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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