I have been going down to Pat Haven probably once a week with the dog this Spring.
There hasn't been much in the way of rare birds but there has been a few decent ones to keep me interested including common waders yellow wagtails barn owl and a pair of grey partridges I saw them nearly every time I went down and they were usually on the track and flew over the drain and into the next field.
I know they have had a hard time just lately and I thought it would be nice if they managed to breed.
I went down last night and noticed that the bank and one side of the access road had been harshly cut back and I accept that prolonged weed growth might lead to erosion of the flood defence.
However I thought that it might be somewhat inappropriate to carry out such a harsh cut over such a large area at what is probably the height of the breeding season. Why couldn't the cut be done say at the end of July or in August?
Anyway I went back again tonight and this time they had cut the other side of the track-i couldn’t see what advantage they would gain from this.
About half way down I saw the corpse of a bird and initially I thought it was an owl, looking closer I could see it was one of the grey partridges, I thought it strange that it could have been caught by the mower ,then I saw why.
There was a clutch of eggs about 2 feet away.
I can only conclude that the female partridge knew of the imminent danger as the mower approached and stayed with her clutch in the vain hope of protecting them.
To see the dead bird and smashed clutch of eggs made me feel sick to the stomach.
This was an avoidable occurrence.
In my opinion I cannot see any viable reason for the cut to be done at a later time in the year.
This did not happen by accident. This was part of a managed plan of work.
Clearly those responsible for instigating this type of action do not give a shit about the consequential damage to the environment.
The saddest part about it? The male bird surveying the wreckage of his family as I walked back up the track.