My latest column in Birdwatch (the one with the Sabine’s gull on the cover) discusses whether we should like pheasants or not – I’d like them more if they weren’t full of lead.
I wrote in BBC Wildlife a few months ago about pheasants too – now there are lots of letters on the subject in the October issue (the one with David Attenborough on the cover). The pheasant hasn’t got many fans it seems.
But talking of fans, it was nice while sitting outside the visitor centre at RSPB Titchwell, waiting to be bought and brought a bacon sandwich, to be spoken to by another birder who said ‘I very much enjoy reading your column in Birdwatch every month – even though I am a farmer’.
We then had a nice chat about his new telescope, how many spoonbills there were on the marsh (16 early in the day – and they weren’t all asleep as they usually seem to be) and farming. The nice farmer said it had been a terrible year with low wheat and sugar beet yields.
I wonder whether the nice farmer saw a yellow-browed warbler later that day (see page 15 of Birdwatch) – I didn’t but we heard one several times and it seemed impossible that the little blighter could remain invisible, but it did.
Birdwatch‘s October target bird is the Richard’s pipit, a bird which I have seen abroad but not in the UK. But there must be lots around as one has been found in my ‘home’ county of Northamptonshire. If they are here they must be everywhere.
My ‘best bird’ recently was adding raven to the garden list as three flew over mobbing a buzzard. Later a red kite drifted past. Signs of progress.