Negatives for humans, some positives for Wildlife

Hook with Warsash

This Planet has been inhabited by wildlife for some 3.5 billion years, but in the last 100 years or so, we humans appear to have done a pretty good job of exterminating a lot of it and it’s hard not to think, see it whilst it’s still there.
However, the onslaught of a pandemic has at least given some hope to some of our species, even if they are hanging on by the skin of their teeth.

January started relatively quiet, the pandemic was reaching us but no one really knew how much that was going to affect us this year. Along came March and our Prime Minister, wisely, put the Country into lockdown. By coincidence this ran alongside bird and other creatures breeding times and for once, they could get on with it with hardly any traffic and pollution to match.

Water Vole - Titchfield Haven    Willow Warbler - Titchfield Canal    White Squirrel - Chilham Kent
Click photos for details

By April, we were waking up to clearer air and bird song was rife.

At the end of full lockdown at least I was able to travel a bit more; my sister’s house in Burley New Forest, Fishlake Meadows in Romsey, Salisbury, the hills around Winchester and other coastal places. Plus course, able to see the family more than I had been.

Great Spotted Woodpecker - Tangier Farm Bishop's Waltham

One advantage of the lockdown for me was to explore more around Bishop’s Waltham and I’ve ended up with various walking routes and distances taking in fields, meadows, rivers, streams and woodland. I can’t say I was ever bored, but did get to know more or less what and where I would see certain things on the way !

Field Mice - Claylands - Bishops Waltham    Linnet collecting nesting - Warsash    Great White Egret - Fishlake Meadows

Along came Spring proper and I was really trying to make up for good time, in fact I actually felt fitter for the almost daily walks and observing all that was going on around me.
When nature gets a little bit of positivity it seems it’s always bitten back with something and now the ‘new norm’ was (and still is) the totally irresponsible act of people throwing away their face masks wherever they wanted to.
This has caused all sorts of damage to our birds and other wildlife, Gulls have been seen taking them and like plastic bags, this means almost certain death.
Add to that, a nice sunny day and thousands pack beaches such as Bournemouth and leave behind them tons of plastic bags, left over food, foil barbecues and even human waste. Shocking.
Moan over !

Kingfisher on sign 'Titchfield Haven

On the human side another good thing came about, people were talking to each other more. On my walks I came accross a lot of people who stopped, asked me what I was doing with the camera, then so often carried on to say they had taken time to learn identity of birds etc.
A brilliant BBC Springwatch series also brought about a lot of interest and love him or hate him, Chris Packham delivered so many messages about the state and future of wildlife in a very non patronizing way.

White Goose - North Pond - Bishops Waltham

Summer came and went and so did another lockdown, the Summer madness combined with returns to School etc. paid their price.
With Christmas approaching and seeing the after effects of Thanksgiving Day in the USA., you started to wonder when our next major awakening would be and sure enough, here we are in early January 2021 shut in yet again.

It’s not so bad for us seniors, we only need to go out when we want, all be it if we are blessed with relatively good health. Plus of course we have our income with regular pensions coming in, not so for many thousands facing redundancy or furloughed.

Keeled Skimmer - Burley New Forest

For me, another few weeks of keeping low but enjoying some walks, this time through more winter time, so some consolation.
Onwards and upwards, it can only get better………can’t it !!

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