Dogs & other pets
As is usual in July, things tend to get a bit quiet – total of 28 species. The mapped farmland species were Skylark (13), Yellowhammer (10), Whitethroat (5) and Linnet (2). The other species recorded were – Greenfinch, Blackbird, Mediterranean Gull, Wren, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Pheasant, Carrion Crow, Song Thrush, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Swallow, Magpie, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Rook, Pied Wagtail, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Feral Pigeon, Robin, Buzzard, Stock Dove, Green Woodpecker and Goldfinch.
The mapped farmland birds were Skylark (15), Yellowhammer (9), Linnet (1) and Whitethroat (5). Other birds seen this morning were Wren, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Woodpigeon, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Kestrel, Pheasant, Red-legged Partridge, Swallow, Great Tit, Magpie, Jay, Chaffinch, Starling, Black-headed Gull, Blue Tit, Nuthatch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Stock Dove, Long-tailed Tit, Rook, Goldfinch, Pied Wagtail, Robin, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Greenfinch, Mediterranean Gull, House Sparrow, Collared Dove and Mallard. A total of 36 species. We also saw two Roe Deer and a dead Weasel. I know it will sound bizarre, but we are pretty sure we heard a Peacock calling from somewhere to the east of the farm!
Of the farmland specific birds, we mapped Linnet (15), Skylark (14), Yellowhammer (6), Whitethroat (5), Kestrel (1). Other species we noted were: Wren, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Goldfinch, Jackdaw, Mediterranean Gull, Pheasant, Woodpigeon, Crow, Robin, Great Tit, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Robin, Stock Dove, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Red-legged Partridge, Blue Tit, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Black headed Gull, Mallard, Rook, Dunnock, Magpie, Chaffinch, Starling, Swallow, Pied Wagtail, Buzzard. Total of 34 species. Also two Hare and a Roe Deer.
We mapped the following farmland birds: Whitethroat (3), Yellowhammer (8), Skylark (12) and Linnet (12). Other birds recorded were : Robin, Wren, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Blackbird, Pheasant, Blue Tit, Greenfinch, Mediterranean Gull, Grey Heron, Goldfinch, Swallow, Goldcrest, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Red-legged Partridge, Blackcap, Song Thrush, Rook, Chiffchaff, Black-headed Gull, Dunnock, Stock Dove, Pied Wagtail, Chaffinch, Buzzard, Magpie, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Great Tit, Kestrel and Green Woodpecker. Total of 34 species. Twenty years ago, Mediterranean Gulls would have been a rarity – today we saw 17. Now, they breed along the south coast, with many hundreds in Langstone Harbour. They come inland to feed in fields, so I expect we will see more over the next couple of months as the breeding season progresses. We also saw Brown Hare in three different places and Roe Deer, also in three places. At the north end of the bean field east of Greasteds Copse, we saw a Roe deer which got spooked by a large Alsatian dog. It seemed to be roaming free, as we did not see any people in the area.
Of the farmland specific birds, we mapped Linnet (10), Skylark (13), Yellowhammer (6), Whitethroat (1) and a flyover Red Kite. Other species we noted were: Woodpigeon, Blackbird, Pheasant, Wren, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker, Nuthatch, Carrion Crow, Robin, Collared Dove, Blackcap, Stock Dove, Mistle Thrush, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Song Thrush, Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Dunnock, Moorhen, Black-headed Gull, Starling, Greenfinch, Goldfinch. So 30 species in total. We also saw five Brown Hare
If you must bring a dog, keep it on a lead, and if you must trespass please do so considerately. We love you and your pets on an individual basis but wildlife fears you both.
All domesticated animals, in particular those that are carnivorous, have an impact on wildlife. We want to give nature a home alongside us, and therefore prioritize the rebuilding of biodiversity above any other activity.
Predatory animals such as dogs are a threat to wildlife, and areas that are visited by dogs will not be visited by wild animals. We have seen the sweetest, cutest of dogs attached to the hind legs of a young deer by their teeth, however just the scent of a dog where a stoat or a hare may wish to reside is enough to move them on.
We are particularly interested in recovering close to extinction populations of ground nesting birds, such as Corn Crake, Grey Partridge, and Corn Bunting. Beautiful and rare species such as these, if successful enough to find a mate and raise young will leave their nests and their young if threatened by a carnivore that has strayed from the footpath.
There are now more dogs in the UK (12.5 million) than there are humans in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland put together. There are more dogs than squirrels, or rats (Natural England, 2018).
Nature is being changed and destroyed by us at a rate unprecedented in history. The 2020 global Living Planet Index shows an average 68% fall in populations of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish between 1970 and 2016 (WWF, 2020).