Tuesday, 29 March 2016

BAWC 2016!

Sorry it has taken a while to do a post on this years Birders Against Wildlife Crime conference, I have been busy with college stuff.

Again, I was sponsored to attend BAWC 2016. Thank you to the sponsors, it was great seeing more young people there compared to last year. There were many familiar faces again and I met and had some amazing conversations with many new people. Sorry if you were there and I didn't say hi, hopefully ill see you at next years.

The conference was held at the Brunel's Institute in Bristol. It was a long drive down, but the two day even was great! There were so many speakers this year, so ill just do a break down for each of them.

First day- 12/3/2016

  • Charlie Moores- welcomed everyone to the conference

  • David Lindo- The Urban Birder
David kicked the day off we sad stories of wildlife crime he had seen whilst growing up. He admitted seeing such an event occur by a couple of teenagers and was full of anger and wanted to do something about it, however backed away as he thought it wasn't worth being beaten up about. I am sure this would be the case for many of us. But if this does happen, RECORD it and REPORT it!

  • Sergeant Rob Taylor- Rural crime team manager, North Wales Police
This was one of my favourite talks as Rob showed us what happens behind the scenes in police divisions. It showed the amount of work put in by police and how to them and the law, there is no such thing as a wildlife crime
  • Dr Louise Robinson- Lecturer in forensic biology at the University of Derby
This was interesting to see the forensic side to wildlife crime on how they can get a fingerprint off a feather!
  • Emily Wilson- World animal protection campaign officer
Emily talked about how their work helps police forces. We were also showed a very interesting survey they had done on the police forces in the UK, grading them on how well or how badly they tackle wildlife crime.
  • Bob Elliot- RSPB head of investigations
Bobs talk was another of my favourites. He is very passionate about what he does and it comes across as so. He talked about several wildlife crime cases he and/or his team have dealt with.
  • Stewart Rowden- Avon bat group
Stewart talked about the many laws to do with bats and how they are protected in so many ways. He also discussed a case where a whole colony of bats died due to building on a house
  • Mark Avery- How we will win
Marks was the last talk of the day and again was very passionate about campaigning against wildlife crime. He talked about driven grouse shooting on moors and says we will win!

Second day- 13/3/2016

  • Mike Dilger- Why wildlife crime need not be turn-off TV
Mikes talk was very powerful in showing us the behind the scenes of programme ideas and how they don't see wildlife crime as a show people want to see. Wildlife crime is becoming more common and people who don't know about it do need to. The best way to spread the message is through media.
  • Pauline Kidner- Secret world wildlife rescue founder
Pauline's talk showed the aftermaths of wildlife crime on the animals which "survived". It was very sad seeing the images of animals in distress but it did show that they were treated and most were able to go back into the wild. However some do have to be put to sleep due to the affects of the crime.
  • Ian Guildford- Enforcements perspective
Ian's talk showed us the enforcement him and his team put into place over the country and what they have to deal with. It was amazing hearing about how much they do with just a small group of them working on it.
  • Geoff Edmond- Aspects of wildlife crime. Are there more issues than we realise? RSPCA
Geoff's talk showed how bad people can actually be to wildlife. He showed us a badger dig where the badgers had been dug out and killed horribly by the dog. One of the badgers was thrown back into the sett and reburied. When they got there and found it, they saw that it was a female and was pregnant. It is really horrific what people do and how heartless they are.
  • Craig Jones- Wildlife Photographer
Craig's slideshow of his photographs of wildlife was very moving and I think showed everyone why they love wildlife and why we were having this conference to protect our nature as it is beautiful.
  • Keith Betton- Vice president of BTO
Keith talked about Peregrines and egg collecting. It is bad that this still goes on and it does have negative impacts on bird populations, as it is not just peregrine eggs people collect.
  • Dominic Dyer- CEO of Badger Trust
Dominic was the last talk of the conference for 2016 and what a powerful, passionate talk it was. There was even a standing ovation with applause at the end. Once again, like last years, he talked about badgers. He got everyone raged about the cull and what was happening to them, the atmosphere in the room had definitely changed by the end of it. Everyone was raring to do something about wildlife crime. The easiest way to do something about it if you're stuck for ideas, is to spread the word. Use social media or word of mouth to get the message across to as many people possible.
  • Charlie Moores- summing up the weekend

Overall it was a great conference and a great weekend. I can't wait till next years and hope there are more younger people there and another mixture of fantastic speakers all passionate about wildlife crime who can show different aspects of it, based around RECOGNISING, RECORDING and REPORTING. I got to spend the three days with Ryan which was great. We saw a few birds, but it was great being at the conference with him as it got us discussing about wildlife crime and what we can do to help!

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Sunday Birdwatch Challenge 6/7/8

These are my results over the past few weeks. The weather has gone worst over them, with a lot of rain fall and wind. The rain has caused floods around me. The field down my road was flooded, when I went to look, it was full of bird life; many gulls, crows, jackdaws and 15 Pied Wagtails and one Grey Wagtail with them.
These storms have made food harder to find for most birds, so I have seen an increase of species numbers in the garden. However todays Birdwatch, the usual two tree sparrows have gone down to one. Hopefully that was just for today and the other is somewhere close by.
These are Ryan's results over the past three weeks. His Sparrow numbers are definitely increasing. The weather has been quite mild (temp wise) so we wonder what will happen over the next few weeks.

Sunday Birdwatch Challenge 4/5

Birdwatch 4 results                 Birdwatch 5
6/12/15                                    13/12/15

House Sparrow   11                      9
Dunnock              2                       2
Blackbird             4                      6
Blue Tit                1                       2
Robin                   2                      2
Magpie                4                      2
Great Tit              2                       -
Collared Dove     2                      2
Feral Pigeon        4                      6
Chaffinch            2                       1
Goldcrest            1                        1
Song Thrush       1                        -
Jackdaw              -                       2
Nuthatch             -                       1
Starling               -                       1


House Sparrow   16                    26
Blackbird            2                        1
Magpie                2                       1
Starling               1                        2
Woodpigeon       -                        3
Blue Tit              -                        2
Robin                 -                        2
Chaffinch           -                        2