Monday, 4 May 2015
WHINCHATS at Rowsham
Rowsham has seen perhaps an unprecedented arrival of WHINCHATS this spring, perhaps involving 10 birds or more. Mike Wallen, living in the hamlet, finds all of the birds and places them in the public domain. I thought by doing this he was actually keen for others to see them but on reading his comments on the BBC website, clearly he isn't and treats the site as his own massive nature reserve. As the only other birder interested in seeing them, I visited the site and after talking to two local landowners/farmworkers, they directed me to the area in which the birds were being reported (where fortunately I located them). I also met Mike's next door neighbour on site walking his dog, who additionally informed me of some nice unspoilt birding areas within the site. Mike makes claims of 'trespassing' but as policing is his game, he ought to know that there is no law of trespass in the UK unless you have wilful intent and have an interest in property or damaging in some way the location. As the area under scrutiny is criss-crossed by clearly marked tracks and doesn't impose on any crops or game-strips, this clearly isn't an issue in this instance. The majority of sites I birdwatch in Britain could be construed as being private. Had it of been any other birder, the issue wouldn't of been raised or mentioned - the county is just full of very bitter-minded individuals; such a shame.