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Spoonbills breed again at Holkham NNR (1 Viewer)

Rare Bird Alert

rarebirdalert.co.uk
Great news following last year's new colony being establised is that this year they have more than doubled the number of young fledged.

14 have successfully fledged this year, up from 6 last year. It is is just reward for the hard work by the Natural England staff who have maintained the breeding habitat and who put in extra hours monitoriing the nests this year to prevent disturbance and egging.

Not that we should need reminding but this highlights why Nature Reserves should be in public hands managed by those who are motivated by conservation not profit. Lets hope Natural England, Defra, The Government and most importantly all of us, realise this before it is too late!

More details along with photos and some quite cute video can be found here

http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/RealData/spoonbills_breed_again.asp
 

John o'Sullivan

Well-known member
It is nice they have somewhere to live for now.

Once the conservationists sort out climate change and everywhere reverts back to a natural climate cycle they can go back south where they belong.

This will give more space for native species not these southern interlopers that only occupy the UK when conditions warm up.

I'm personally looking forwards to the long overdue next ice age.
 
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Capercaillie71

Well-known member
Once the conservationists sort out climate change and everywhere reverts back to a natural climate cycle they can go back south where they belong.

This will give more space for native species not these southern interlopers that only occupy the UK when conditions warm up.

But Spoonbills bred in England 300 years ago and featured in medieval banquets.
 

John o'Sullivan

Well-known member
Spoonbills died out in Tudor times following the end of the medieval warm period. The conservationists like to pretend that they are native and were killed off by humans. They are actually an indicator of climate change and don't belong here at this point in time. In conservation terms they are not naturally occuring.

If you look at the distribution of spoonbills now and compare it to the historical records they are now summering and wintering further north and west than before. Not just in the UK but across Europe.

We are used to spoonbills in Cornwall e.g. and yet the first historical record occured in 1843 (search history of spoonbills in cornwall and a page from Cornwall birding will be amongst the results) a year that had an unusually warm autumn.

13 October 1843 NEWS

CORNWALL AGRICULTURAL REPORT FOR SEPTEMBER
The average temperature of September was 61.03 degrees, the hottest day
having been the 3rd, when the thermometer stood at 80 degrees, and the
coldest night on the 27th, when it fell to 32 degrees. The average of the
barometer was 29.88 inches. The quantity of rain fallen during the month is
1.41 inches.

It will be seen by the above statements that the month of September has been
unusually dry and warm, which enabled the farmers in the oldest parts of the
county to complete their harvest without the trouble unusually attending the
storing of corn late in the autumn. Never do we remember the harvest got in
with less trouble, or in better condition, than this year; and though the
grain is not generally so plump and well filled as we have seen it, yet we
have no doubt that, taking the county through, there will be an average
crop.

Conservationists like to herald birds as being obvious indicators of change e.g. with DDT they are strangely reluctant to apply the same principles to climate change.
 
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Alexjh1

Well-known member
They are actually an indicator of climate change and don't belong here at this point in time. In conservation terms they are not naturally occuring.

That statement is a colossal abstraction - while true in a very distant, loose way - the concept of animals "belonging" anywhere is a human viewpoint. In terms of species which move to new locations themselves, they don't "belong" anywhere, they just are where they are. Humans have an impact certainly, but animal range shift is a natural, fluid process without a "zero state".
 

captaincarot

Well-known member
It is nice they have somewhere to live for now.

Once the conservationists sort out climate change and everywhere reverts back to a natural climate cycle they can go back south where they belong.

This will give more space for native species not these southern interlopers that only occupy the UK when conditions warm up.

I'm personally looking forwards to the long overdue next ice age.

collossal failure of comprehension there, in fact one may suggest you haven't got a clue what you're talking about

it is not that spoon bills do not belong in Britain, it is that arctic species will no longer belong in Britain, and it will be an utter waste of money attempting to hang on to them.
 
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John o'Sullivan

Well-known member
Both of the last two posts in line with arguments I have put forward in previous threads.

Conservationists spend loads of time and money trying to keep species places they no longer fit e.g. Hen Harriers, Black Grouse,Dunlin.

Change is a natural process nothing stays the same. Climate is however a fundamental influence on distribution and one of the main ways in which humans have an anthropogenic influence on distribution.

Conservationists are anti-anthropogenic change yet trumpet the results of one of the most important changes as a conservation success.

If it was not for climate change the climatic conditions would not have supported the colonisation of the UK by spoonbill. The current climate is heavily affected by anthropogenic factors. Therefore according to the conservationists it is not natural.

I read on a previous thread that conservationists are planning or (are)culling one species of owl as it is being affected by another owl that is spreading partly due to forestation. The argument being it's ok to do this and in line with conservation theory as without human influence the "new"owl would not be there.

They can't (logically) have it both ways.The only sustainable position if you follow conservation theory is that we are providing spoonbills somewhere to live whilst the conservationists sort out climate change and then they can revert back to where they would be without an anthropogenic influence.

Of course once the long overdue next ice-age arrives they may well end up a lot further south.
 
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Hotspur

James Spencer
United Kingdom
Why did you have to hi-jack a good news thread? They dont happen often and for many birders and conservationists it is a reason to celebrate. Why not create your own thread for discussing this? I have a feeling that because few would consider your argument legitimate and let it run its course quickly.
 

John o'Sullivan

Well-known member
Because it is not good news if you subscribe to conservation theory.

Personally I am happy that there are spoonbills breeding in the UK but I don't believe in conservation.

It is however more evidence of the way the conservation movement manipulates information to promote their agenda and empires.

I hijacked the thread as you put it becaues the conservation agencies don't make any effort to contextualise the situation.

Few people would consider my argument legitimate because most people are blinded by the conservation zeitgeist and don't think about what lies beneath the superficial good news.

Look at that thread about the owls http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=39632&highlight=owls+culled.

Is that the world you want to live in.

How many times is that sort of scenario going to be repeated across the world in the name of conservation whilst at the same time other anthropogenic distribution changes are trumpeted as evidence for the success of conservation.
 
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captaincarot

Well-known member
Both of the last two posts in line with arguments I have put forward in previous threads.

you've already defeated your own argument and it's therefore well beyond time you left this thread to it's real purpose which is discussion of a species success story, which as has been pointed out are far too few.
 

John o'Sullivan

Well-known member
Pleae tell me how I've defeated my own argument, I'm here to learn.

Surely discussion involves a range of points of view otherwise it turns into blinkered self-sealing back slapping.
 

Tideliner

Well-known member
To say spoonbills do not belong in the UK is rubbish. Populations of all animals are very fluid taking advantages of suitable conditions and retreating when conditions are unsuitable. As this planets climate has always been very variable species have to be adaptable to survive.

Populations could be thought of like a sponge. With a centre where climate , habitat , predators , disease , food and competitors are all at a level the species can thrive. Around the edges of the sponge conditions are less suitable with one or more of the above factors restricting and bringing pressure on the population. When one or more of those restrictions are eased removed the sponge can spread , but if the restrictions are increased then the sponge retracts. At the moment the conditions are suitable for spoonbills so their sponge is expanding , and rightly so. In turn the northern species sponge is retracting . If the worlds climate becomes colder then the species Mr O’ Sullivan seems to want will be return , but if we get into a bad ice age then even many of those cold weather species will retract further southwards.

So to say spoonbills do not belong in the UK is clearly wrong. They do at this period of time. How long will they stay is anyone’s guess, 50 years or a 1000, years perhaps until a time when the cold weather species are a long forgotten by humans and if a period of cold weather returns perhaps , it will be the cold weather species in Mr O’Sullivans eye that do not belong here.


As for looking foward to the long over due Ice age if it happens ( with human impacts that is not certain in the forseeable future ) how does Mr O'Sullivan intent to survive himself. No arable or livestock farming , seas frozen so I suspect he himself will be moving south to an area where he does not belong to find a niche where he can survive.

You say you do not believe in conservation. I suppose you beleve in a man made would that we should leave species alone and let the specialised species go extinct so we are left with an impoverished biodiversity and species that can only live in the same habitat man requires , i.e. industrial farmland or cities. Without conservation the world will be a very poor place.
 
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tittletattler

Well-known member
Because it is not good news if you subscribe to conservation theory.

It is good news. A bird such as Spoonbill is the sort of bird that looks good in the press as it is conspicuous, interesting and attractive. It is the sort of bird that might make Mr or Mrs Joe Public read an article about it in their newspaper and think 'I'll join the RSPB'. More money in their coffers means more land can be bought by them. Good news.

However, I completely agree with John with regards to all the other points that he makes. Nigel Lawson and his cronies have spent an awful lot of money promoting all sorts of guff as an alternative to climate change and the Royal Society had already debunked many of these alternative theories and will continue to do so.

http://royalsociety.org/Facts-and-fictions-about-climate-change/
http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

I'm looking forward to the next dragonfly/damselfy that colonises next year. ;)

Regards, Andy.
 
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Amarillo

Well-known member
Because it is not good news if you subscribe to conservation theory.
.

I understand where your argument is coming from but conservation is about the real world as well as theory.

Yes, the real issues aren't being tackled. But conservation groups are doing what they can and as tittletattler says local successes get people interested. The more people are interested the more chance there is of tackling the major issues in the future.
 

tittletattler

Well-known member
....but I don't believe in conservation.

..

I missed that when I read through the thread originally.

I think, in general, we are singing from the same hymn sheet but I can't reconcile your statement above with the other (imo valid points) that you make. For example, Willow Tit, Willow Warbler and other northern arboreal species will move their range north and therefore they cannot be saved. There's no point in trying.

But surely conservationists should buy as much land as possible so that those areas should be spared from development? This way, many other species will benefit.

Regards, Andy.
 

Jos Stratford

Beast from the East
Because it is not good news if you subscribe to conservation theory.

Personally I am happy that there are spoonbills breeding in the UK but I don't believe in conservation.


It is a good news story, regardless of whether climate change is partly responsible for their presence or not.

If it were not due to triumphs of conservation, would there be any wetlands in East Anglia? Would it not just be a monoculture of cereal crops, etc? Thus, regardless of which species are occupying the numerous marshes of North Norfolk, etc, then it can only be seen as a success - yes, northern species may decline, southern species increase, but if we 'don't do' conservation, then they will all decline and disappear, period - there will be no places for species to expand ranges into.

Even if measured purely from the selfish human perspective, I am happy most of those interested in birds do 'believe' in conservation, I think Britain would be a far duller place without theri efforts (as would most other places). And from a wildlife perspective, it's a no-brainer - destroy the habitats, then nothing benefits.

Not saying all means of conservation are necessarily appropriate and we could easily debate the value of this method against that, but overall long live conservation I say.
 

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