The marsh harriers are ruining the river. They’re dredging it!

So here I am again, standing on the south bank looking over the Nene Washes. Looking out for marsh harriers again. I’ve had a few farmers come and chat to me this morning.

Farmer comment number 1. “Are you surveying for birds? You’re a bit early. There’s non here yet.” Farmer comment number 2. “The marsh harriers are ruining the river. They’re dredging it.”
Farmer comment number 3. “The harriers are terrible. They eat all the pheasant and hares.”
Farmer comment number 4. “You won’t find any marsh harriers here.”

Well if you’ve read my last few blogs you’ll know that the birds are certainly here. That they are here in abundance. The vegetation may all be behind by a month, but the birds that should be here are here. Some have laid and incubated eggs through all those freezing conditions, and some have chosen to hang on for a bit. But they are here.

The Environment Agency may have been dredging the river recently. But goodness knows how this bloke managed to mistake men in overalls with large machinery, for large birds of prey!

I’m sure they will take baby pheasant if the opportunity arises, but there really is plenty to go around. This place is riddled with them.

And the last and best comment? Well as the farmer confidently explained to me that they are no longer in this area, a male marsh harrier calmly glided overhead. At what point in history did farmers become so utterly clueless to the wildlife that they work amongst!
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About Olivia N Masi

From art college drop-out, to office space-planner, to back-packer, to air stewardess, to brolly babe, to model agent, to wildlife conservationist. How? I've always believed in jumping at every opportunity that comes my way. This has taken me along some bizarre career paths. None of which I regret. I have been to amazing places and met fascinating people. And having worked in the motor sport industry I've sadly experienced too many beloved friends take one adrenalin step too many. I think of them always. I've hung out with pop-stars, sports personalities, and millionaires. I reached a point when nothing but VIP would do. And then something happened. My pops passed away and I felt the need to reconnect with my Italian side. Whilst in Italy, I learnt to be resourceful, to recycle everything, to listen to the valley, to grow my own veg, to catch and tame feral cats, and to follow my heart. My heart led me to a desire to save this beautiful Earth, and all the wonderful life upon it. And so I read, and then I studied with the Open University. I suddenly found myself accepted on a BSc in Wildlife Conservation, having left school with pitiful qualifications. So here I am. A qualified Wildlife Conservationist. A scientist I suppose. I love nothing more than to listen to birdsong, and watch, learn and photograph wildlife. So here is to me getting the perfect job where I can contribute to saving one of Earth's beautiful species. Do I miss the glamour of the old life? The VIP lifestyle? The petrol-head adrenalin? The buzz of being a successful business owner? Only occasionally. Though it seems more like the distant dreams of a previous life.
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