Different Views of Nature



A covey of Grey Partridge on Irish Farmland

I was developing a research project on Grey Partridge a number of years ago and part of the experimental aspect of the work involved releasing pen reared birds on what appeared to be suitable farmland habitat. I identified with a farmer in Kildare, Ireland, who had a great love of Partridge. He vividly recounted where he last saw each covey, what year it was, who was with him, etc. A true lover of nature.

As part of the programme we successfully released a fine covey of 12 birds and his delight every time he saw the birds was palpable. I was interested in their survival and visited regularly to locate the birds and count the covey number over the autumn and winter.

One day I called to see him and asked if he’d seen the birds since I was last with him. He duely explained when and where he’d seen them and even took the time to bring me to the exact spot where he had his last encounter. As we walked together through the stubble fields he recounted his childhood experiences with his father long since dead. The love of wildlife had clearly come down the generations undiluted.

As we got closer to the spot in question he got more and more excited. Suddenly up from under our feet got a fine health covey of birds, nine or ten at least. ‘How many did YOU see?’ I asked my friend. ‘Ahh’ he said, ‘I was too busy enjoying the moment to count them’.

Sometimes in our rush to save the world we forget to enjoy it. We work incessantly to try to prevent the loss of habitats, species and ecosystems. We are driven by a need to protect and conserve as much of the natural world as possible for future generations and in the process we can forget to enjoy the beauty of nature all around us. Give yourself a break today and soak up the pleasure that nature provides us if we only take the time to stop and wonder.

Brendan

Brendan Kavanagh

Brendan Kavanagh is a Zoology graduate from Trinity College Dublin. In Ireland he developed the ‘National Conservation Strategy for the endangered Grey Partridge”. Based in Bahrain, Brendan has established the first sustained bird ringing programme using the British Trust for Ornithology ringing scheme, has trained local Bahraini personnel, Wildlife Rangers from Saudi Arabia and conducted research on the Grey Hypocolius, a species endemic to the Middle East. He has ringed over 10,000 birds and amassed a significant data set on the morphology of migrants in the Gulf Region.

Brendan

Brendan

Brendan Kavanagh is a Zoology graduate from Trinity College Dublin. In Ireland he developed the ‘National Conservation Strategy for the endangered Grey Partridge”. Based in Bahrain, Brendan has established the first sustained bird ringing programme using the British Trust for Ornithology ringing scheme, has trained local Bahraini personnel, Wildlife Rangers from Saudi Arabia and conducted research on the Grey Hypocolius, a species endemic to the Middle East. He has ringed over 10,000 birds and amassed a significant data set on the morphology of migrants in the Gulf Region.

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Peter Tait

Your last para is so true. A great turn off for me when guiding is to have to host twitchers. Now I hasten to add that for me a twitcher is someone with a list they tick, and then want to move on to the next “tick”. For me a birder is someone who is happy to sit and watch and enjoy what they see, and this extends beyond the birds themselves and into the entire environment, without which the birds wouldn’t exist. But it does lead to confusion at times with those whose English is less NZ colloquial. Lying back… Read more »