How’s your day so far?

My day so far (before 0830):

  • sent thank you emails to 30+ people who have written to their MP about driven grouse shooting
  • went out to Stanwick Lakes and saw the Turnstone that has been there for a few days
  • had breakfast, two slices of toast and marmite, in the garden
  • saw a Holly Blue in the garden
  • added Bullfinch to the garden list
  • added garden Bullfinch record to Birdtrack
  • re-read the passage in Remarkable Birds about the Bullfinch

How is your day starting?


27 Replies to “How’s your day so far?”

  1. Not quite as busy as you, Mark (no surprise there). But it was a very late night acknowledging all our new @MoorlandVision Twitter followers, exhorting them all to sign our petition to encourage the National Trust not to advertise or re-appoint another shooting tenant on two of their moorland estates in the Derbyshire Peak District.

    1. Moorland Vision – and I have just started following you. Expect some tweets and RTs over the coming days and weeks. Good luck.

    2. I brought one of your leaflets back from Birdfair. It’s on my to-do list to sign the petition.

  2. Ran about 10K at 5.30; Coffee in garden with early-birds, admiring my brand new sunflower growing under the feeders ……
    Found short-tailed vole which had ‘come in’ as a guest for supper last evening.
    Messed around with new camera lens for an hour or so …….
    Another coffee …. and finally here …….

  3. Checked the elder bush opposite the kitchen window for warblers coming to the berries which they do every year.
    We have had 2 lesser and one common whitethroat, 2 blackcaps and a garden warbler in the last two days.
    Only one blackcap this morning so set off to check our local hobby nest site. One juvenile sitting right at the top of the oak in which it was reared. Two others doubtless somewhere in or near the tree. County population now estimated at over 100 pairs!
    Then to local shops to buy flowers to celebrate the day we moved into this house twenty something years ago. Home by 8.20.
    Ps. Recommend you have an elderberry bush in your gardens too…..but don’t park your car beneath it!

  4. Before 8.30am:
    Hauled suffering teen out of bed.
    Cleared up after dog who should not have been given raw pork chop.
    Hung out two loads of washing, put further load in.
    Drove neighbour to work because she had missed bus.
    Unloaded and loaded dishwasher, cleaned filters.
    Located hideously dead pigeon in strawberry bed (waste of space: the blackbirds ate them).
    Interred HDP.

    Made tea, ate chocolate flapjack to give strength, deleted 32 email messages from facebook as no time to read.

    I think you must have good staff Mark, and the reason women do not comment very often may become apparent in due course.

    However, will write to my MP before darkness falls. We are absolute pen friends these days.

  5. Read Mark Avery’s blog
    Did a wee bit of research and networking on the history of wildlife crime in the Peak District
    Researched ‘modest dress’ for working in Muslim country
    Edited some stuff on Normans in Wexford
    Approved some great creative writing on the passage of time in Waterford
    Wrote some stuff about a sailing ship I visited last week
    Had breakfast in garden – no Small Tortoiseshells. Again. *sad face*
    Briefed lovely gardener who will make me and my garden happy – because my osteopath has forbidden me to garden for a while.
    Looked enviously at some stuff about hunting with golden eagles and wished I could do that rather than writing letters about not killing raptors illegally.

    Pretty good, really. Thanks for drawing my attention to it.

  6. Lyn: many thanks.
    Good to see our leaflet distribution work is paying off.
    The moorland vision petition is backed by 12 local wildlife and walking/running groups including the county bird club, local wildlife groups and a fell running club too (they get their legs caught in snares when running over the moors!).
    Encouraging the National Trust to stop putting another shooting tenant on this large estate of theirs in the heart of the Peak District and instead managing it FOR wildlife (and people) should be something that’s achievable in the short term.
    They will advertise for a new tenant next year but a recent tweet from them suggests that they are still wedded to having shooting where it’s always been traditional ….so we need not only lots more signatures but people, especially NT members to write to Helen Ghosh (NT CEO) and let her know how pivotal this matter is to the standing of the NT among conservationists.

    1. Now signed and shared on Facebook. Have also been making good progress on the newsletter for my local RSPB group and keeping the painters supplied with tea.

  7. At 8.30 I was still asleep – but I stay up late (that’s my excuse).
    Regarding letters to MP’s. Our is a “follow the herd” Tory, ex-army and no evidence of environmental interest, against climate change measures etc etc. On the rare occasion I have bothered to contact him about issues have only got a stock answer written for him by a subordinate. I strongly suspect that, whatever I write, he would heartily support the driven grouse shooters. If he attended the debate and spoke at all, I think he would be on the side of DGS.
    He wouldn’t put forward my views. He seems to only represent the government and his own views. E.g he is a smoker and has voted against all matters relating to regulating smoking & the tobacco industry even though the vast majority of his constituents don’t smoke.
    So what do you suggest? I know you will say try and re-educate him – but I doubt he’d even read it. I’ve only heard of him visiting our area once in the run-up to the last election. He is not a good constituency MP in my opinion.

  8. Wrote a (still pending) Trip Adviser review of the Edinburgh restaurant we went to last night which had grouse on the menu. Tried to review the place fairly but also to say why we won’t be going there again.

    Went to bed. Got up. Morning! (It is still morning isn’t it?)

  9. Found dead bird (warbler?) in plant pot on windowsill. Wrestled with stupid work database. Read good news about SUDS at new Battersea Power station building project (I refuse to call such things ‘development’), & watched short vid of Queen Caroline estate SUDS at Hammersmith. Thought about the much better idea for a Thames garden bridge: the Blackfriars Garden Bridge. Wrestled by email with lazy colleague who wants me to do all the work for her. Watched robin using birdbath, while giving me the hairy eyeball.

    I think Hilary McKay is the funniest!

  10. And decided (per Telegraph article) that Philip Merricks is probably a Trojan Horse sent by someone to hijack a bird NGO and sow confusion in the grouse shooting debate. You’ve got to think like your enemy remember. So say to yourself “The green morons are going to be having an increasing go at DGS in the next few years, and it makes me pot-loads of money. What could I do, strategically, to cause them the maximum trouble and make them look bad? So I can protect my income, and f**** them up as much as possible.”
    Trust me, lots of them are thinking long and hard like that, and have been for a while. Seriously, we need to try to anticipate their strategies.

  11. Up at 0530. Breakfast (protein heavy yoghurt and coffee) then read Pro MovieMaker for inspiration, found lots but all had high price tags. 0645 leave for work, drove to site on A9 with a mix of R4, Radio Scotland and (very) loud rock music. 0730 start of shift briefing. Explained to Site Manager that the big red bird flying over site was a kite and will not carry him away unless it grows 100x bigger! Wrote some emails then onto site to photograph boreholes (it really is as fabulous as it sounds – not!) whilst constantly checking for ticks. Three sites this Summer and all have been heaving with ticks! This afternoon will be a mixture of photography and birding in the hot Highlands sunshine!

  12. Woke up at 7.30 watched a Hoopoe flying down the valley, went to do a grocery shop had Hobby insecting over a small wood. Sat by the pool for an hours had a lage raptor eagle sp in the very far distance. Had lunch ham sarnie and now I am watching parakeets squabble and wondering if they are native to Spain or introduced as our are.

  13. Isn’t it wonderful what a varied group of multi-taskers these ‘eco-activists’ are? I’m sure many could give Mr Merricks some lessons in life, perhaps starting with integrity. As an elderly and lifelong naturalist I find the man’s slurs deeply offensive, to say nothing of his wilful blindness to criminal activity.

    1. So he’ll no doubt get nominated for some antiquated system which honours such folk, members of an elitist clique? Regular parties in Westminster?

      Perhaps we should give ’em a run for their money with a batch of applications, then when ours are rejected and theirs nodded through we might call for an investigation in process?

  14. This morning –
    watered plants in polytunnel, picked raspberries, checked the chickens and then a rare treat spent morning working in Cambridge conservation campus collating my ringing and Nest recording data. I dropped off a pile of hen harrier cards which I collected on friday. my usual day would be working on my Lincolnshire wildlife trust work from home but just sometimes one needs a change of scene.

    stilll waiting for response from MP – didnt manage to post her a harrier card this morning.

  15. re. 100 pairs of Hobbies in Derbyshire.
    Mark: I was surprised too, thinking there to be only ca. 50 pairs but see British Birds June 2016 page 320. The national population estimate was put at over 3000 pairs. An unbelievable increase in the last 30 years.
    Shows what a raptor can do if it doesn’t threaten any game birds…..

    1. Nick bee – you wait until they start shooting dragonflies – then it’ll be in trouble.

  16. I got up at 5am. Made a packed lunch for me and my husband. Had breakfast. Walked to catch a bus at 7am to go to clean someone’s house for four hours (I’m a self employed cleaner). Got the bus home and had lunch. Did some housework at home then went back out to the local high school to clean it for two hours (its extra special cleaning done during school hols). Then came home and spent an hour or so in the garden before cooking and eating dinner. The time in the garden was my time to experience a bit of nature. Hoverflies, bumblebees, white butterflies, House Sparrows and a Willow Tit on bird feeders, a sawfly amongst the bramble plants.

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