Thursday, 30 May 2013

Against All Odds!

29th May.  Despite the bitterly cold early spring delaying nesting of the Great Crested Grebes this year they are now on the lake with what I think are two youngsters hitching a ride.  I counted two striped heads, but can’t be certain there isn’t at least another hidden.  Despite too, the fact that the Local Authority allowed the lowering of the lake by four inches during nesting which I continue to maintain resulted in the Great Crested Grebes abandoning their nest which was sited in the usual position.  After they had re-nested I wrote to a council officer suggesting that it would not be a good idea to raise the water levels until the young grebes had hatched as in past years the nest has been flooded on a number of occasions.  I received a reply telling me that the Local Authority bio-diversity officer was going to contact me, which I thought was a good idea.  That was sometime ago, and guess what?  Yes, no such person has bothered to contact me and it seems the water levels were lifted anyway!  As two people said to me this evening ‘they only alienate people’.  How true that statement is.  Clearly I shall need to take any concerns to a higher level the next time, and please believe me, I will!  Perhaps the elected Mayor may be more concerned about nature in North Tyneside!  After having read about the concerns for the state of nature I really do wonder if nature has a chance when the Local Authority  does not react to expressed concerns.  I know I am not alone in taking an interest in the Great Crested Grebes, but I have to wonder why this interest isn’t more widely held when it concerns birds which are quite rare breeders in Northumberland!  Anyway, as I say, against all odds they have so far been successful.

Interestingly I was speaking to someone tonight who claims that he resuscitated one of this pair of grebes sometime ago when it was found entangled on the edge of the lake.  If this is the case, and I have no reason to believe it isn’t, then it was a job well done as this pair has produced many youngsters.

Swifts flew over my head this evening and I spotted a Kestrel flying and hovering over the area where the British Gas buildings have recently been removed.  I remember watching Kestrels hunting here in years gone by but not for several years have I personally seen a Kestrel hunting here.  They won’t for much longer of course as the land will soon be covered by yet more housing!


  1. They've certainly done well to come through with young Brian.
    I think it's time that the wildlife is taken into account BEFORE ANYTHING is undertaken.
    I know it won't be the case sadly but if there were more like your good self looking out for it EVERYONE would get the benefit.

  2. As the people I spoke to last night said 'your made to feel like a pest'. I don't mind being a pest when necessary John.:-) If there was a little more pestering on behalf of wildlife and a lot less apathy from individuals, groups and organisations perhaps wildlife would stand a better chance.

  3. Yes it may be useful to write to the Mayor and I am also happy to send any letters of support also. It is most re-assuring that despite the problems the Grebes are proving to be very resilient!

    1. Wildlife is resilient Mark, but it can benefit from a helping hand these days. I didn't put up the image of the Black Headed Gull with its head under the water, but it did remind me of much of the human race which go around with their heads under the sand. Of course it's much easier to do that than actually take some action. Fighting for nature often includes fighting the apathy of others. Sadly that apathy often seems to exist in areas where you would least expect it!