Monday, January 3, 2022

Happy New Year

Too much food, too much booze and too few birds - that about sums up my last fortnight. It’s not for the want of trying when a number of trips out in less than ideal weather brought scant reward.  Or, from recent Australia but in England cricket parlance, “little to report and even less to trouble the scorers”. 

In recent days Buzzard, Kestrel and Merlin provided the raptors, but a few sightings only of Barn Owl or Little Owl where mild but windy weather with zero frosts meant no requirement to feed in daylight hours. 

Little Owl


Supplementary feeding areas gave counts of up to 180 and 80 Linnets at two places respectively while Chaffinches, Greenfinches, Reed Buntings and titmice added to the bulk.


Redwings and Blackbirds provided the thrush interest while a single Fieldfare asked questions about where they all fled to during November.


After five weeks we expect to be notified any day now that the 10km ringing ban is lifted; then  we can return to favoured ringing sites out Pilling and Cockerham way. In a previous post I remarked that shooters are also banned from their activities in Avian Flu areas. 

After this week seeing wildfowlers in our often shared haunts and engaging in conversation, it seems that I was mistaken. The guys were quite open about their shooting, two were not even aware of our local outbreaks of Avian Flu. This when Covid alone dominates news outlets and normal conversation.  

"BASC (British Association for Shooting and Conservation) is advising members that an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) has been implemented across the UK." 

“In addition to the requirements of the AIPZ, housing measures came into force on 29 November 2021. The Chief Veterinary Officers for England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland have brought in housing measures across the whole of the UK to protect poultry and captive birds from avian influenza following a number of confirmed cases across Great Britain in recent weeks. The housing measures mean that it will be a legal requirement for all bird keepers across the UK to keep their birds indoors and to follow strict biosecurity measures in order to limit the spread of and eradicate the disease.” 

Shooting is not restricted as part of the conditions associated with this Prevention Zone. Neither is shooting directly impacted by the implementation of 3km and 10km control zones at sites where Avian Influenza is currently identified. However, BASC urges members to be vigilant and aware of the symptoms of the disease and to follow the latest biosecurity advice and measures required in the zones.” 

"Anyone attending a shoot should follow good personal biosecurity and regularly cleanse and disinfect clothing, footwear and vehicles – this is particularly important if they have any contact with game birds, poultry or other captive birds. There is, however, a possibility – albeit remote - that wild birds shot or culled in pest and predator control could be infected with bird flu at any time of the year, so it clearly makes sense to avoid actions that could spread infection from killed wild birds into any kept birds, whatever their species. Do not use the same vehicles and storage facilities for shot and live birds without thorough cleansing and disinfection in between. Keep all shot or culled birds well away from any kept flocks. Likewise, wash or sanitise hands and wash clothing well after handling dead birds and before any contact with kept flocks to minimise spreading infection. Gundogs are not at any particular risk from bird flu but as a precaution do not allow dogs to eat any dead wild birds and do not feed uncooked shot or culled birds to animals." 

Just as witnessed in early 2021 UK wide lockdowns because of Covid, the rules applying to people following outdoor pursuits are different whereby shooting has a lower level of control than bird ringing, bird watching or even walking in the countryside. 

To paraphrase George Orwell, 'All countryside pursuits are equal but some countryside pursuits are more equal than others'.

Follow the money.

A Happy New Year to followers of Another Bird Blog, past, present and future.

Linking today to and



NCSue said...

I especially love the chaffinch.
Thanks for sharing at

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

I love the colors of the chaffinch - beautiful bird.

eileeninmd said...

Happy New Year Phil! What a wonderful variety of birds, I love the cute Little Owl. The Chaffinch is a beauty! Take care, enjoy your day! Have a great new week!

Rhodesia said...

I do love the Little Owls, I hear 'ours' on a regular basis but I seldom see them since they moved their nesting spot to a new spot that I have not discovered!. I am not keeping up with the bird blog at present but I am still blogging occasionally on my photodiary. Wishing you a very Happy New Year and may 2022 be a better year for all of us. Cheers Diane

Mike Attwood said...

Lovely pictures Phil, once again of birds I can only dream about.
Happy New Year to you and yours.

Slaty-breasted rail said...

nice post

Rain said...

Happy New Year Phil! Oh that little owl is gorgeous! I'm still digesting from the holiday binging!!!

Veronica Lee said...

The chaffinch is such a beautiful bird! Love the colors.

Happy 2022, Phil!

Angie said...

Phil - the Little Owl is fabulous. Happy New Year!

Wally Jones said...

Sounds like Nature in your area has been recovering from a holiday hangover. No worries. You know full well these things go in cycles and the birding, weather, ringing and mood shall all swing in a more positive direction soon!

Now, if you can just figure out a way to take the financial interest out of hunting - let me know when you solve that one.

It is a brand new year and it's up to us to make it a good one. Hope we don't mess it up too badly.

Gini and I have healed from our bout with the common cold or interplanetary plague or swamp sniffles - whatever it was. We feel great and have been attempting to make up for lost birding time.

Gini says there is a bit of leftover pumpkin/ginger bread which along with a cuppa should cheer you right up. Take care.

eileeninmd said...

Hello Phil,
What a lovely variety of birds, the raptors are cool. Seeing an owl is always special for me. I wish you a great new year, full of great bird sightings.
Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, have a happy weekend.

Mae Travels said...

Your little owl is very appealing. Good birds, generally! Our winters are more severe and the bird life reflects that.

best… mae at

Shiju Sugunan said...

Liked the Chaffinch and the owl.

Breathtaking said...

Hello Phil,:=) Oh what a super photo of the darling Little Owl. I really miss seeing them, as I used to in the Algarve. Great shots of the other raptors, and the Redwing and Chaffinch.
Have a great New Year Phil,and keep safe.

Adam Jones said...

Happy New Year Phil, and I feel your pain. Hope you can get out ringing soon. As for the shooting fraternity, I have nothing to say about that lot that can be written here.

Anni said...

The craziness seems to be global...yep, follow the money indeed. Altho, I must admit, I'm highly jealous of your variety of beautiful birds seen...more than I've been able to see. Tides must turn for us. Hopefully sooner than later.

May all of us birders show well for 2022...and thank you for sharing your link at I'd Rather B Birdin'

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

It sure has been a challenge to keep up with the rules...that are forever changing! Love seeing your birds and that little owl is precious. He doesn't LOOK like he's had too much booze! lol Take care!

Rhodesia said...

Hi Phil, thanks for your comment and I just wanted to let you know that I have at last managed to get a few photos sorted out and posted. Have a good week Diane

NCSue said...

Always great photos to be found at Phil's place. Thank you for sharing at

Team Mommies PR Bloggers said...

I enjoyed seeing Little Owl and will share the post with my son when we begin studying Birds in Homeschool. Have a nice day.

Fun60 said...

Hope the restrictions are lifted soon for you. Love that first photo.

Lowcarb team member said...

Lovely to see your photographs.
My good wishes to you and yours for a happy and healthy 2022.

All the best Jan

Rajani Rehana said...

Beautiful blog. Happy new year 🎉

The Padre said...

All The Best In 2022 - Amazing First Capture There Brother - Well Done


Related Posts with Thumbnails