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An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to the see the natural world as a place for competition, that was until Covid-19 intervened!. I catch fish, watch birds, derive immense pleasure from simply looking at butterflies, moths, bumble-bees, etc - without the need for rules! I am Dylan and this is my blog - if my opinions offend? Don't bother logging on again - simple!

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Monday, 22 March 2021

BWKm0 No. 50 - I was almost right

Two more additions for the latest "lockdown" list and boy was I close with my prediction of yesterday? Activity around, and under (more about that later), the feeding station was fairly constant with all the regular visitors putting in appearances during the couple of hours I had spare, pre-work. Still one pair of Greenfinches hanging around, this is the male without the BTO ring, and it was a nice surprise to see several Chaffinches drop in to pick up crumbs from the feeders above. It was whilst I was watching a pair, flicking about in the neighbours flowering cherry that I heard that unmistakable call of a Brambling as a small flock of birds passed over the garden. So No. 50 wasn't either of the species I'd thought, but No. 51 certainly was. I was undertaking a bit of "pest control" with my trusty old 1959 Webley Mk III air rifle when I espied a Chiffchaff flycatching from the rear of our garden Elder bush/tree. The Common Buzzards are back on territory over at the farm compound, where a Mistle Thrush was also belting out his song in the still morning air. A group of four Rooks went north, which is right on cue for this time of year and there is a noticeable increase in the Blackbird numbers, around the gardens of Vine Close, although I've made no accurate counts. 



So back to my pest control efforts? I begrudge the seed that is consumed by the hoards of feral Rock Doves that my neighbour, Barbara, actively encourages, but because I am also able to provide food for Collared Doves and Rose-ringed Parakeets, put up with their presence. Brown Rats, on the other hand, are totally unwanted visitors and I do my utmost to ensure they don't become accustomed to the hospitality afforded other wild guests. I've shot twenty-seven during the last ten days and, before anybody gets on their high horse, it's because I think shooting is far more humane than indiscriminate use of rodenticide poisons. Still want to make a fuss? My simple answer is PSL - lets kill something to tick another box! 

10 comments:

  1. Dyl, Shooting is considered the only humane way to deal with these items. I understand that rats/squirrels caught alive in traps are not allowed to be drowned. As for poison what about the bodies that are then eaten by scavengers?

    I've watched some videos of the late John Darling on Utube on the shooting of vermin. Sensible fare.

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    1. Not too sure that everyone will see it that way Ric, but it works for me. As for John Darling - I spent an absolutely riotous time with John, up at a NASA conference at Loughborough, just after the launch of Airgun World magazine. He was a lovely, kind and generous man.

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  2. I too have access to an air rifle Dyl. I use it to control influx of rats frequenting our gardens. Poisons are not an option for us as dog owners, also we have frequent feline and other wildlife we dont wish to harm. How our lives have changed from those early days Eh!

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    1. Bob, we all have to grow up eventually. Got to be preferable to shooting Mallards in Hemel town centre, hasn't it?

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  3. I'm all for pest controls and especially your method. Not sure that I'd be happy to see those parakeets on my feeders though, noisy bloody things.

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    1. Derek, I'm happy for the parakeets to use my feeders. Not so sure I'd be all that amused if I were a fruit farmer though? Still they are a familiar part of the Thanet bird scene and fit in well with all the other weird things our seaside Isle is known for.

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  4. I also shoot them Dyl. It is by far the cleanest most discerning way to get rid. Poisons are cruel and kill other small rodents too, like voles etc. I bought a gun 3 yrs ago when up to a dozen rats would feed on our drive in broad daylight. Ive not seen one at all thgis year as I now remove one within the same day it appears. The crows eat the bodies flung into our back field!

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    1. As our garden backs on to arable farmland, Brown Rats are a regular feature of the annual cycle. We always see them after they are displaced by the harvest. The influx that I'm dealing with, at present, is purely down to the displaced seed from the bird feeders. It is unbelievable how sloppy Green & Gold finches are when eating sunflower hearts. I have used poison in the past but never felt comfortable with the possible knock on effects. The dead rats are now fox fodder, without the poison worries, and the hedgehogs and my neighbour's cats remain unaffected when they are in the vicinity. Cheers for taking time to comment, your support is much appreciated - Dyl

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  5. Dyl, your circumstances are very like my own. I als back onto farmland, rough grass and some arable. It is after harvest here that things get worse as they move to my spilled seed to feed... poor things, but they are free to go about thier business as long as its over my garden wall!

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    1. Stewart, I don't dislike Brown Rats, in fact I think they are rather entertaining creatures when I encounter them whilst out fishing or birding. It's the proximity to my home which causes the problem and, if they stay beyond the garden boundaries, live and let live works well for me. Hoping that your spring birding delivers all that you wish - take care - Dyl

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