Whilst it will be nice to see the magnificent peregrines adorn the skies above Romsey, its presence holds a side seldom mentioned if ever by the conservation organisations and little known to the majority of the public.

For decades we have been advised by the relevant organisations that our smaller bird species are declining rapidly. In the past farming has been the blunt of the reasoning behind this, however there are various human activities that have been responsible from building, and forestry to a simple thing such as gardening. An example of the latter recently related to myself was by a couple 2 weeks ago as this letter is penned that were trimming bushes in their garden only to discover a new robin's nest with two eggs that was subsequently deserted . Without a shadow of a doubt, we as a species have certainly contributed to this decline thus creating an imbalance to be mentioned under.

A recent new reason given by the conservation groups is global warming however one would have thought that with warmer winters our resident birds such as blackbirds, thrushes, hedge sparrows etc., would increase due to the lack of elongated cold spells and the availability of food thereof but this does not appear to be the case.

What the conservation organisations try to sweep under the table with their obsession with the top of the food chain is predation. Predation, in its many forms from the peregrine, crows, squirrels, rats, foxes, goshawks(in one respect seen as a successful reintroduction ), cats, sparrowhawks etc., the list just goes on against declining bird numbers. The sparrowhawk alone is responsible for over ten million deaths during its breeding season according to RSPB numbers combined with a programme fronted by Sir David Attenborough.

An argument will be this is only natural but we have created the imbalance and unless we take our heads out of the sand and see this issue it may be too late to reverse with the dawn chorus being lost forever!

NB; There is also a movement afoot to reintroduce the pine martin to England yet another predator to take our robins, blackbirds, finches etc!


Roger Hurst,

The Tyleshades,