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Lack Of Birds (1 Viewer)

Sandra (Taylor)

Registered User
Supporter
A work colleague has recently come back from a holiday in France.

She's travelled hundreds of sterile miles through Brittany & Normandy and tells me she was staggered at the lack of birds and wildlife seen. Sweetcorn crops everywhere but an upsetting lack of birds or roadkill. She thinks there may be more at the coast though near Mont St. Michael she saw one gull.

Does anyone have a comment I can pass on to her please?

Sandra
 

rosbifs

PutAin STOP
Ukraine
There have been fewer birds generally where we are and more breeding failures - bad weather in early part of year even up to mid-june followed by a hot summer. Other factors include corn is easy for birds to hide in, migrating local birds have left and wintering birds not quite arrived yet, time of day that she was travelling around...
 

pratincol

Well-known member
A work colleague has recently come back from a holiday in France.

She's travelled hundreds of sterile miles through Brittany & Normandy and tells me she was staggered at the lack of birds and wildlife seen. Sweetcorn crops everywhere but an upsetting lack of birds or roadkill. She thinks there may be more at the coast though near Mont St. Michael she saw one gull.

Does anyone have a comment I can pass on to her please
Difficult to know what to make of this.
We recently went from Thessalonika to Paralia- about 80 miles.
Saw very little on the way
Once we spent a few days looking around suitable habitats locally there was a great variety of birds and its not even a noted birdwatching area.
Ditto Faro to Ria Formosa, Portugal, or driving from Manchester to the Lakes.
Was your friend actually exploring the suitable habitats or just generaly observing a lack of birds as they drove?
I covered two areas in the Lakes today. Driving there, I saw nothing . Once I was out of the car in likely habitats there were tons of birds.
 

Sandra (Taylor)

Registered User
Supporter
A work colleague has recently come back from a holiday in France.

She's travelled hundreds of sterile miles through Brittany & Normandy and tells me she was staggered at the lack of birds and wildlife seen. Sweetcorn crops everywhere but an upsetting lack of birds or roadkill. She thinks there may be more at the coast though near Mont St. Michael she saw one gull.

Does anyone have a comment I can pass on to her please
Difficult to know what to make of this.
We recently went from Thessalonika to Paralia- about 80 miles.
Saw very little on the way
Once we spent a few days looking around suitable habitats locally there was a great variety of birds and its not even a noted birdwatching area.
Ditto Faro to Ria Formosa, Portugal, or driving from Manchester to the Lakes.
Was your friend actually exploring the suitable habitats or just generaly observing a lack of birds as they drove?
I covered two areas in the Lakes today. Driving there, I saw nothing . Once I was out of the car in likely habitats there were tons of birds.

Not sure that she was exploring suitable habitats - just driving. But I'll clarify
that. Thanks for your response. I won't be able to correspond for two weeks after today as I'll be in Scotland without access to BF!

Sandra
 

temmie

Well-known member
I found the Mont-saint-Michel area very birdy (april 2016).

But currently, my local patch is also very birdless...

I guess it's a combination of:
1. time of year. End of august/beginning of september is not very 'active'. Winter flocks have not formed yet and birds can still hide in lush scrub.
2. very hot summer. I don't know how to explain this exactly, but I feel that the hot summer wasn't any good for local birds. Not many nests in the surroundings, and very likely not many succesful nests.
3. the ongoing trend of habitat destruction / deterioration. A long-term driving force, but in combination with 1. and 2., it could be the last push needed for some species towards local extirpation.
 

Sandra (Taylor)

Registered User
Supporter
I found the Mont-saint-Michel area very birdy (april 2016).

But currently, my local patch is also very birdless...

I guess it's a combination of:
1. time of year. End of august/beginning of september is not very 'active'. Winter flocks have not formed yet and birds can still hide in lush scrub.
2. very hot summer. I don't know how to explain this exactly, but I feel that the hot summer wasn't any good for local birds. Not many nests in the surroundings, and very likely not many succesful nests.
3. the ongoing trend of habitat destruction / deterioration. A long-term driving force, but in combination with 1. and 2., it could be the last push needed for some species towards local extirpation.

Thanks for that Temmie. I'll pass on your comments.

Sandra
 

PYRTLE

Old Berkshire Boy
A study by Benoîte Fontaine, a biologist and conservationist from the French National Museum of National History showed a decline of around 33% in farmland birds since 1989. The report was published earlier this year and amongst other things included a drop of 80% in flying insects, together with loss of hedgerows.
It suggested intensive farming was a major factor including the continued use of non selective pesticides and chemical fertilisers. Frightening statistics.
All leads to a sterile landscape as the driver experienced on their trip. This is happening more and more worldwide where old fashioned farming methods are being replaced by the need to produce higher and cheaper yields for an increasing population.
 
Last edited:

rosbifs

PutAin STOP
Ukraine
Interesting PYRTLE. I have been making comment here about land that is being turned to agriculture. Wastelands, bogs hedges etc all being ploughed and turned to corn all since the end of set aside...
 

Rob_S

Well-known member
We stayed in St Benoit des Ondes, at the other end of the bay from Mont St Michel, in August. The sheer numbers of birds driven on-shore by the rising tide was an impressive spectacle. Plenty to see once we were away from the car.
 

dantheman

Bah humbug
I've been down in a small village near Agen, SW France the last 10 days or so ... normally enjoy garden birdwatching but it's been about the most birdless I can ever recall!!

Hot, clear blue skies, breeding birds finished and winter migrants not yet in as mentioned. Almost no signs of migration either.

Brittany and Normandy ... hmmm ... about 25 years ago had a holiday up there ... plenty of wildflowers and butterflies etc. Not so many now ... (agricultural changes as mentioned).
 
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