Tag Archives: RSPB

Clement the Cuckoo and his trip to Cameroon

26 Mar

I was browsing through various stories this morning and this one amused me – yes, I am easily amused.  Apparently, Clement the Cuckoo is missing.  So what I hear and who is Clement the CuckooImage?

Clement was one of 5 cuckoos that were tagged in 2011 in Norfolk by the British Trust for Ornithology and Clement seemed to have been flying around Cameroon very happily when he dropped off the radar.The other 4 cuckoos have generally appeared at a later date when they have lost their way, but Clement is feared dead; RIP Clement.

The reason behind tagging cuckoos was to trace their migratory habits as they are in decline in the UK.  Clement was the first cuckoo in history to take a western migration route from Europe to Africa via Spain rather than the normal route via Italy.  He then made his way from Senegal to The Congo where he joined his four friends in the rainforest.

Sadly, cuckoos are not the only bird that is in decline, others include the nightingale, yellow wagtail and turtle dove, but there is an urgency with the cuckoo as their numbers are declining rapidly.

Have you heard a cuckoo in recent years? I’m not sure that I have.

Trowbridge pigeon ladies

3 Mar

Pigeons have been making a huge nuisance of themself in Trowbridge. The council and locals alike were particularly unhappy when two lovely ladies of pensionable age decided to feed them on a daily basis.

This created a big problem with mess and they were politely asked to stop feeding the birds (there’s a song there somewhere).  Well, they didn’t and are now the proud owners of an ASBO.  I am not sure what my thoughts are about giving out an ASBO to two ladies for bird feeding, but it does raise an interesting point about encouragement of pigeons to town centres when councils and businesses alike spend large amounts of money on bird prevention systems such as Avishock that is RSPB approved too.

I would love to know your thoughts on the ASBO bird feeders though…

The confusing issue of seagulls

9 Jan

Seagulls – what on earth could be confusing about a seagull?  Aren’t they just big birds by the sea that make an awful lot of noise and when heard, take you right back to your childhood days spent by the seaside?  Yes, there is that, but did you know that Herring gulls are on the RSPB red status list as being in decline and that the Lesser Black-backed gull is on the amber list?  And now I have told you, you are probably thinking ‘so what?’.  So what indeed.  Seaside residents are reporting that the number of gulls is increasing and they cause havoc amongst the residents, make a terrible mess and noise and some seagulls are poking their beaks into black rubbish bags, spreading the rubbish around and we all know what that attracts….oh yes, rats!

Culling is out of the question due to the RSPB status, so one enterprising council has come up with the idea of a fine.  A fine of anything up to £2500 for feeding the gulls.  Quite how this will be policed could be interesting and challenging, but all the same, Aldeburgh in Suffolk is now a now gull zone.  So, forget about Mary Poppins feeding the birds as this could land you with a whopper of a New Year present of an eye-watering £2500 fine.

There is a serious side to all of this and the National Pest Technician’s Association is keeping a keen eye on this as it is felt that the ‘green’ issues are taking precedent over looking after the public’ health- we will be watching this carefully.

Note: References Daily Telegraph 24 October 2011 and Today’s Technician January 2012

Bird Proofing Norfolk

Charity support – my passion!

18 Jun

Hello again

This week I thought I would share my passion for charity fundraising with you.  I would imagine that generally pest controllers would not be associated with charity fundraising as pest controllers in general don’t have a particular ‘fluffy’ and perhaps caring image so I thought I would dispel a few myths!

The charity that I actively raise funds for is Wymondham Star Throwers.  It  is a not-for-profit, registered charity run entirely by passionate volunteers, dedicated to supporting and advising people in East Anglia who are affected by cancer, or are at particular risk of developing cancer.  It was started by Dr Henry Mannings to provide help to cancer sufferers who felt they have nowhere else to go or required advice on further management.

My latest exploit has been a very gentle darts competition and I am so determined to reach my goals, not only in business, but in charity too by a very much more strenuous rowing the channel across and back again, or its equivalent, even if the pain becomes almost too much to stand; such is my passion!

So, maybe the image of pest controllers should be reviewed; we don’t all have our trousers tied with string at the bottom and carry a ferret, neither do we walk about looking like something out of Ghostbusters (well, not all of the time anyway).  We care about our environment passionately (that word again) and pest control is all about protection, nurture and care – just the same as in charity support.

The power of social media – even in pest management!

4 Jun

Well what a week it has been and as the title says, mostly due to the power of social media. Last week I blogged, tweeted and pattered about our amazing contract managing the bird control at St George’s Chapel in Gt Yarmouth, a listed building and all the challenges that it presented with dealing with English Heritage, RSPB and architects to name a few.  Following on from that blog, the phones have been ringing of the hook from all areas of the UK including Surrey, Lancashire and Essex.  We have also been contacted by a major regional building company to speak to them about future contracts too; the power of social media!

At first I was generally sceptical about blogs and Twitter as it was something that was out of my comfort zone, but since using it consistently and regularly and engaging with others for a bit of chit-chat, my profile has risen considerably and the added bonus is of course, is that it’s free! 

So taking off my ‘grumpy old man’ head, I am a convert, albeit a fairly recent one and I intend to continue using social media for the foreseeable future to entertain, advise and engage with and meet other people.

Listed buildings and birds

28 May

You may ask what on earth listed buildings have to do with pest management.  Well, quite alot really.  Listed buildings such as churches and chapels have endless issues with birds and then subsequent problems with the fabric of the building.

Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as protecting office blocks from pigeons, gulls etc…as there is endless involvement with English Heritage, National Trust, RSPB and architects too – in fact, the system that we use at Abate took ten years before it was approved by the RSPB, but the system can barely be seen which makes it ideal for these gorgeous ancient buildings.

Our latest project is St Georges Chapel in Gt Yarmouth in the historic King Street area; a wonderful chapel that is undergoing a major project for change of use to an arts venue.  I will keep you up-to-date with the progress and post some photos along the way too – it really is an exciting development.

So pest followers, I think that’s enough for now and I will be back again very soon with pest stories and recipes and the more serious stuff too!

Bird Proofing Norwich