Thursday, 20 September 2012

Birds, Badgers and other things

Yesterday saw (I think) our first flight of geese of the season, although I understand some Pink Foot - or possibly Pink Feet - were noted at Blakeney a week or so ago.  Even so, the ones flying over the village yesterday seemed to be somewhat earlier than last year and much earlier than in 2010. I always think of the geese coming from the north, but yesterday's early birds seemed to come from the south east with subsequent arrivals from all points - bar north. A few more flew over this morning, with the weather turning suitably autumnal; much cooler and no sun.

I can't work out whether this is unusual, but yesterday's arrivals were sharing their air-space with swallows and martins who are still in residence, although I suspect that they may take the hint that the season is on the turn. Definitely not unusual and absolutely on schedule was the arrival of new work from Max Angus including a new print of Pinkfeet at Stiffkey. Very topical!

Badgers have been much in the news this week following the granting of licences for trial culls in Gloucestershire and Somerset. By nature I am not given to great sympathy for those who oppose all such controls and I do appreciate the growing cost of TB to the dairy farmers. However the approach to the trials seems flawed both in theory and practice. Having watched the brief feature about how the trial is to be carried out on Countryfile last weekend, I can't help feeling that the cull will be lengthy and inefficient and secondly that any empty setts will quickly be appropriated by animals from outside the trial areas.  Common sense would seem to suggest that focussing efforts on vaccination of cattle might be more practical and effective.

The other hot topic - at least in Norfolk - this week was UFO's with widespread sightings of mysterious flashing lights on Monday night.  No doubt about the fact they were seen, but after suitable and, one assumes, slightly tongue-in-cheek coverage in the local press it quickly transpired that it was offshore lightning from storms beyond Stalham and Hickling. Apparently on a clear night, such flashes can be seen up to a 100 miles away. So there we are then.

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