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Thread: RSPB Survey

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
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    1,063

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    Did anyone spot that slot on TV this weekend announcing the RSPB were doing a survey of hundreds of miles of coastline this weekend to count the number of dead sea birds?

    Thousands of birds have apparently starved to death because of the over-fishing of inshore waters. Main culprit appears to be the lack of sandeels.

    Suddenly the RSPB are concerned about fish. Wonder what the survey outcome will be?

    Wonder if the next cause for concern will be dead kingfishers, herons and grebes due to a mysterious lack of coarse fish?

    How hypocritical can they get, is this the pits or what?

  2. #2

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    It certainly is Bob but I'm not suprised. They're attitude has always seemed to be that all other wildlife is unimportant unless it has some effect on their precious birds.
    I remember some years ago when they opposed the re-introduction of otters to some rivers because they might eat the eggs of various waterfowl. They showed no concern for the fact that the otter was facing extinction and that they and waterfowl had once shared almost every river in Britain without any problems.
    I don't think I have to make my feeling known about the RSPB and the cormorant problem. You all probably share them.

  3. #3
    Nigel Connor(ACA ,SAA) Guest

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    We should have joined forces with them on the otter issue!

    Bob,whats wrong with the RSPB adressing the overfishing of inshore waters as an issue? This after all is what has driven the cormorants in land.Culling is all well & good but unless the overfishing of their habitual feeding grounds is dealt with its not a long term solution.The industrial fishing for sandeels for fertilizer & fishmeal is environmental rape of the highest order with an impact upon not only birds but all the other fish that feed off them.

    I can understand the suspicion with which the RSPB is viewed on the cormorant issue & quite rightly so, but lets make common cause where we can.

  4. #4
    Wolfman Woody Guest

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    Next to religion, the RSPB is the greatest confidence trick of all.

    30 per year they charge just so you can look up in the sky and see birds, which you can do anyway for nowt. What happens to all that money? Any surveys they "carry out" are done by their members, cost to the RSPB - NOWT!

    Do they have a bird breeding farm for sparrow and songbirds that are now in decline like we have the EA fish farms to replace fish that are in decline thanks to cormorants? No.

    Ok, they've bought a few bits of land and claimed an awful lot of government aid and grants, just so their members can walk around them and they've seen such a wader or a spotted whatchamecallit. Anything happens that endangers the birds and somethign else must be responsible, something will have to be stopped. Really, they're no more than a political lobbying group with a lot of money.

    This time it's where are the seagulls? Look on the rubbish tips where there's millions of the gits!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
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    Nigel, I think you're wrong about lack of sea fish driving cormorants inland. Our native cormorants, carbo carbo eat saltwater fish. The main offender in freshwater is an eastern european migrant, carbo silensis.

    I agree the sea has been raped but I don't see many puffins, guillemots, razorbills, gannets or albatrosses on the Trent. To the best of my knowledge they survive on a saltwater diet like carbo carbo does.

    If overfishing of sandeels for commercial gain is an issue then overfishing of the inland silver fish population by cormorants is equally meritous. We are seeing a decline in species like the grebe. Herons are suffering brittle bone disease in some areas through lack of calcium normally derived from fish bones.

    I love wildlife and the countryside as much as anyone and I'd love nothing more than to support the RSPB but I can't when they are so hypocritical in their stance.

    In fact they are so blind on the cormorant issue I can't see how they will be able to find any dead seabirds unless they rely upon their guide dogs doing it for them!

  6. #6
    swordsy aka The barbarian Guest

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    The inland fishing/pollution problem is something I have banged on about for years its a shame the RSPB need a kick up the jacksy like this to see the bigger picture instead of being bloody introverted, nature is a rich and varied tapestry and one thread intertwines with many, no single intrest can stand alone we are in a relationship like it or not!

    otters, guillemots, sandeels, cormorants, frogs,eels,crayfish and carp are all nature and as such are dependant on each other. We are also dependant on each other the RSPB and the angler, its time to put the **** aside and look at what we really consider to be important and at the end of the day our agendas are not going to be a million miles apart.

  7. #7
    Wolfman Woody Guest

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    Bob, can you tell the difference between a carbo carbo and a carbo sinensis?

    Apparently carbo sinensis has 33 extra white feathers around it's throat and six more under it's chin, which is worth knowing when you're pointing a shotgun at the wrong ones.

  8. #8
    Phil Hackett 2 Guest

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    Bob a slight corrections to this statement
    "Herons are suffering brittle bone disease in some areas through lack of calcium normally derived from fish bones."

    A fish's calcium store is not in bones its in the scales.

  9. #9
    Nigel Connor(ACA ,SAA) Guest

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    Bob, I wasn't aware of the distinction to be honest.

    If the inland cormorants are a seperate species or perhaps more properly a sub species, what is the explanation for their sudden appearence on our lakes & rivers?

    Lee, I think we have found something we agree on!

  10. #10
    Wolfman Woody Guest

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    My comment wasn't just a throwaway statement, it is fact. This is the way to identify the difference in that there are slightly more feathers on sinensis than on carbo carbo.

    Carbo sinensis originally came from Turkey, I believe, and gradually spread across Europe. No studies, by RSPB or anyone else, have found which of the two sub- species remains on our lakes because to tell the difference you have to capture them. Perhaps DNA sampling might help there, but by now cross breeding will have proliferated throughout.

    Originally, it was carbo sinensis that was thought to be coming inland, but since both varieties have been found it throws the whole thing in doubt. Most birds only stay through the winter period and return to the coasts in summer, but many, possibly crosses and sinensis, are now roosting on stillwaters all year round.

    It must be a trait of this particular bird for as Bob says, you never see gannets, for example, on inland waters, not even close to the coast. There is a problem for them in that when they dive they need 20 feet of water and that could be a problem on some stillwaters (otherwise our lake beds would like like dartboards). If you get a licence to shoot them it will only be up to April and after that you must allow the little darlings to breed thus giving us more trouble later on.

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