Friday 8 March 2019

Wanstead Bird Report 2017

The Wanstead Bird Report 2017 is out, and you can read it here. I confess that I played very little part in its production this time around - what time I have for this type of thing goes towards the London Bird Report instead. But I am pleased to say that Nick and Bob have put in a ton of effort and got this excellent read prepared - it is amazingly professionally produced for a what is just a local bird report. 

As I am sure I have bleated on about on here more than a few times, the landowner and the general public's view and use of the area continues to be absolutely shameful, and is at least part of the reason that I personally bird the area far less than I used to. A swan was killed by a dog just a few days ago for example. Others may feel the same way, and unfortunately with the more committed people off-patch for various unavoidable reasons the coverage and thus records dropped. What we should have done was bird it even more furiously than before to prove that the poor habitat management combined with the selfish behaviour of a small minority makes the place a far poorer place for birds than it has ever been, both for breeders and migrants. Regardless, we have been branded as activists for a number of reasons - objecting to things mostly. Objecting to the proposed use of the Flats as a festival-style concert venue in the breeding season. Objecting to the continued clearance of scrub in the name of absurd Victorianisation designed to satisfy a small band of old-timers, scrub that is vital breeding habit for passerines and a food source for insects. Objecting to pretty much anything that sets nature back, anything that is a means to make money and birds be damned. Unfortunately our activism also means there a lack of willingness to engage with us. We are troublesome; we are ignored, a story repeated across the country. Please have a read, it is admittedly a little fierier than prior years, but there were nonetheless some decent birds in 2017.

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