A bit of this, a bit of that

A bit of a 'mash-up' this post - that's youth-speak for 'mish-mash', or I could liken it to the contents of a jamboree bag, being a bit of an old duffer. And if you are unaware of what a jamboree bag is, then ask your parents, or if they are still too young to know, ask Google (there are other search engines available).

Item one - the Dungeness Stonechat (you know, the grey, odd, putative Stejneger's) has been retested owing to too many birder's saying that they just didn't believe it was a rare one. The results are in, and it is... a COMMON Stonechat! I did have a little chuckle about that. Apparently the poo sample got muddled up with some from a Spurn Stejneger's. Simple mistake. Maybe, in this age of the blame culture, Dr Collinson will now receive compensation claims from angry birder's for fuel costs, stress, food, etc. Glad I didn't go.

Item two - the Surrey Wildlife Trust is apparently making all of its rangers redundant. Cost cutting due to austerity and Brexit are being blamed. I reckon that they will adopt the National Trust model, that successfully removed most of their Rangers and filled the void with volunteers. My eyes were opened when I saw the size of the NT work parties for Box Hill and Headley - 50+ turned up, all overseen by - wait for it - unpaid interns, in turn overseen by the one full time member of local Ranger staff (there had been four I believe). Whether this will work for the SWT, if that's what they intend to do, I do not know. Will our wildlife benefit from such actions - well, what do you think...

Item three - now that Waxwings are starting to filter inland to berry-bearing bushes in London, Kent, Surrey and Sussex, I walked the streets of Banstead checking likely trees and shrubs. Highlight was a male Blackcap. More lurking in suburbia will follow.


Derek Faulkner said…
The National Trust model didn't happen on the Swale NNR. After 26 years as a Vol. Warden, four years ago they cancelled the posts of myself and an even longer serving Vol.
The twitching hiccup made my day today, so funny.
Steve Gale said…
Why cancel voluntary posts Derek? That doesn't make sense to me.
Derek Faulkner said…
Well, several years before that National England had agreed a contract with Elmley Conservation Trust for ECT to manage the Swale NNR for them. So after a few years of that someone at NE suddenly said if ECT are managing The Swale NNR then we don't need official NE Vol. Wardens there any more. Fortunately ECT just told us to carry on as we were doing, it just meant that we ceased to have any official status any more such as Warden's cards and some clothing.

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