Sunday, 11 September 2011

Pigeon Holed

There were a few migrants feeding in the bushes round the "Big Bruce" gun-site this lunch time. I saw Chiffchaffs and Lesser Whitethroats and heard Blackcap and Common Whitethroat, but the wind made it difficult to get onto much.

This Chiffchaff was one that seems to have developed a wide range of calls that never seem to be heard until comparatively recent time. As well as the standard "hweet" there were various less melodic squeaks, whether these are young birds, still developing their vocabularies or birds from a population with a different accent I don't know.

I hadn't been to the undercliff at Kingsdown for a while, and since it does attract some migrants, and is particularly favoured by Black Redstarts I decided to have a look. What struck me today was just how many warning notices there are there. Bear in mind that the foot path, that is a public right of way is the closest to the cliff, and that the gates to the rest of the land are more or less always open.

I don't know how long the land has been left unused by the ministry of defence, but considering the difficulty it has in maintaining proper security one would hope that any dangerous items have been removed.
I wonder if someone in the ministry is a major shareholder in a company producing notices, there are at least 40 in the area.

If one is naughty enough to wander over to the edge of the sea wall this is the view one gets.

This is what is called a Pigeon Hole!

The cliffs still had lots of House Martins feeding along them, but I didn't see any going to nests to feed young, although there may well be some still occupied judging by the amount of activity there.

The various notices do have their uses, and although I didn't find a Black Redstart there were about six Wheatears around that were making use of the signs. I'm sure they realised that at high tide the water could be too deep to paddle in.

I have long felt that this is the ideal place to find a rarity, but every Wheatear I find there is just that. a (Northern) Wheatear, one day....................................

For a lot of the sea wall it is falling down, with large holes in it, just in case you thought that this was how it is meant to be a notice draws your attention, well several of them actually, to the fact that it is falling down!
In case you didn't realise, a high wall, well above the sea has a sudden drop on the seaward side of it.

And you may have thought that the large fissure in the concrete was a design feature, but no, it is a dangerous crack. What would be do without H & S ?


Derek Faulkner said...

Tony, as someone who was a Claims, Risks and Safety manager before he retired I can accept the annoyance and stupidity that so many signs represent but equally know how much they need to be there.
I fought and lost a number of claims for accidents purely because a solicitor was able to point to the fact that there was no sign warning his client of the dangers present. It almost got to the stage where we had to have one warning of the dangers of looking at so many signs!
H & S is as it is today because of the morons that look to make a few bob out of claiming for things that should be accepted as part of everyday life.

Susan said...

We still have a few martins feeding young in nests.

I know from when we lived overlooking RSPB Rainham Marshes, also formerly a firing range, that the clean up took years and was fiendishly expensive.

Jimmy said...

What the... Why are all the scary signs there? Is it like, super secret base and stuff? :D

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