Wildlife & Gardens

Discussion in 'Taylor's Tittle-Tattle - General Banter' started by Sting, May 7, 2019.

  1. AndrewH63

    AndrewH63 Reservist

    hornmeister likes this.
  2. hornmeister

    hornmeister Administrator Staff Member

    Nice tried similar and he manages to get round it now. Think my squirrel is a mutant as he even manages to squeeze through a 2 inch mesh surround.
  3. I Blame Bassett

    I Blame Bassett Squad Player

    Winterwatch has been heartwarming,especially the piece about Andrea getting her wish to see orcas.
    very moving.
    A beautiful crested *** on the credits last night too!
    excellent character!
    Smudger likes this.
  4. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    One fears for the crested *** seeing as it is a one habitat specialist in Caledonian pine cover. Every day more and more land gets smothered in concrete and asphalt, suffocated to death.
  5. Have noticed (and heard) a few small raptors (sparrowhawks I guess) in Harrow. Also, did anyone see the red kite over the Vic during the Tranmere game? Ill omen?
  6. Keighley

    Keighley Squad Player

    That is not actually true. See https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/woodland-back-to-medieval-levels-j097fqtkw


    Britain's woodland cover has returned to medieval levels thanks to 20th-century forestry and the "rewilding" trend. The area of woodland is about 3.19 million hectares, according to the Forestry Commission. This represents 13 per cent of the land area, or 10 per cent in England, 15 per cent in Wales, 8 per cent in Northern Ireland and 19 per cent in Scotland.

    That is up from 5 per cent nationwide in 1919, when the Commission was established, and is equivalent to levels of cover during the Middle Ages, which ranged from 15 per cent of England at the time of the Domesday Book in 1086, to 6-10 per cent by 1300. Cover in Scotland is considerably higher than in medieval times, when about 4 per cent of the country was wooded.

    Contrary to popular perception, historians say swathes of Britain were cleared for farming during the Bronze Age as early as 2,000-1,000BC. The landscape of Roman Britain from AD43 to about 410 was in large stretches as open as ours. Areas of woodland were preserved to provide timber for building and wood for fires.

    According to the Forestry Commission's history of our woodlands, the area of cover increased during the post-Roman period but this was not due to any "Dark Age" chaos. "The Anglo-Saxons were skilled carpenters, building mostly in timber rather than stone. They kept permanent woods, which were managed to deliver timber and poles of different sizes, as well as wood-pastures, non-woodland trees and hedges." The Domesday Book, compiled for England's Norman overlords, records wood-pasture and woodland covering about 15 per cent of the country. However, despite designating the New Forest and Forest of Dean as crown forests, in the following centuries there was population growth and further clearances. An increase in demand for timber for shipping in the 17th and 18th centuries led to schemes to manage woodland and increase cover, particularly of oak. However, the "agricultural revolution" of the 18th and 19th centuries led to clearances as more lands.

    Further decline occurred during the Victorian period as demand for wood for fuel and shipbuilding decreased.

    Matters came to a head after the First World War, when wartime depletion illustrated the precariousness of our national timber resources.

    The Forestry Commission was established to respond to the crisis by creating state-owned woods and forests and promote forestry. Early schemes included the first planting in 1926 of Kielder Forest in Northumberland, which became the largest man-made forest in England.

    Forestry policy was again given priority after the Second World War, when the country used a third of its national timber supplies. The government recognised that Britain's survival in wartime had twice been at risk owing to a lack of timber reserves. In 1956 the commission planted its millionth acre.

    Despite the postwar increase in cover, governments have repeatedly fallen short of their tree-planting targets.

    For example, only 3,500 acres were planted in England in the year to last March, against a target of 12,355 acres. Planting rates were also low in Wales and Northern Ireland, although Scotland planted 27,680 acres.

    Trees have also been planted by individual landowners interested in "rewilding". Anders and Anne Holch Povlsen, the Danish billionaires and Scotland's largest landowners, have removed sheep and culled red deer in the Highlands and planted native trees.

    Rewilding Britain, a charity, hopes "to see at least one million hectares in Britain", while John Tucker, of the Woodland Trust, wants a "threefold interest in current woodlandcreation levels".

    A spokesman for the Department for Environment said it was committed to an increase on "the 22 million trees we have already planted since 2010".
  7. CleyHorn

    CleyHorn Reservist

    Absolutely correct. Woodland regeneration is proceeding apace and is potentially a real conservation success story. As for Caledonian native Scots' Pine forest (home of the Crested T.t) the thing that most holds back its regeneration is the over-population of Red Deer chewing on newly emergent seedlings (well conelings I guess). If that population could be better kept in check by culling (as opposed to maintaining an artificially high population for the shooting fraternity) then pine forest regeneration would proceed more easily. Red Deer have no natural predators anymore what with wolves and bears having been posted missing.

    Like many species on the periphery of their ranges Crested T.ts have a very specific habitat requirement here but are much more catholic in their requirements on the continent.

    ps. It really pisses me off that a bird name should be subject to a swear filter. What b.llocks. I bet it doesn't do the same for Chickadee. No - it doesn't.
  8. CleyHorn

    CleyHorn Reservist

    My Vic. raptor list currently stands at five. Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Red Kite, Buzzard and Peregrine. There was a Kite over the Vic. a couple of times during the Spuds match too. As for the Peregrine that was probably one of the birds that breeds on top of the YMCA building. They should be back there again in about six weeks (maybe earlier).

    In Harrow I've seen a Peregrine flying about over Harrow-on-the Hill Station on a couple of occasions too. Also probably breeding on a local high building. They can be very vocal especially in the early spring. Loud and rapid ki-ki-ki-ki call much like other falcons including Kestrel. Sparrowhawks tend to be much quieter and less obtrusive.

    Also seen Peregrine flying up into the rafters with a pigeon at the Hawthorns.
  9. Could be peregrines I've seen.
  10. CleyHorn

    CleyHorn Reservist

    More likely I think Barry particularly if they were 'rowdy'. A much more common urban sighting now than 20 years back.
  11. Moose

    Moose First Team Captain

    Kites are carrion feeders so probably hoping that one of the squad’s recent visitors to the medical room wouldn’t make it to the final whistle.
  12. CleyHorn

    CleyHorn Reservist

    Two Red Kites over the Met. Line between Northwood Hills and Pinner. En route to Harrow?
  13. Moose

    Moose First Team Captain

    Riot in the garden yesterday. At one point,

    Two parakeets
    Three ringed doves
    Four Sparrows
    Three Blue ****
    One Coal ***
    Two Jackdaws
    Three Squirrels
    Two Wood Pigeons
    One Magpie
    One Robin
    Two Blackbirds
  14. WillisWasTheWorst

    WillisWasTheWorst Its making less grammar mistake's thats important

    Nice selection. I take it you mean collared doves, which were virtually unknown in the UK 50 years ago or so.
    No starlings I notice. Do you get them ever? It tends to be all or nothing with them, depending on whether there is a roost nearby. We had over 30 during Big Garden Birdwatch. They’re one of my favourites: avian hooligans but very characterful.
  15. Moose

    Moose First Team Captain

    Yes we get a few, though no big flocks surprisingly. A few weeks ago when there was a bit of ice I put some apples out and we got a few along with some field fares.
  16. CleyHorn

    CleyHorn Reservist

    Collared Doves first arrived here in Cromer in 1953. First breeding 1956. Since then an inexorable march north-westwards from their middle eastern heartland reaching Iceland and Newfoundland.
    WillisWasTheWorst likes this.
  17. We occasionally get a pair of collared doves but when we do, we realise they have a death sentence hanging over them. They are the favourite food for the sparrowhawks which sit in the oak at the end of the garden and pick them off within a week or two of them arriving.
    The best we get in the garden, other than the usuals, are a pair of marsh ****, and the occasional linnet or yellowhammer. We've also had a couple of grey wagtails stop off at our waterfall for a quick drink.
    At our last house in Kings Langley we had a flock of siskins that over-wintered in trees and bushes in our garden, presumably due to the 20 port niger seed feeder I have. There were well over 100 and the noise at dawn was so incredible I videoed it. The neighbours must have hated us.

    We used to have flocks of 50+ redwings and fieldfares at the end of the garden eating the fallen apples but the tree died last year.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2020
    Smudger likes this.
  18. UEA_Hornet

    UEA_Hornet First Team Captain

    Going by recent news coverage, that looks like the menu at a provincial Wuhan market.
  19. Moose

    Moose First Team Captain

    Interesting m8, wots your source?
  20. CleyHorn

    CleyHorn Reservist

  21. Moose

    Moose First Team Captain

    1953? Sure it was Collared Doves and not Bill Haley and the Comets?

    I appear to have a garden full of invasive species. Come summer the Midwife Toads will be at their noise again.
  22. hornmeister

    hornmeister Administrator Staff Member

  23. CleyHorn

    CleyHorn Reservist

    Four Parakeets around Northwick Park station. Southbound. Halfway through Tom Petty - Free Fallin'.
  24. CleyHorn

    CleyHorn Reservist

    Moose likes this.
  25. I Blame Bassett

    I Blame Bassett Squad Player

    I'd agree with that,my hapless brother was born then!
    CleyHorn likes this.
  26. Yes, I'm not sure I'm completely happy with the 1956 record.
  27. CleyHorn

    CleyHorn Reservist

    My sister was born in 1956. She makes persistent, monotonous noises not dissimilar to Collared Doves. I reckon that's pretty conclusive.
  28. On the contrary, I think that may be the source/sauce/sorz of the confusion :)
    CleyHorn likes this.
  29. Moose

    Moose First Team Captain

    Whatever, lots of Collared Doves in my garden. They have staged a bit of a ‘coo’.
    The undeniable truth likes this.
  30. I can't see the word linnet without this springing to mind...
  31. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Acreage may have increased but the biodiversity of the many plantations that were planted declines rapidly as the trees mature. They may have benefited species like redpolls and crossbills temporarily for example. Mature Caledonian forest indeed any climax woodland takes many many years to develop it's biodiversity such that younger areas of Caledonian pine have less biodiversity and fragmentation means species have gene flow interrupted, less viable populations and cannot cross the distances between the fragments. Then there is the long term threat in climate change to the climax vegetation and diseases that affect the needles.

    Ancient woodland in Britain has declined tremendously. While in the past the Royal Navy for example replanted oaks they used in tremendous numbers for the wooden walls such as in the New Forest after a tremendous thinning that has replenished these over three centuries many others were replaced by the FC with conifers. Forestry management such as coppicing and pollarding disappeared with loss of ecological niches.

    You cannot take that away despite the increase in acreage. Diverse mature acreage has decreased. It is only now being reversed in the last few years with wildlife factored in and will take centuries to achieve. Of course most of the habitats we see around us that we think are natural are all heavily influenced by human action from moorland to downland. Fragmenting habitat continues. What some people see as wasteland is still a viable habitat for many species such as scrubland and species that thrive in it like several warblers. Developments do smother the earth and suffocate the life. You won't see any urban planner turning derelict buildings into areas of green renewal by planting trees, water features because money is far more important fromproperty development and those developers are of course always on the lookout for land to concrete over.

    People like Bolsanaro, Robertson in Oz and Trump need a big smack around the head. Ignoramuses as are the leaders in China and India. Big business gets away with far too much still:

    All sanctioned by the Victorian state premier. And replicated all across the globe for the love of money and greed. There are far too many of these morons who don't seem to realize that one cannot eat, drink or breathe money. What has happened in Australia will also happen in southern Europe and the Amazon. The number of species driven to extinction by just this event does not bear thinking about. Yet on the C4 documentary covering the bushfires the lady presenting the programme was mocked for questioning this Robertson *** about his friends in the coal mining business and of course there were the usual derogatory insults from another of these dunderheads about the tree hugging brigade. What sort of catastrophe it will take to wake these morons up is unknown.
  32. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    There has been a noticeable decline in the Collared Dove in SW Herts. The Woodpigeon on the other hand is increasing in numbers. The loss of the Turtle Dove is alarming as with many farmland species due to unhelpful farming practices some of which are being reversed. Not to mention those savages who like to trap and shoot migrating birds as a form of sport.
  33. CleyHorn

    CleyHorn Reservist

    One of the factors around the increase in Woodpigeons is that in the absence of harsh winters they are able to breed at all times of the year.
  34. Moose

    Moose First Team Captain

    Hand in hand with an increase in Sparrowhawks and Peregrines.

    Edit not that they have hands.

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