Sunday, February 23, 2014

Tjeldstø 22 February 2014 - A very simple explanation to declining bird populations

If there was anything to gain by moving somewhere else I would take my not inconsiderable tax payments elsewhere - but unfortunately its the same story everywhere. Today's post illustrates the blatant disregard for wildlife (including a number of red data list species) among planners and developers. There is no way on earth they can claim they didn't know any better.

With this kind of thing going on all the time it is no wonder bird populations are declining. One of the points of the national recording system in Norway is to make information available to the relevant authorities - this kind of thing makes one feel like giving up this time consuming activity entirely. Occasionally we hear about a success story but with the constant destruction of decent habitat and with no improvements elsewhere to compensate it does't take a rocket scientist to work out what going on.

Case 1 - Tjeldstø

Right next to the nature reserve the road into the new building estate - decimating the breeding area for a few red-listed species. At the the same time more people, more traffic and more cats. Not promising for the birds that used to live here and not promising for the reserve!

Also close to the reserve this part of the development destroyed some areas vital to overwintering Jack Snipe kvartbekkasin, Common Snipe enkeltbekkassin and Woodcock rugde. The breeding sites for a number of species such as terns and Oystercatchers tjeld have also now disappeared.

Case 2 - Herdlevær
The rate of  "development" here has been rapid the last few years with progressively more houses and cabins being built. This trend continues in 2014. At this rate we'll be looking for a new place to bird within a couple of years. The most popular areas for migrants and rarities are already gone....

Small scale degradation like this pales into insignificance beside some developments but lots of small things make a big one.....

The latest two projects at Herdlevær

This used to be an area of elderberry bushes and other scrub which was popular with migrant warblers...

Bird news today was limited but some migrants obviously arriving at Tjeldstø - three pairs of Greylag grågås were acting all territorial and a flock of 40 Starling stær was the biggest flock this year. Of seven Whoopers sangsvane on Rotevatnet only one was a youngster. Not a particularly good percentage.....

At Nautnes it was a case of the usual suspects - including a couple of Curlew storspove and a Black Guillemot teist.

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