A day largely spent on domestic chores but with the odd highlight arising, e.g. a male Hen Harrier hunting immediately outside the house and Stonechats back locally.
Reflecting on the past couple of weeks or so I was surprised to find that I'd seen 44species of bird within the 2-3 sq.km surrounding the house at Kirkhill and all seen whilst dogwalking!! Not bad, but the most interesting point is that all the records were from "ordinary countryside" not from any protected or reserve areas. In this sense the future and management of such areas is of paramount importance as they play such a crucial role in the retention of our national biodiversity.
Whilst the panacea for such concerns is to usually try and pass on the responsibility to farmers and landowners there is much that can fall within the aegis of our established institutions!! Looking around generally the small plots of land or woodland, the roadside hedgerows that Local Authorities seem so intent on "maintaining" beyond the retention of any value, the strips of land alongside railways, roadside verges, laneside banks, churchyards....the list goes on! All have relevance and I believe will have an increasing role to play in supporting our wildlife. Much has been done, but there is a need to be ever alert to the possibility of a potential loss of value. Each and every action needs to be contemplated as the "we've always done it this way" may need to be revised from time to time. Reintroductions of the more spectacular species appear to be in vogue nowadays matched, somewhat perversely in my view, with annual reports of gloom that catalogue the ever decreasing populations of all too many of the "commoner" species. Perhaps we need to be a little more alert on our "current watch" and provide more attention to the mundane rather than the iconic!!