Tuesday 4 June 2013

Sunshine and Debating the news

At very long last, or so it is forecast, we are going to have more than a couple of successive days of warm and sunny weather, this summery weather could last for a whole week!
If you lived on the North and East coasts of Kent this morning then you might of laughed at that forecast, the weather was nothing like it. On the Swale NNR at 10.00 this morning, the winter coat was back on as strong and blustery NE winds blew in non-stop heavy grey clouds in off the sea - it was not a pleasant walk round and certainly not warm! Eventually, from lunch-time onward, we had unbroken sunshine but back home it was a case of two halves, the back garden out of the wind was very warm, walk round the front of the house and almost a coat was needed.
 Anyway, that aside, in my book May and June have to be two of the best months of the year, everything looks so lush and new, young life is everywhere as the breeding season reaches it's climax, wild flowers begin to flower and in yesterday's sun retirement seemed a wonderful time of life.
The first and by the look of it, only pair of breeding Mute Swans on the reserve this year, are now parading their cygnets and the lovely ruby-red Houndstongue flowers are beginning to emerge - shame the plant stinks of mouse urine.

Because of the lateness of the Spring, the hawthorn's blossom is more a case of June flower than May flower this year but it still looks good all the same.

 Buttercups are at last giving sustenance to insects.

I even found this one patch of the tiny-flowered Field Forget-Me-Not, something I can't recall seeing on the reserve before.

Water Crowfoot is also flowering and, if you look closely, also feeding a lone bee.

 Even the normally boring ditch-side sedge is trying to compete in the flowering stakes, debatable if its winning or not.

Finally, this "Kate-ern" or Grey Heron, seemed happy to stand around long enough for me to get a photo of it.

The remains of Natural England were both in the news and debated last week. I have made mention of the demise of this once credible organisation before in my blogs but last week it was finally revealed just how far down the plug-hole that they have sunk. The RSPB revealed that Natural England have kept secret the fact that they have given the gamekeeper on a large shooting estate a licence to remove the nests and eggs of four pairs of Buzzards - because they were interfering with the rearing of thousands of pheasants that were being reared to be shot. So there we have it, birds of prey, protected in law, are now being sacrified so that thousands of artificially reared game birds can be be reared undisturbed in order to create profits for a wealthy landowner in the winter. The fact that some of these wealthy owners of shooting estates are also MP's that appear to be using Natural England to benefit their estates rather than species that are, and should remain protected, makes it all the more galling.
I have supported shooting in recent times, where the habitat it creates, manages and maintains, benefits wildlife in general but this takes things to a whole new level that cannot possibly be supported and I am as pissed off as most other people concerned about wildlife in this country.


  1. Glad that we had the good news first Derek.You me and lots of others are not happy with NE right now.

  2. Mike,
    Even many of the people that work for NE right now aren't happy with being there, but need a job.

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  4. The reply from NE to the KOS is available here:

  5. As usual one law for the rich etc. I agree with you and also signed the petition complaining about it.