Hard Winter Guidelines

I was recently asked the question "Would it be alright to use an i-pod to lure them out?"
Depends which way you look at it! For instance a singular species will no doubt be cheered up to hear the call of one of it's kind - raising the moral and giving it something to live for. In fact, imagine how depressed it might feel if it were alone without a friend in the world - it would probably lose the will to live and throw itself to the mercy of the elements. It is probably the use of the ipod (other media devices are available) that is keeping the Bole Hill Cetti's alive!"

"How about flushing birds" As for flushing birds. It is clearly necessary for some species to be kept on their toes - imagine how fat those Snipe would get if they didn't have a regular fly around. Their flight muscles would no doubt waste away and leave them in such an obese state that flying would be impossible consequently leaving them open to predation by healthy regularly flushed species such as Water Rail, Bittern and Short-eared Owl. Therefore for such species flushing should be encouraged!

This Fat Snipe was easily captured by hand and subsequently eaten

Of course these guidelines apply only during a normal winter. As we are currently experiencing particularly harsh conditions sensible measures should be adhered to. Flushing should be increased two-fold. There are several reasons for this but none more important than gripping off your mates with the largest species counts. Continued flushing will also prevent birds from freezing to death and sticking to the ice and as mentioned earlier keep them fit and alert.

If Ipod's are used try using a recording made in the Mediterranean regions, this will trick the birds in to thinking it's mid-spring and thus make them feel all cosy, warm and just a little bit horny. Calls accompanied by short bursts of classical music may suffice in the absence of any such recording.

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