Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Dog crap, golf courses and my other favourite things

I'm just back from a trip to Peterborough (Petrograd). A combined 11.5 hours on the train... got a lot of work done, saw a huge flock (100) of Stock Doves north of Newcastle and (DON'T TELL PRINCE HARRY!!!!!) a Hen Harrier (Northern Harrier) just this side of the Scotch border.

But on Sunday I was birdspotting in Newtonhill, and saw some European Robins, errr... 2 Common Blackbirds strutting (yes, strutting) and other things of similar rarity value. 1 Redpoll (sp.) flew over, calling.

There was no sign of last week's Siberian-esque Chiffchaff, but I stood by its bushes and played my Yellow-browed call at maximum volume - may have overdone the volume, cos I flushed a male Common Pheasant!! A Eurasian Sparrowhawk was on the prowl, flying fast over from Cran Hill ans smashing into the pine trees at the corner of Newton Road, bugging the starlings. About 20 minutes later it turned up again at the clifftops, this time bugging a flock of 12 Rock Pipits.

On the way to the cliff tops, I watched a pair of Common Stonechats up the cliffs. A single male Common Eider was in the bay... basal half of the bill was lemony yellow, distal half 'eider green'. Argh! Has it got so boring it has come to this, racial identity of Common Eiders... *again*. And this from someone who can't be arsed travelling 5 miles up the coast to see a m/f pair of King Eiders. I'm telling you, dear reader, one of us has got their priorities wrong, and it's not necessarily you. Although if you're reading this, it might be you.

Offshore - not much. No Little Auks, but there were 2 other, notLittle Auks, going north and a couple of Guillemots (Common Murres) on the sea. 1 Red-throated Diver went north.

I got home and found the sole of my left boot covered in gritty dog crap. Thanks for that! My pet hates... #1 - dog crap (also badly trained dogs, for that matter, and frankly I'm not keen on dogs full stop, which is going to be a problem now Lizzie wants a puppy). #2 - Fat capitalists in suits who 'do deals' on environmental disaster golf courses. Which brings me to the Trump golf course plans (for anyone who's been living on Mars, or in the USA, see, for example, here). Encouraged by the local ABZ bird mailing list, I sent the following to our 68 councillors on Sunday afternoon.

Dear Councillors
Briefly I would like to applaud the Council’s brave decision to refuse further permission for the Trump golf course and hotel/housing plans. This was the right decision. While it is of course important to encourage investment and new people into Scotland, the Council’s decision sends out a strong message that we have a vision for how NE Scotland should be developed that incorporates a high priority for retaining the natural assets that make the place special. Any planning application that intends to stabilize the dune system would destroy the very characteristic that lead to its SSSI status.

As of today, I got 16 replies, of which 7 are on the lines of 'thanks, I agree', 2 are 'thanks, we'll have to wait and see'. No one has had the guts to say they disagree, but 7 replies are 'thanks, I acknowledge', which is probably the same thing.

One councillor said '
I have been appalled at the abuse my fellow councillors have had to endure, both in the press and through letters, email and phone calls. It is inevitable in any planning decision that there will be winners and losers, and as councillors we know this, and have to weigh up the evidence and make our decisions.' which sounds sensible to me. Of course it is all irrelevant at this level. As sure as eggs is eggs, our SNP government will bend over backwards to p*ss on our environmental legacy and find a way to bypass the refusal. We can try an conserve things for 5, 10, 15 years, but ultimately it's all screwed.

While I'm on the subject of people p*****g on their legacy. I know he'll take it in good spirit. :-$


Tom said...

Hi Martin,

Ok, so can you articulate specifically why you believe that altering one ten-thousandth of our atmosphere is likely to be catastrophic?

In your answer, I'll be looking for things like references to actual evidence, data, logic, etc.


Bonsaibirder said...

Hi, Tom, why did you delete my post to your blog? You're in my bad books now!

On a more important topic .... what gets me is people who take their dogs out for a walk, scoop the poop into a bag ...... and then throw the bag on the floor!! What's the point of that?

Tom said...

Hi Bonsaibirder,

As I recall, I didn't accept your comment since you made no attempt to use evidence, data or logic to defend your views on global warming.

Whenever you're ready to do so, let's have a debate!


Bonsaibirder said...

Hi Tom,

As I recall, you used to have a sense of humour!


Martin said...

Ok, so can you articulate specifically why you believe that altering one ten-thousandth of our atmosphere is likely to be catastrophic?

Wow... did I say that? I'm quite astonishingly sure I didn't :-)

references to actual evidence, data, logic, etc.

Hmmmm, soggy-bottom Bill tried that with me, and it didn't work either.

Tom said...

Ok, then tell me very specifically why you've suggested that I'm "p*****g on my legacy".

I'm looking for any sign from you that you understand anything about CO2 and climate change.

Regarding alleged human-caused "harmful" climate change, I think you're currently on the alarmist side, which in this debate puts you in a similar position to the Fishcrows, Pulliams, Cyberthrushes, etc in the IBWO debate.

Please prove that you're capable of coherently arguing that I'm wrong.