Poor old Gilbert is getting restless. Despite the fact that there is more interest in wildlife than ever before, it seems that most of the so-called conservation organisations are losing interest in species. Instead they prefer to babble on about landscape scale conservation and ecosystem services (whatever they are). Could this be because most of their staff don't have any knowledge about species if they don't have four legs?
This is my attempt to encourage an interest in good old-fashioned natural history.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

A slight improvement

Went to Chiddingfold Forest this afternoon for a meeting. Lots of Nightingales in some areas, at one point I could hear 6 singing at one time. Although there were still some areas where they normally occur where none were heard. Last night I had a look at the BTO's Birdtrack pages. It's not normally something I look at because whether things have arrived 3 days earlier or 5 days later than last year is of little interest to me. However it was interesting to compare the current situation for various migrants; some such as Nightingale appeared to be arriving pretty much as normal but others such as Willow Warbler, Whitethroat and Tree Pipit are in very poor numbers. Earlier this spring I heard that there was concern that drought in the Sahel might significantly affect the numbers of migrants making it back this year. So it the current situation due to the awful weather here or is there going to be an early-1970's type crash in populations of some species due to Sahel drought? Time will tell.

The slight improvement in weather today meant that there were a few insects around. Plenty of St Mark's Flies resting on the bushes plus a few of the common longhorn moth Adela reaumurella. A couple of shieldbugs that I photographed were Hawthorn Shieldbug:

and Green Shieldbug:

On the way back I stopped in at Hindhead Common. It's quite strange to actually be able to hear birdsong there, now that the A3 tunnel is open. It was good to see a pair of Cuckoos there with another calling further down the slope. This area used to be very reliable for Cuckoos but I haven't see any there for a couple of years. Hopefully they will be back in good numbers this year. The following record shot shows the limitations of my bird photography.

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