South of Sawbo in the fields round SLRS and was confronted with both sides of the Shooting argument today.
Firstly, birding hedgerows and rough fields with a wide variety of birds including Stonechat, Snipe, Reed Bunting, Yellowhammer, and various finches and thrushes. Then, two shooters coming through with their dogs, giving the scrape field a thorough going over, and letting loose at what I assume was a Snipe and then a Rabbit. One shooter had a bird in one pocket, and the other had a pheasant in his bag. The tail was still twitching manically behind his back.
Personally, it strikes me that without the shooting this area would be an avian desert, like much of my tetrads where I spent a long time walking seeing absolutely nothing, and as a meat eater I think its better to eat wild animals than battery-reared animals. But I was still willing the birds to get out alive.
The list. New birds for SLRS area in bold, which as its the first trip of the year is everything: Teal 5, Moorhen 2, Lapwing 20, Snipe 3, BH Gull 32, Common Gull 2 (1ad 1 imm), WoodPigeon 10 + , Collared Dove 2, Meadow Pipit 1, Dunnock 6, Robin 5, Stonechat 1 pair, Blackbird 5, Fieldfare 1, Song Thrush 1, Redwing c10, Goldcrest 1, Great Tit 8, Blue Tit 8, Jay 1, Magpie 16 incl 13 in 1 tree, Carrion Crow c10, Starling 12, Chaffinch 10, House Sparrow 2, Greenfinch 2, Goldfinch 19, Bullfinch 2, Reed Bunting 3, Yellowhammer 3.