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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 11:29 am 
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Farmers are being urged to help wildlife pushed to the brink of a crisis by Britain's big freeze. Cold winter weather was potentially the greatest single wildlife killer of the new millennium, said the RSPB.
It is urging farmers to spare a thought for threatened birds, such as corn buntings and yellowhammers, on their land.

Farmers could help by putting out supplementary food, especially in the form of grain tailings or residues from last year's crops, near known bird territories.

The RSPB is also urging people not to disturb flocks of wetland birds, including ducks, geese, swans and wading birds.

Disturbance causes these birds to expend energy they cannot replace pushing them to the brink, said Mark Avery, RSPB conservation director.

"The extremely hard winter spanning 1962 and 1963 was arguably the single event that had the greatest impact on Britain's wildlife within living memory.

"With the icy weather predicted to last at least another week, this winter could be the single greatest wildlife killer of the new millennium.

"Farmland birds were often at their most vulnerable in the winter, said Dr Avery.

"Food is most scarce, so the continued bitterly cold weather and snow cover on the ground could have a potentially devastating impact.

"Putting out grain tailings is one simple thing farmers can do that is proven to make a difference to birds' survival through the winter."

It was likely that the legacy of this hard winter would be seen in bird populations for years to come, Dr Avery warned.

The RSPB's switchboard was becoming clogged with people reporting sightings of unusual birds turning up in gardens, he added.

Callers had reported sightings of woodcock, snipe and grey wagtails - all birds not normally seen in gardens.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 12:22 pm 
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Mum and dad like a bit of twitching. They had a small dairy farm for years and encouraged wildlife, but now have circumstance changed and they bought the farm, sold the cows and half the land and dad works off the farm, but I digress.

They were both members of the RSPB for a few years and they even invited them to come and have a look round for a bit of bird counting action. The RSPB man nearly expired and wanted to come back in his own time. They are no longer member, because everytime they received a publication from them it contained anti farmer propaganda, but no mention was given to people sterile gardens, where nothing "weedlike" is allowed to flourish. Dad had a conversatio with one of their reps, I forget how this came about, but he (dad) read them the riot act when asked to renew membership saying he was sick of the anti farmerness.

To listen to them on the telly, you would be forgiven for thinking that this is the first winter birds had ever encountered. All that we need to to as custodians of the land is provide some where for the wild life to life and leave it be. Once you start feeding birds or what every, you start to favour some species over others. This is a cold winter and it is the survival of the fittest, some will make it, some won't and it has always been this way, and always will be.

By the time spring springs, things will start breeding and January 10 will be a distant memory.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 12:55 pm 
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While bird feeding is big business for home owners farmers are discouraged from putting out feed on a large scale for wildlife. Fit survive.

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