Sunday, 16 December 2012

Moderate Wisp

The continuing saturation of the fields means that there are still big flocks of these around:

and many hundreds of these Fieldfares too:

It only rained once in the week. It was just for 15 hours on Friday. The floods are actually up on last week:

So still lots of Snipe present. A moderate wisp here:

And another wisp landing here. One of the better collective nouns for birds:

I took the picture below on my phone from the car mid-week when temperatures were hovering around -4 and I was dying of a norovirus infection. Actually dying would have been preferable. Then I would not have had to clean up the rest of my children's vomit too. Anyway, the point is that the hedge on the left was bursting with Fieldfares, Redwings, Blackbirds, Chaffinches and Yellowhammers. And the hedge on the right was devoid of all life. There were no birds at all. Why is it necessary for farmers to cut back hedges like this in early winter? Leaving this task till early spring leaves food and shelter for wildlife in the winter period. It smacks of pointless tidying up and must contribute to the 50% loss of farmland bird numbers in the last 30 years.

Here are some very depressing numbers from Europe:


  1. Replies
    1. Good point! What is the danger in big hedges - deprives a % the crop of sun? Why are they cut?

  2. Particularly with arable production it's more about utilising the wind to dry the ground out to assist with cultivations and eliminating wet spots but when, and to what extent? The when should not be during the winter thereby destroying valuable food resources and provision of protection from the eliments, also the when should be much less frequently as the costs saved on these operations may quite possibly off-set any loss incurred by wet spots etc. I think the cutting of hedges is mostly about trying to impress your neighbour with your farm tidiness and as to extent well a rough ragged hedge is a natural hedge so just let it grow and consequently all other living things within that mini-world of life will thrive.

    1. Thanks for this Camboy - its always good to have input from someone with real farming experience. More messy hedges please, local farmers!