Sunday, 12 July 2015

BIRDS FROM THE 11/07/15

I've made a decision since three even the Barn Owl had some idiots using an air riffle to shoot things, but thats being dealt with, not to mention specifically the sites I'm visiting it's either paranoia or a coincidence that the three locations I've blogged about has had something go 'wrong'. It's just a self imposed censorship. I figure most Northants birders can figure out the site anyway. Any migratory/rarities will be reported but just to a select few I know etc. Sorry but not a massive issue really.
So last night I ventured out to the Barnie. I sat by the second bridge as it gives good views if the Barnie opted to show itself. But far away not to put it off, but both (there's two now) seem quite happy hunting with people present and a lot of people/walkers have seen it. The second bridge seems to attract a lot birds to, must be the bean field, river and wildflowers attracting them over.
The juvenile Swallows were feeding up, a pretty impressive flock.

If the light had been good the two above images would've been horribly backlit. Luckily it swapped to the side I prefer, it gives one plain tone for a backdrop, something I love in pictures...apart from feet.

Problem is this is the Troll of the Bridge perch and it was soon out to see what was going on.

Sadly a downside is the passing people at this location, not really an issue as such sadly it doesn't prevent people from using an air riffle on a busy footpath, instead of our government wasting time and money on repealing the Fox hunting act they should re-examine the gun laws especially air riffles that any idiot can walk in off the street, perhaps this idiot should buy one to use on idiots improperly using an air riffle, hmmm. Human hunting, more fun then blasting a giraffe.
Two very fit looking women cycled past "oh, you've got a big one too" so I quickly checked my zipper but after a quick chat another togger was on the other bridge, I guessed who it was and was correct. We had a chat about the incident, showed me his Barnie image (jealous), he told me about seeing two owls and agreed not to mention his name. Mr.X had photographed the idiots and called the police, if someone is reading this blog and is venturing to the sites it's best his name isn't in the public domain. It got dark'ish and we made our way home.
I stopped for what I think is a juvenile Sedge Warbler, never seen a juvenile it does remind me if a possible juvenile Grasshopper Warbler but the streaky chest makes me 99.9% certain it's a Sedge, figures that I've been struggling for Sedge all summer then go find a juvenile adjacent to a footpath...typical!


Talking of id of juvenile warblers I'm thinking juvenile Chiff-Chaff on this one

 The adult lurking for food.
 And finally, I think a Broad body Chaser. Maybe, with the superb 500mm macro lens.
But the best sighting was ANOTHER Barn Owl in an amazing spot.

13 comments:

  1. There seems to be a lot of idiots (I'm being polite!!) carrying guns and intent on shooting up the wildlife around your patch(es) Douglas?...I hope the police sort it out soon and deal with them properly, and I don't mean just with a 'friendly chat' and hoping the problem goes away!

    I guess that in this area we have to thank ourselves lucky that it's just the off road and mini motorbikes that we have to deal with.

    Shame that you didn't get any Barnie pics (I'm sure that we won't have to wait too long though?) but more than made up for it with another set of cracking images.

    Hmmm!...think I'll have to get one of those 'big' macro lenses?...[;o)

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    1. Well thanks to Mr.Z who called the police and took photos the police did arrive (given the location) promptly and has been asked to supply the images to our Wildlife crime unit so hopefully it will be dealt with correctly.
      The 500mm is good for those "I'm not walking through that vegetation" type of images....I was bored lol.

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  2. Earlier in the year I was walking in a local wood (in Leicestershire) and a group came in with shotguns and started shooting at anything that moved. I had to walk past one of them who was stood on the public footpath with his gun out aimed up at the trees.

    Later on I contacted the police only to be told that they weren't committing any offence. Apparently, so long as they have the permission of the land owner and take 'due care' then they can fire their guns as people walk past and there's no need for any warning notices on the entrance gates. I was pretty surprised to learn that.

    Anyway, great blog Doug. I'm a regular reader (but don't often comment). Really enjoy reading what you get up to and viewing your photos.

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  3. Thanks Andy, sadly it's not strictly true what the police told you there. Normally if any shooting is taking place on a public footpath most responsible shooters will place a Red flag as warning of live shooting. Also if the area is crossed by a footpath normally notification is placed a week or so before hand to inform ramblers etc, also whilst not shooting if the people using the gun walk along a designated footpath then the guns have to be in a bag. I personally have no issue with people shooting pheasants and the like it's the criminal activity and youngsters running around with air riffles shooting at everything and anything. Sadly the police response can vary, the police response two cars arriving promptly suggests they weren't allowed to be there

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  4. Sorry I was a bit wrong on the above slightly if you click the last image (pdf document) you can read part of the rules regarding footpaths, note the last bit about air guns, explains the prompt response but how stupid? Which would cause more harm to the public bullet or pellet! Courtesy of the BASC.

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    1. Thanks for the pdf Doug. The discussion that I had with the police was all done via email so I just went and read them again to remind myself exactly what was said. It does seem to tie in with what's explained in the document. It was still a bit of a shock to me to learn that what these guys were doing was all perfectly legal.

      I've since avoided those woods which is a shame but it fely positively dangerous to be walking amongst those 'sportsmen'. I obviously use that word sarcastically, I have zero respect for anybody who thinks shooting birds is a pastime to be proud of.

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    2. It's a shame you were put off from returning to the woods but I can't blame you it only takes one stray bullet etc

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  5. This seems to be a serious problem with lads owning rifles. I suspect they are emulating what they perceive as their betters. It takes considerable nerve to shoot anything living or psychotic leanings on behalf of the shooter. I have done some shooting but as you can see from my bird shots with a camera I was rubbish so gave it a miss. I don't mind shooting for the pot or shooting clays but just prating about with a gun is very silly.
    It's the thin edge of a wedge if these young folk aren't sent on a wild life appreciation course. Next it will be the old school they perceive as responsible for their lack of courage. America should know as in some states like Idaho and Texas you can buy virtually any firearm. Sell it on, shift it here there and anywhere. Then they weep floods of tears when a class room gets shot up. It's a different topic but if Americans didn't think that using indescriminate things like cruise missiles and drones on economic targets then perchance the World Trade Centre would still be standing. I prefer the term Twin Towers as it was hardly the centre of world trade.
    Enough. I have failed to mention the wonderful work of the RSPB.

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    1. Actually America makes for an interesting comparison. Plenty more guns yet lower levels of persecution (it's however nit non existent) just Google to see the penalties regarding the Bald Eagle. I'm not convinced people who shoot are 'physcopathic' though to club to death a Buzzard (for example) there has to be something wrong up top. I wouldn't mind shooting for the pot my dinner plate but couldn't do so knowing the damage caused to other wildlife, in fact I wonder how many others would take up shooting if it had a better reputation something the BASC should consider perhaps.....

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  6. Great stuff Doug .... we need to educate these idiots ..... but we also need to photograph them and document their activities ...... I am disgusted with the actions of these people ..... ban the sale of air rifles and introduce licenses to own them with a course of can do's and can't does ........ not a good subject for my blood pressure !.

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    1. Personally it's "Mr.Z" that needs a well done on the latest incident. Education in most cases isn't needed as these individuals in most cases know exactly what they're doing and how to stay within the law (look at what 'Andy' said) it's time with all these cameras floating around and technology we turn the tables on the criminal activity, I know what you mean about blood pressure, look at me! If you could ask Mr.Z he'd tell you how depressed this has got me, gives me some new found respect for the likes of Mark Avery

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  7. This is all getting to be extremely worrying, and more than a little frightening, Doug. I know that you're pretty handy at looking after yourself, but do take great care. They could get you before you got them within arms length.

    I like the Sedge images, particularly. Glad you cuaght up with one eventually!

    Best wishes - - - - Richard

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    1. I know it's getting very weird/strange at the moment. At times you have to wonder, don't worry anyone with a serious gun gets a different approach from myself hopefully things will calm down (I wish).
      Typical me with the Sedge Warbler wait for ages then get a juvenile lol

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