Saturday, 23 March 2013

Some astoundingly good news

No, its not the weather, which has left the local birdlife starving:

And it is not that the cold spell has brought in a significant influx of winter Thrushes. Old Barn Field held 400 Fieldfare and about 100 Redwing:

Or even that March madness has struck the local Hares. Here they can be seen going crazy in a snowstorm. Freezing conditions clearly have no effect on their hormones:

It is the fact that I received, thanks to John Melling, some bad, and then some astoundingly good, news. The bad news is that the River Thame is now officially "one of the most degraded tributaries of the River Thames". Fame at last! But perhaps not in any positive way. You may recall me mentioning the appalling quality of the local habitat just once or twice. A minute. For the last 5 years. 

The absolutely amazing news is that the River Thame Conservation Trust (est 2012) together with the Pond Conservation Trust have been awarded £180,000 by DEFRA to improve the habitat along the River Thame in a 2 year project. Perhaps, at last, this initiative may be about to slowly turn things around. Full details here. There will be more on this later, I am even minded to give these guys a hand, the wildlife around here needs all the help it can get. 


  1. Amazing photos throughout. Thanks for identiying birds for me. Sure I saw a goshawk with big white leg feathers a few times up by Garsington in 2009.
    Where did you see the hares? I've looked and looked and looked and not seen a single one. My theory about the birdscarers (which get the finger and expletives) is that the pigeons know they mean food. I watch them rise at the they explode, wait in the trees in Bishop's Wood and then fly back down again. Not foolish, pigeons. In Yorkshire they use massive kite-shaped cutouts which are silent and seem to work at least as well as explosions.
    The decision to go on using that pesticide (pests??) makes me weep. If you don't know that it affects bees then ban it in case it does - that's a no-brainer! Thanks for a brilliant blog. Niki.

  2. Hi Niki, thanks for your kind comments :-) If you ever glimpse a Goshawk in the area again please contact me ASAP! There are a few Hares in the Thame valley, but they seem to range over a large area and its mainly a matter of luck and time whether one comes across them. I completely agree with your views on birdscarers, they surely contribute to illegal levels of noise pollution. The local ones to Cuddesdon keep going all night, when they should by law only operate dawn till dusk. Hopefully as the Oilseed crop matures they will be turned off. All the best, Tom