Monday, 7 December 2009

Stock take

Despite seeing hundreds of Wood Pigeons on a daily basis, so far I haven't bumped into any Stock Doves when I've been doing my Timed Tetrad Visits this winter. I know that they're out there but I've missed them so far. I think that they are very attractive in an understated way. Nome of the swagger and pomp of the Woodpigeon, or the yobbish behaviour of the Feral (Rock) Dove, they just quietly and all to often unobtrusively get on with their lives.

As soon as I'm in another area, this time near Little Mongeham, I see them. It was a species in severe decline back in the 1950's and 60's due to the use of organochlorine seed dressings. The population index has fallen slightly over the last five years, but they are still about five times more numerous than in the 1960's. The large flock of resting Herring Gulls in the background are taking a break from feeding on the waste that comes from Tilmanstone Salads. It's funny how some people in some places complain about how many "Sea Gulls" there are and yet man's dirty habits at refuse tips and waste sites continues to encourage them. It's rather like anglers, artificially stocking lakes and them complaining that Cormorants come and eat their fish. What on earth do they expect? If you provide free food then you will naturally get grateful takers!

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