It’s true what they say that when you retire there is just not enough hours in the day to do all you would like to do! And that dear friends is my excuse for not writing my Blog since January (I think).
I have hardly got out with my camera, I managed a couple of hours at my local Peregrine spot, but even they decided that courtship behind closed nests was more important than posing for me. :-(
I have had some minor success on eBay selling some bits and pieces of photography gear that I no longer use. I passed a new rule recently, that I was not allowed to spend any money on hobbies/equipment, without first generating the income from the Hobby. So either selling some pics or some gear! Fortunately, I have had a bit of both, some pics through Alamy and the said eBay. Unfortunately, I have almost spent it all on shopping on….you guessed it…eBay! Well….you have to spend it while you have it and the item you want is available…don’t you?
I was so pleased to see the Hedgehog as they have been declining in such drastic numbers recently. I find it quite difficult with such a small modern garden, to keep it tidy so as not to be an eyesore for the neighbours and at the same time be a wildlife friendly habitat.
I was also surprised to see a very small long-tailed field mouse in the garden. I noticed where he was hanging about and made a point of ensuring there was always some food there for him/her. I had to get out into the garden at about 3.00am to see him but he became almost friendly, and stopped diving for cover whenever I showed up, after a while, realising he wasn’t going to get hurt by me. However, my Rosie did find a local black & white cat hiding out very near where said mouse ate. That was about two weeks ago, and I haven’t seen the mouse since, but I am still putting food out for it, and the food is not there in the morning, so I am hoping that he is still safe in his underground home. I do have a couple of pics of the little feller as soon as they are processed I will post them.
Scottish gamekeeper George Mutch, convicted in December for trapping a goshawk and then battering it to death (and a few other things – see here) on the Kildrummy Estate in Aberdeenshire, has been sentenced to four months in prison for his crimes.
He was led away from the court in handcuffs and is currently en-route to a prison cell.
What an unbelievably brilliant outcome – we never thought we’d see the day. Mutch is the first gamekeeper ever to be jailed in the UK for killing raptors.
Huge congratulations to the RSPB Investigations Team, SSPCA, Police Scotland and the Crown Office, and kudos (and thanks) to Sheriff Noel McPartlin for handing out this sentence. An acknowledgement also to former Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse, who pushed hard for the admissibility of video evidence. Had he not done so, this case would probably not have made it to court.
I haven’t been around much lately, mainly due to family commitments plus, I have been asked to participate in writing a book and supplying photos for same. The book is all about a specific area of the Music Industry, which many of you will know was my previous life. So researching that has taken some time, I will post here when it’s all finished and published.
More recently, I have been accepted as a Trustee of Gwent Wildlife Trust. This is something very close to my heart and I hope that I shall be able to contribute some value to this wonderful organisation. Watch this space I guess.
Here is a video that a friend sent me and i though it would be nice to share. Hope you enjoy.
I wonder what the world is coming to. Read this please. And furthermore, why are the RSPB opting out of the discussion? I don’t pay my dues to them to have them opt out! They are supposed to be representing me in all things Wildlife.
The GWCT are at it again. First they wanted buzzards and sparrowhawks added to the Scottish General Licences to allow the legal killing of these protected species in order to protect non-native gamebirds bred and released in their millions for leisure shooting. Then they went for the legal ‘removal’ of hen harriers from English grouse moors to protect artificially-high stocks of red grouse for leisure shooting. Now their plan to ‘remove’ pine martens from several Scottish forests, under the guise of a ‘research trial’, has been leaked.
Their ‘plan’ is to ‘remove’ 120 pine martens (a highly protected species that is recovering from persecution) from four forests in Strathspey, including inside the Cairngorms National Park, over a six-year period to see whether their ‘removal’ has any affect on the breeding success of Capercaillie. The plan suggests that the martens could be killed but a ‘translocation’ to other areas would be…
Rather than throw the honey jar away while there was still some in the bottom, I decided to leave the lid off and place it on it’s side on the Bar-B-Que. In truth I was hoping that it may attract some late night -flying moths. However, after checking it at night for a couple of nights and finding nothing, I gave up the idea, but left the jar.
A day or two later the rain had stooped and the sun was briefly shining. I took a stroll down to the Bar-B-Que and was absolutely amazed at the number of Honey Bees and a couple of Wasps all guzzling as much as they could of the (now solidified) honey. By the time I got there there were two dead Honey Bees and two live wasps amongst the tightly packed in ‘gang’! I watched it quite closely for a while and was surprised to see that both the bees and the wasps all ignored each other.
Many of my readers will no doubt recall the case of Mass Poisoner Gamekeeper Alan Lambert. This opting by ‘Raptor Persecution Scotland’ blog will surprise many. A totally unbelievable outcome to the case, presided over by district judge peter Veits.
Gamekeeper Allen Lambert, convicted of mass raptor poisoning at Stody Estate, Norfolk, has been given a 10 week suspended sentence for poisoning 11 raptors (suspended for one year), a six week suspended sentence for possession of firearms and dead buzzards (suspended for one year) and has been ordered to pay £930 prosecution costs and an £80 victim surcharge.
This sentence will infuriate many. Lambert’s crimes contributed to one of the worst incidents of mass raptor poisoning in the UK. Although it’s not the worst incident, it’s right up there near the top of the list and is certainly the worst mass poisoning of raptors uncovered in England.
District Judge Peter Veits said Lambert’s crimes ‘had crossed the custody threshold’ but his sentence would be suspended. Why? Sentencing is supposed to serve two purposes. It’s supposed to be a deterrent, not only to the convicted criminal, but also to others…
I may have mentioned before that the last thing I do at night is to take our mini longhaired Dachshund out into the garden. During the spring and summer when it was dry, she would spend more and more time sniffing about and mousing. So as not to rush her too much I started looking around the garden with my torch. I have to say, for someone who is keen on Entomology, it was like someone had opened a door into a different world. And when I think of how long it has taken me to realise this…..
So before long the torch was accompanied by camera and flash and extension tubes and goodness know what else to try and get shot of insects that were, in some cases getting smaller and smaller. However, all things being equal I will hopefully starting posting some of the pix here.
Today I am going to start with, what is one the smallest orb spiders in the garden Araniella cucurbitina. These guys are so small the spread the web across a single leaf in many cases. Hope you like it.