Turtle Doves and Other Losses: MORE IMPORTANT THAN ROYALTY!

Randomnerd

Formerly known as Woodenspoons
Location
North Yorkshire
Link to The Guardian

This barbaric activity is now banned, but what really are we as a society that condones this sort of thing? Keep aside nationality and stereotypes, please. Are we really ready to get our house in order in the way we treat nature?

As I write I can hear thrushes and great tits outside, singing away. The wren wakes me each day, and I wait for ”my” swallows to return. Glorious nature.

On my patch, no game shooters have stopped using lead shot, and the landowner won’t help change that. Ive asked.

Hedgerows are shortened to widen field access for yet bigger machines, and no new boundaries have been planted here since grant incentives dwindled.

British Trust for Ornithology data

What are you doing about this? My MP isn’t interested - garbage, factually incorrect response. My parish council couldn’t care less - we are too busy with dog fouling. Fair enough.

I’ve plenty of spare sawmill timber and a load of nails. I’ll crack on and make some more nest boxes.

The BTO is very good value org for £50 a year, and needs support.


A Rambling Sid Rumpole sort of start to the topic, but you get my drift. Why aren’t birds news?
 

Rezillo

TwoSheds
Location
Suffolk
"The French government did not seek a derogation to allow the practice last year, angering France’s 6,000 licensed glue-trappers who claim the hunting method dates back generations".

Last spring we had the first turtle dove in our garden for many years and it hung around all summer. That may be a coincidence but we did wonder at the time as to whether this was lockdown affecting their hunting in southern Europe. Hunting is too dignified a name for it, though.
 

gbb

Legendary Member
Location
Peterborough
Why are Turtle Doves declining ? Is it because they die before they're flying here or die here from pesticide, hunting, loss of habitat etc ?
Bird life is a strange thing, if I think back to my childhood, almost exclusively spent in the countryside, I never saw a Turtle Dove, maybe that's a regional thing, although we always lived in Lincs and Cambs for the most part, I never saw a single Magpie until I was 40, bloomin things are everywhere now...and I come from a family whose father actively and avidly encouraged us to see wildlife, birdlike in particular.
If I think about it, I can count on one hand the amount of times I've ever seen a turtle dove in 62 years. The fact they're in trouble is really stark.
 

gbb

Legendary Member
Location
Peterborough
And not afraid to point the finger at myself, while regularly working In Cyprus, I once tried barbequed songbird while visiting a family one evening. I knew it was a thing out there, meh, let's see what the fuss is about.
Well it's pointless, theres so little meat, its not particually tasty (but not terrible either)...but overwhelmingly I came away with the thought....what's the point ? Hunting hundreds of thousands of birds for that ? it's not even that good.
I'm not generally the kind of person to moralise over others or dictate what someone should or shouldnt do....but really ? Cyprus, Italy, Spain etc etc...grow up ffs, were not living a substinance life like we were a hundred years ago and more when people had to do what they had to.
 

Pale Rider

Legendary Member
We've got a whole flock of Sparrows nest/roost in the Ivy up the side of our house,

View attachment 579224

View attachment 579224
Is that doing your pointing and brickwork any good?

I see it's a small leaved variety which in my limited experience don't do as much damage as the bigger leaved ones.
 

raleighnut

Legendary Member
Location
On 3 Wheels
Is that doing your pointing and brickwork any good?

I see it's a small leaved variety which in my limited experience don't do as much damage as the bigger leaved ones.
The house is a 'Cast In Situ' Concrete building*,The Ivy damages the 'Harl/Tyrolean but cannot damage the structure

* they put up shuttering about 2 foot high then thr next day 'jacked it up and poured another couple of feet til it was finished
 

Pale Rider

Legendary Member
The house is a 'Cast In Situ' Concrete building*,The Ivy damages the 'Harl/Tyrolean but cannot damage the structure

* they put up shuttering about 2 foot high then thr next day 'jacked it up and poured another couple of feet til it was finished
The one I had to hack away, which was just visiting over the dividing wall from my neighbour, left marks on the bricks, although it wasn't there long enough, at least on my side, to damage the pointing.

Nasty, irritating stuff when chopped - I had to wear gloves, a mask, and eye protection.

There was an old birds' nest buried underneath it, but in general I don't think wildlife liked it any more than I did.
 

snorri

Legendary Member
I'm not generally the kind of person to moralise over others or dictate what someone should or shouldnt do....but really ? Cyprus, Italy, Spain etc etc...grow up ffs, were not living a substinance life like we were a hundred years ago and more when people had to do what they had to.
Reminds me of a cycle tour in France a few years back, I'd gone to a pub for a cheese roll and a drink. The place was quite busy so rather than take a seat (cycle touring, I'd been sitting all day) I decided to look at the photos on the wall. They had been taken at what looked like a sparrow shoot which involved some sort of rite of passage where at the end of the day a young guy was liberally splashed with the blood of the birds. I recognised the guy to be the barman, there could only be one nose in France like his, who had just made up my cheese sandwich, Yeeuk!
Changing the subject, I've just completed my 30th season of counting waders etc. for BTO, these are known as Wetlands Birds Surveys or WEBS Counts within the trade:smile:.
 

gbb

Legendary Member
Location
Peterborough
The issue of game shooting on farmers land...if that's what is happening, ie they're not shooting non game birds, then personally I have no more of a problem with it than rearing cows, pigs, lambs etc, that's part of the food chain we have evolved. Is it ideal, no, do I feel good about it, no....but it's what has evolved and is what we have.

Now I'm not naive enough to believe shooters dont just shoot game, locally when red kite were beginning to establish in the 90s, a colleague who lived in their then likited range and remarked how wonderful it was to see them but also remarked how farmers were likely to shoot them....very disappointing were that the case. But over the years, their numbers have grown enormously with only very rare reporting of poisoned or shot birds, which while disappointing , is still quite heartening the numbers killed are apparently low, locally at least.

Thankfully we never had a culture of killing songbirds in this country.
 

nickyboy

Norven Mankey
Why are Turtle Doves declining ? Is it because they die before they're flying here or die here from pesticide, hunting, loss of habitat etc ?
Bird life is a strange thing, if I think back to my childhood, almost exclusively spent in the countryside, I never saw a Turtle Dove, maybe that's a regional thing, although we always lived in Lincs and Cambs for the most part, I never saw a single Magpie until I was 40, bloomin things are everywhere now...and I come from a family whose father actively and avidly encouraged us to see wildlife, birdlike in particular.
If I think about it, I can count on one hand the amount of times I've ever seen a turtle dove in 62 years. The fact they're in trouble is really stark.
Let's be 100% clear on the matter of Turtle Doves. Whilst shooting etc doesn't help, it has been extensively studied and the reason for the precipitous fall in numbers is down to farming practices in UK. Turtle Doves feed almost exclusively on weed seeds. The weeds don't exist any more. Turtle doves are producing half the number of chicks per year compared to 1970s; unsustainable hence 98% reduction in numbers

We are barking up the wrong tree to point the finger at Maltese shooters or French glue stickers as the driver for reduced UK biodiversity. The real problem in terms of UK biodiversity is our farming practices. The bird species that have suffered the greatest declines are those which depended on traditional farming practices (such as turtle doves, skylarks, yellowhammers, tree sparrows, lapwings etc etc). It's too easy to criticise these blood thirsty hunters but actually it's us that are the problem
 
Top Bottom