Monday, November 9, 2009

9th November, 2009.

A day exclusively given over to playing catch -up with E-mails, phone calls, correspondence etc!!

The 1st November signified the commencement of the third year of the BTO Winter Atlas. Almost unbelievably one volunteer has already been up to Jura and completed four tetrad surveys, the second "batch" of which can be completed during one of our team visits after the year end. With a fairly clear run of time until Christmas I'm hoping to complete an appreciable number of tetrads and make inroads into those remaining to allow us a greater " free rein" in the final year when we can concentrate on mopping up activities!!

A press release, issued by Natural England, relating to the lack of success in Hen Harrier breeding this season makes for solemn reading. I do wonder about the current situation. Passive commentary from the Government's body responsible for overseeing conservation matters and, similar outpourings from the RSPB, appear lacking in both fire and resolve. The release provides more emphasis to the fact that a pair of harriers has nested in a cereal field in southern England than to exclaiming that a particular effort will be made to tackle persecution next season and improve the lot of the species once and for all. Other agencies claiming no persecution has taken place for the last four years appear to be utterly divorced from reality and one wonders whether they should be involved in the debate at all!! A sad situation no better than thirty years ago! In my view our justification for castigating Mediterranean countries where shooting of raptors still persists, but is slowly improving, is brought into question in the light of the persistent depradations against Hen Harriers in the UK !!

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