Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Right hand, left hand Revisited

Newcastle City Council displays leaflets about the plight of the Song Thrush, a once familiar bird of parks and gardens, beloved for it's song and habit of eating slugs!

Unfortunately, the Council's concern is not joined up to it's actions on the ground ....

I mentioned in another post how, two or three years ago, I had seen a recent increase in Song Thrush numbers around Battlefield and the somewhat heartening sight of four birds together (3 + 1) during the early breeding season. The shrubberies near the footpath I was on were cut down to near ground level a week later and the Song Thrushes departed, never seen again.

Timing of works appears to be weak at present, possibly more governed by finance than environmental considerations. During a recent foray into the most 'threatening' part of the Battlefield open space I noted more signs of this disjoint between intention and outcomes.

A felled tree. It was removed at the height of the breeding season. I am sure the aboralists worked to minimise harm but this kind of operation must involve disturbance. Later in the year or better still in winter would seem appropriate and straight forward.

This area has been left largely undisturbed and was aloud with birdsong, including a warbler, possibly Garden Warbler.

Bonus points are due for this action, seen in the photograph below. Uncut grass margins, large enough to be useful as a habitat for invertebrates, is commendable. Butterflies, moths, crickets and grasshoppers, beetles and so forth need this kind of long grass in which to prosper; so to, do birds. Quite apart from the animal kingdom, wild flowers and grasses thrive. No one loses from this small consideration for wildlife husbandry. Thanks are due to those involved in this piece of initiative for the benefit of wildlife.

Perhaps someone should tell one arm of the Council what the other is doing?

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