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where have all the lapwings gone?

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 doz 17 Apr 2017
we used to get lots this time of year coming in from the coast to breed - so far this Spring a grand total of zilch
Is this Trump's fault??
 wbo 17 Apr 2017
In reply to doz: no, even though there are quite a lot here ( W coast Norway) they are apparently shaarply declining overall and have been for a while

 summo 17 Apr 2017
In reply to doz:
More to do with changes in farming, more intensification, less rotations that include pasture, agri chemicals, mob or nz style grazing isn't so great for them either (allegedly) etc.. So not trump, but the EU's cap policy hasn't helped them either.
Post edited at 07:17
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Jim C 17 Apr 2017
In reply to summo:

> So not trump, but the EU's cap policy hasn't helped them either.

So will Brexit mean more or less lapwings ( peewits) ?

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 veteye 17 Apr 2017
In reply to doz:

I remember when I was a teenager in Yorkshire seeing whole fields where you could not fit another Lapwing. Over the last twenty years there seem to have been far fewer anywhere, but I have always seen them on the moors and hills above the Holme Valley near Huddersfield(the same for Curlews too).
Having said that I have seen a few more than normal in the last couple of months in this area-Stamford in Lincolnshire/Rutland/Northamptonshire/Cambridgeshire(Stamford is at the junction of those counties).
 summo 17 Apr 2017
In reply to Jim C:

> So will Brexit mean more or less lapwings ( peewits) ?

That would depend if the public are willing to pay more for food and land is farmed less intensely. One cut of hay in July, versus three cuts of silage starting in May etc..

I don't think Brexit is that relevant, it's the consumer.
In reply to summo:

> but the EU's cap policy hasn't helped them either.

So yet another example of how the EU has messed us up; nothing to do with the choices made by farmers.

Perhaps if you occasionally removed your blinkers you might get a clearer picture.
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 summo 17 Apr 2017
In reply to John Postlethwaite:
> So yet another example of how the EU has messed us up; nothing to do with the choices made by farmers.

As much as I dislike cap, it hasn't messed up. It just has incentives for the wrong elements. There is an allowance for taking hay, letting it lie for at least 2 days to set some seed. But the timescale is too short and allowance not sufficient to stop farmers making either haylige or silage.

> Perhaps if you occasionally removed your blinkers you might get a clearer picture.

??
Post edited at 10:43
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 timjones 17 Apr 2017
In reply to John Postlethwaite:

> So yet another example of how the EU has messed us up; nothing to do with the choices made by farmers. Perhaps if you occasionally removed your blinkers you might get a clearer picture.

If farmers made the choices do you honestly believe that we'd be where we are to day?

There are many factors that influence the way that we produce food and as a consumer you are as much a part of any problems that you preceive as anyone else is.
In reply to Jim C:

> So will Brexit mean more or less lapwings ( peewits) ?

I think currently nobody knows.
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 aln 17 Apr 2017
In reply to doz:

They've declined a lot over the last 30 odd years, but recently I've been seeing a lot more than I have for a long time. Mostly over farmland around the Forth.
 timjones 17 Apr 2017
In reply to aln:
> They've declined a lot over the last 30 odd years, but recently I've been seeing a lot more than I have for a long time. Mostly over farmland around the Forth.

In our neck of the woods gamekeepers on local shoots used to control a lot of the "vermin" that are a threat to ground nesting birds.

Now that the shoots have gone this doesn't happen and whilst most farmers that I know will still work around the nests it is little help when the eggs are taken off the nest by other widllife.
Post edited at 15:37
In reply to timjones:
I guess that's a case of humans shaping the landscape to the point where they have to continue to manage it, or the animals in it, to help out certain species?

Would be interesting to look into whether safer habitats could be created for them.
Post edited at 16:45
In reply to timjones:

There's an acidic semi-improved grassland on Blacka Moor on the edge of Sheffield which has cattle grazed on it each year to allow more of a diversity of species to grow than the grasses which would do otherwise.
 timjones 17 Apr 2017
In reply to Timmd:

> I guess that's a case of humans shaping the landscape to the point where they have to continue to manage it, or the animals in it, to help out certain species?Would be interesting to look into whether safer habitats could be created for them.

It's interesting to speculate on the merit of the farmland bird index.

Is it a good long term measure or is it just based on one tiny moment in time during the much longer history of the landscape and nature?

 timjones 17 Apr 2017
In reply to Timmd:

> There's an acidic semi-improved grassland on Blacka Moor on the edge of Sheffield which has cattle grazed on it each year to allow more of a diversity of species to grow than the grasses which would do otherwise.

It does appear that humble cow is the current messiah in the eyes of many conservation bodies
In reply to timjones:
It's meant to be down to the grazing patterns (as you probably know), with how sheep closely nibble where cows are more varied in the height they chew at.

Mini cows are being trailed in the Burbage valley towards there being more heather moorland established, without sheep nibbling away at the new green heather shoots in the same way.
Post edited at 18:24
 Tom Valentine 17 Apr 2017
In reply to Timmd:

And the same for reforestation : fewer peewits in the UK or more?
 summo 17 Apr 2017
In reply to Timmd:
> It's meant to be down to the grazing patterns (as you probably know), with how sheep closely nibble where cows are more varied in the height they chew at.

It is only swapping one pastoral style for another , all are man made and not natural habits. Obviously a cow is much better for several reasons. We graze 6 cows for this very reason, not allowed to graze with sheep, horse etc. and the land has to be grazed by something etc.. otherwise the forest will claim it back.

> Mini cows are being trailed in the Burbage valley towards there being more heather moorland established, without sheep nibbling away at the new green heather shoots in the same way.

Dexters? More heather moorland? Isn't that the opposite of creating diverse herbal pastures? I bet in a time long ago burbage was woodland with that hill fort looking out over the tree tops.
Post edited at 19:05
 roger whetton 17 Apr 2017
In reply to doz:

Saw two near New Mills Golf Club yesterday - there are some around....
In reply to summo:

> Dexters? More heather moorland? Isn't that the opposite of creating diverse herbal pastures? I bet in a time long ago burbage was woodland with that hill fort looking out over the tree tops.


I don't know what kind. I've read that they want proportionally more heather than there is, and less grass moorland. Native tree species are being planted in the valley where the conifer plantation used to be, too, over the past couple of years they've all been felled and removed.
 summo 17 Apr 2017
In reply to Timmd:

Not a bad thing, those woods were full of litter from chavs camping.
In reply to summo:

The point is, the decline has been a lengthy one, pre-dating the inception of the EU; driven largely by the industrialisation of farming and the use of agro-chemicals. Whilst the EU may not have helped to halt the slide, it is over slimplistic to reduce a complex set of circumstances to the fault of the EU.
In reply to timjones:

> In our neck of the woods gamekeepers on local shoots used to control a lot of the "vermin" that are a threat to ground nesting birds.

They do a great job in my neck of the woods too! Ask the hen harriers in the Trough of Bowland.

Long live the Countryside Alliance.

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 timjones 18 Apr 2017
In reply to John Postlethwaite:

> They do a great job in my neck of the woods too! Ask the hen harriers in the Trough of Bowland.Long live the Countryside Alliance.

Therein lies the problem when we start to manage and shape the environment
 Bwox 18 Apr 2017
In reply to doz:

Saw some a bit north of Peterborough over the weekend.
In reply to doz:

A local birder here thinks the lack of cuckoos this year is due to drought in Spain where they migrate through. Could be something similar for Lapwings?
On the cow subject, we have a 'conservation herd' here used to graze the common lands in an effort to bring back skylarks.
http://www.birdsontheedge.org/2015/06/10/operation-skylark-conservation-herd-project-at-port-soif-gu...
 summo 18 Apr 2017
In reply to John Postlethwaite:

> The point is, the decline has been a lengthy one, pre-dating the inception of the EU; driven largely by the industrialisation of farming and the use of agro-chemicals. Whilst the EU may not have helped to halt the slide, it is over slimplistic to reduce a complex set of circumstances to the fault of the EU.

I would agree, the consumers desire to pay the least amount possible for anything, regardless of its impact on either the farmer or environment is the driver.

If someone finds a living creature in their salad it practically makes nation headlines or they want to sue etc.. A slug in lettuce proves to me the crops are not blasted with chemicals, but sadly most want pre chopped and washed etc..

CAP though has been in places many decades, seen umpteen revisions from so called experts and is embodied in all member states policies etc.. It has to bear a fairly large responsibilty too.
In reply to summo:
> CAP though has been in places many decades, seen umpteen revisions from so called experts and is embodied in all member states policies etc.. It has to bear a fairly large responsibilty too.

Couldn't that depend on any changes made to the landscape through farming, pre CAP, and then on the ability of CAP to make any difference following it?

In a tangentally related way, I'm thinking of the miles of hedgerows which were scrubbed during the 1950's and the enlargement of fields. That's the kind of thing which, even if there were policies relating to the maintaining of existing hedges and incentives to plant new ones, once such a big change has happened, it could be that anything which comes afterwards doesn't quite take things back to how they used to be, as far as improving the landscape for wildlife which lives in hedgerows goes.

One needs to know the details before being critical (or not) is what I'm saying. What parts of CAP don't you think were very positive for Lapwings?
Post edited at 12:39
 Deleted bagger 18 Apr 2017
In reply to doz:

Plenty here on Lismore. Also saw my first Swallow of the year on a telephone wire. Think it was having rest. It's a long way from Africa.
 summo 18 Apr 2017
In reply to Timmd:
It not what cap has done, but what it hasn't. There are bare minimum incentives to farm much less intensely. Supermarkets force margins down to the lowest possible and then take 10% more etc...

It's a combination. Farmers if they want to stay afloat need to scrape every gram of harvest they can, as their margins are so tight.

Apart from a few sideline incentives, cap is all about the EU maximising food production for the lowest price, so it is competitive internationally etc.. The environment has been secondary. The agri environmental grants aren't enough to make farms change their practices, those that have or do are because the farmers would do that anyway as they like natural environments.

The new cap version has only just settled in and they are planning to revise it again. Constant changes don't help either. Won't affect the UK though.
Post edited at 12:47
 coinneach 18 Apr 2017
In reply to Deleted bagger:

Plenty too here in the north Pennines ( Whaup and Oystercatchers too )

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