Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Early bonuses to a dismal day.

Basically the first part of the day was OK, the second half less so with showers and misty conditions in some places. Out and about early in the north east of Islay and on Jura I suspect I took benefit from the best part of the day.

The Sound of Islay showed a pair of feeding Red-throated Diver feeding, placidly, close to the shore and showing off their subtle summer plumage to good effect. Later a party of seven male Common Scoter flew south suggesting summer was already on the wane and some bird movements in place. However, an earlier observation of a Cuckoo being pursued by a Meadow Pipit confirmed that this early migrant hadn't yet departed and suggested we are on the cusp of such movements. With the weather moving in, some prolonged views of an adult male Golden Eagle sitting , somewhat disconsolately, close to its eyrie as things deteriorated, still showed its golden head standing out clearly within the dim conditions.

News that the EU are possibly considering cuts to the UK funding that supports farmland natural habitat diversification is worrying, given the obvious major conversion to a more monoculture approach in the last thirty years or so , which has seen a concomitant parallel reduction in farmland bird populations in a wide context. The various subsidised schemes have been successful and seen some notable successes in the improvement of hitherto reduced bird populations such as Grey Partridge and Skylark. I felt that the view of the National Farmers Union in recognising we should best attempt to achieve balance between food production and such measures was,at least , encouraging !! Such considerations perhaps reflect other major changes that might yet arise given the emergent and repeated crises surrounding the European "Single Currency" sparked by the national problems being experienced in Greece and elsewhere !! Whilst we might like to think otherwise, conservation is obviously not inured to such influences, what ever we'd like to apply!

No comments: