Sunday, January 01, 2012

2012 A Decent Start

I got an early start this morning and it was very mild with a SW wind, I managed to record 35 species which is four more than this time last year. There was nothing surprising or spectacular but a Pintail on Bow Creek and a Kingfisher on the basin were good records as they can be tricky. Teal numbers were low with just 91 and Gull numbers were poor, though six Great Blacks were notable. Four Redshanks and a Common Sandpiper were on Bow Creek and I had a very good view of a Peregrine as it swooped low over the creek. There was about 70 Finches feeding on Orchard Wharf which included a good count of 45 Linnets.
EIDB lies just a couple of miles south of the main Olympic site and I think that birders who have patches in the Lea Valley, Southern Epping Forest and Greenwich could face difficulties birding their sites during the games. there will be heavy security and warships on the Thames . Restrictions could be in place and wandering around with binoculars and telescopes may cause some problems.
2012 will be an important year for wildlife and conservation, the Coalition Government have already made significant changes and more are due. Natural England's role has been redefined, it will no longer be allowed to hold views independent of the Government. It will now concentrate on delivery and customer focus rather than on protecting and lobbying for wildlife.
This means that other wildlife bodies will have to take on a greater role in defending wildlife and conservation, though so far this has not been apparent. There are also changes afoot to planning policy which will speed things up and has been labelled by some as a developers charter. Brownfield sites will be particularly vulnerable and these sites are often more important to wildlife than the greenbelt or farmland. So it is important that birders record what they see on their sites, keep breeding and wintering numbers of bird species and other wildlife if possible. Records can play a very important part when a a site is under threat, and its also important that birders send their records to the appropriate county recorders or enter them online.

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