My Great Bill

Polish “environmental EcoLogic Group placed a tracker on the back of a white stork last year to track the bird’s migratory habits. It travelled some 3,700 miles (6,000kms), and was traced to the Blue Nile Valley in eastern Sudan before the charity lost contact. … Somebody found the tracker in Sudan, removed the sim card and put it in their own phone, where they then racked up 20 hours’ worth of phone calls. … The organisation has received a phone bill of over 10,000 Polish zloty ($2,700; £2,064)” https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-44645217

It’s good to stork, but beware of roaming charges, especially if you’re hard of heron.

Advertisements

Unrequited

“The first time in 40 years that a gannet had flown in to roost but, instead of bringing a partner, Nigel quickly became infatuated with one of the 80 decoys designed to lure the real thing to the island.
So taken was he with his concrete love that he built it a nest out of seaweed and sticks, and was seen by volunteers apparently trying to woo it.” https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/101073714/the-wrong-ending-nigel-the-lonely-gannet-found-dead-beside-his-concrete-love

Relationship success needs more than love, and something concrete isn’t enough either.

Wasted

“The world’s most widely used insecticide may cause migrating songbirds to lose their sense of direction and suffer drastic weight loss, according to new research.” https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/29/common-pesticide-can-make-migrating-birds-lose-their-way-research-shows

Scientists are close to linking this effect to recent behaviour in the UK government cabinet.

Partricide

“Red-legged partridges fed seeds treated with one neonic died within days. Other researchers found house sparrows became ‘uncoordinated and unable to fly’ and Japanese quail suffered DNA damage after being exposed to the pesticides.” http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/pesticides-ban-evidence-death-birds-bees-grows-stronger-agriculture-partial-report-a7522391.html

Could you fly a little faster, said the sparrow to the quail,
There’s a partridge right behind me who’s a deadweight on my tail.
We’re flying round in circles, answered quail unto the spug,
I’m feeling rather queasy and my head’s all shot to fug.

Sticklejerk

A kingfisher “kills the fish by striking them against its perch. This softens the stiff spines of the sticklebacks, making them easier to swallow. However, the bird appears to have gone a step further by using the spines to pin three sticklebacks to its regular branch.” http://scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk/article/kingfisher-mystery-in-montrose/

Breakfast cereal for birds: Fish Crispies – slap, stickle, prop; and for tea a little smokie.

Game Gems

Supporting driven grouse shooting at the parliamentary debate on 31 October:

“If you cease burning, you get long, degenerate, rank heather, which is unsightly”
Sir Nicholas Soames (Mid Sussex) (Con) https://goo.gl/NKirCJ

“The main perpetrator of the petition”
Richard Benyon (Newbury) (Con) https://goo.gl/odPPWC

“There were blackcock, golden plover, woodcock, snipe, jack snipe, greylag geese, teal, widgeon, mallard, gadwall, pintail and even, right outt in the middle of the moor, miles from anywhere, a wild chicken. I am not sure whether there are wild chicken, but there was a chicken that was probably not born and brought up there.”
Simon Hart (Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire) (Con) https://goo.gl/hVq3Wj

Raptor Fractions

“The number of breeding pairs of hen harriers in England so far this year ranges between 0 and 1.” (https://raptorpersecutionscotland.wordpress.com/2016/06/06/how-many-hen-harriers-breeding-in-england-this-year/)

0.5 of a breeding pair? Just out of interest, is it hermaphrodite?

Please sign the petition to ban driven grouse shooting.