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Thursday, 26 January 2017


I've been asked by the landowner at Over Norton to pass on a message for twitchers going for the Little Bunting. He's a bit displeased at the behaviour of some twitchers, and has asked that birders are instructed not to leave the public footpath or enter the copse, and strictly not to touch the feeders present.

Apparently people have been emptying the feeders to scatter seed on the track, to attract the Bunting down for better views. This has annoyed the landowner, who already scatters 5 kg of food on the track daily. The feeders are there to maintain constant food as part of a scientific project. Removing food from the feeders interferes with this project, and is causing annoyance (as is the trespass into the copse to reach the feeders).

Twitchers are also spending a long time at the feeding station, which is causing further disturbance to the project. Although a public footpath, strictly speaking the landowner can ask people to move on if they are causing an obstruction, but would rather that visiting birders simply stuck to the path, moved on quickly after seeing the bird, and didn't interfere with the feeders.

Richard Broughton


  1. Infuriating that this even needs to be said. Regardless of any scientific project the value of the site is immediately obvious to anyone who visits. Some people seem to forget about the birds which frankly is just about as stupid as it gets.

  2. I agree. It is so annoying that there are always those who think the rules don't apply to them.

    the respect for the birds should come above all else and we should be thankful to those that provide help to them.

  3. Surely people should be willing to make a contribution either to the cost of the research(food) or some other charity of the landowners choosing in addition to respecting someone else's private space.

  4. This detailed explanation needs to be printed, laminated and placed at both approaches, east and west of copse, to reach the persons who need to know. Peer pressure might also then come into play to help deter unwanted behaviour by the few.

  5. Welfare of the bird and accompanying birds using the feeders should be the top priority. Someone took the brave and friendly choice of letting the wider birding community know about it and those abusing that trust should be marched off site. Many Twitchers and a lot of 'new' photographers seem to think their agenda is more important than the bird. As someone else said a sign making it clear that anyone abusing the rules could result in news being surpressed. I'd get that message out to RBA, Birdnet and Birdguides and be very firm about it.