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Coney Meadow and Adjoining Areas (5 Viewers)

Woodchat

Cogito ergo sum
At least 2 Bramblings (male and female) in mixed finch/bunting flock feeding on Sunflowers between Copcut Lane and Churchfields this morning. 2 Lesser Redpolls, Chaffinches, Greenfinches and House Sparrows also.

A Little Egret near Salwarpe again.

3 Cetti's Warblers between Salwarpe and Ladywood along the canal (2 showed very well together - male and presumed female) plus one other singing Male in another spot.

Siskins feeding in alders at Salwarpe Court.

2 Ravens

3 Blackcaps - 2 males and a female

1 Snipe flew over Salwarpe Court mid morning.
 
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Philb50

Well-known member
Good flock Dave. I had a lovely male Brambling. Plenty of Reed Buntings too. Nice to see a big flock of House Sparrows.
 

Woodchat

Cogito ergo sum
Hi Phil - yes Bramblings are subtle beauties - one of my faves at this time of year. I've got a feeling there are more than 2 in that flock - it's quite hard to view all the birds as they don't always feed on the top of the seed-heads - when they get flushed, it becomes apparent that many are feeding out of sight on the deck under the 'living bird table'.
 

Birder Gladys

Well-known member
some photos from the last few days of Twigs and branches.
 

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Woodchat

Cogito ergo sum
Today's birds:

2 Bramblings still
Mixed finches - Redpolls, Chaffinches, Linnets, Greenfinches etc plus Reed Buntings and House Sparrows
Peregrine on pylon between Salwarpe and Ladywood
Cetti's Warbler
Water Rails
Snipe
Tawny Owl
Winter Thrushes
Siskins
Male Blackcap
 

Woodchat

Cogito ergo sum
Male and female Bramblings still in mixed finch flock along Copcut Lane
Male and female Blackcaps along canal between Salwarpe and Ladywood
Siskins overhead
 

Woodchat

Cogito ergo sum
Other birds seen today include good views of Cetti's Warbler between Ladywood and Porter's Mill.
Flock of 20+ Redpoll in alders near Ladywood
3 Ravens
Kestrel
Buzzard
Nuthatch
Goldcrests
Meadow Pipits
Siskins
Cormorants
Mute Swans
Starlings
Winter Thrushes
Meadow Pipits
 

Woodchat

Cogito ergo sum
4 Bramblings feeding with a large flock of Chaffinches in the outer grounds of Salwarpe Court - 3 females and a male. Could be more.
 

Woodchat

Cogito ergo sum
I've just come across a load of men trying to shoot Mallards on Tapenhall pool. They say they are entitled to shoot them under a 'general license' ( if, indeed, they actually have one). Does anyone on here know the legal position? If it is deemed illegal, who would be the best people to report it to? BTW I have no objection to them shooting specially reared quarry such as Partridge or Pheasants or potential pests such as crows / pigeons but this seems unnecessary to me. Thanks in advance.
 

Philb50

Well-known member
Hi Dave . I was always under the impression that inland wildfowling traditionally takes place at dusk and/or dawn on on flightponds which are usually fed with grain to attract the ducks. Quite often decoys are put out as well. 10.00am in the morning seems an odd time for duck shooting. The ducks would see the shooters from miles away. I don't think its allowed to shoot them on the water.
I heard some gunfire as well this morning thought it was pigeon shooting.
 

Triturus

Triturus
I've just come across a load of men trying to shoot Mallards on Tapenhall pool. They say they are entitled to shoot them under a 'general license' ( if, indeed, they actually have one). Does anyone on here know the legal position? If it is deemed illegal, who would be the best people to report it to? BTW I have no objection to them shooting specially reared quarry such as Partridge or Pheasants or potential pests such as crows / pigeons but this seems unnecessary to me. Thanks in advance.
Woodchat
There was a huge uproar about 'general licences' a couple of years back, Wild justice headed up by Chris Packham, Mark Avery (ex big wig at RSPB) and Ruth Tingay launched a legal challenge to DEFRA on the matter. In essence if you 'wanted/needed' to shoot/control 'pest' bird species (there is select list) you could do it under the provision of a 'general licence' that you did not have to apply for or sign up to. Technically you had to prove (in your own mind and convince yourself) that you had explored other non lethal control methods and the birds were causing damage or were a risk to human health. It caused quite a bit of upset particularly on protected sites (grouse moors especially where control of carrion is very intensive). DEFRA looked at it and basically not a lot changed apart from the wording. Mallard most definitely is not listed under a general licence https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/bird-licences but it is listed as quarry species under schedule 2 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981(WCA) so it can be shot from Sept to Jan. The general licence is irrelevant in this instance and it goes to show how ill infirmed those are doing the shooting, I suspect if they don't understand what is listed they really won't understand its conditions of use.

Further to this Wild Justice launched a more recent challenge against the un regulated release of gamebirds, there really is no restriction or limit on this. I believe more controls are being put in place and certainly in and around former European (internationally important) Wildlife sites (SACs and SPAs) (yes they will continue to exist next month but we will call them 'National sites' (and retain the SAC and SPA titles)) there will be much stricter assessment and permitting (there has been evidence of damage from gamebirds of ground flora in important woodlands and studies on the Malvern hills show pheasants impact upon the reptile populations).

Incidentally, did you know where our nearest 'Internationally' important wildlife site is? Upton Warren, Nah!, Shrawley Wood, Nah!, Malvern Hills, nah!

Go up the steps beside the big Tesco at Warndon village and visit the pond, the one with the trolleys and carrier bags in it, that'll be the Lypard Grange ponds SSSI/SAC site that will! Peak count of Great Crested newts of 180 in two massive ponds. However, nice little pond by entrance to Salwarpe Court had a peak count of 118 a few years back and it has no trolleys!.
 

Woodchat

Cogito ergo sum
Thanks for the info guys!

Yesterday's events put a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. Two of the shooting party asked me not to walk along the footpath by the pool until the drivers had gone through. I asked them what they were shooting and when they said 'ducks', I said 'you're joking'. I said 'tough, I'm going to walk the footpath and you can't stop me' at which point they radioed through to the drivers and told them that ' someone's being difficult'. When I met up with the drivers a lively discussion ensued. I watched them drive the ducks into the waiting guns but only heard one gun go off so I don't think they were very successful on this occasion. There might be very little I can do to stop these pompous morons decimating the local wildlife but at least I registered my utter disdain at what they're doing. 😡
 

Birder Gladys

Well-known member
Congratulations to the Droitwich Community woods for getting a Green Flag Award. Proof can be seen with this green flag.
 

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