.

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    2. Well if you need a recruit for DBT, let me know. If I can help, I will.

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  3. Well done and good luck.
    Perhaps you should start such an organisation. SPB. The society for the Protection of Birds. Don't bother looking for Royal patronage I think some folk already went down that route.

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    1. I was thinking DBT...Dougs Birding Thugs

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  4. Oh no! So sorry to hear that your fears were realised Doug. At least you have spotted it and have seen what they are up to before it is too late. Agree with Rich, in that a crossbow should do the ba*s@rds justice!

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    1. A crossbow I couldn't use even though it's the justice the person/s deserves birding in prison can be rubbish:)Knuckledusters are my favourite, one whack and they're down..but not dead.

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  5. I hope it doesn't come to it but I suspect the police will only show an interest after the Sparrowhawks have had their nest destroyed...and then all they'll do is issue a crime number and forget about it!...it's much safer (and easier!) for them that way!!
    Now if they find someone in possession of a knuckle duster that's a whole new ball game. Just be careful that you don't become the unfortunate casualty in all this Douglas. Take care!...[;o)

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    1. Cheers Trevor, I'm also hoping it doesn't end up in tears for the sprawk, I'm hoping that the fact someone (me) is around might stop the worse/prevent something happening, as for the knuckleduster, don't worry about it, it'll only come out IF things go very wrong or I'm outnumbered, these days I don't attract to much attention from the police so hopefully they won't find it etc.

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