Monday, 14 April 2014

A Word to the Wise.

I went to the Élan Valley yesterday (sun 13th) and as is always the way I made a trip over to Gilfach too. I was chatting to Pip in the centre yard and he advised me that the trust have introduced a few changes.

Photographers are NOT allowed to use tripods or monopods in the yard area anymore.
No one is allowed to bring food for the birds, including mealworms.
No one must get too near the birds as to cause disturbance.

Pip assures me that he tried to fight the photographers corner, he pointed out that the photographers that attend increase the funds raised dramatically and that the birds are ensured a good food supply for the chicks. Unfortunately even the suggestion of a permit for photographers did not help.

Of course photographers are still welcome at the reserve, and welcome to use Tripods etc in other areas.

I wonder if this is the first stand by Nature trusts against photographers. I hope not.


Brian said...

Hi Brian. Did Pip say what the concerns were? I never got to Gilfach when the spring migrants were being snapped and always assumed the pics were from the hide. Were they in the yard then? Or did the snappers just get in the way? Hard too to know the worries about feeding unless it was a fear of dependency perhaps.

Brian J Davis said...

Hi Brian, I think the main issue was obstruction and disturbance. Pip tells me that on a good day there could be a dozen or more photographers with tripods at any one time in the yard. The Pied Fly pics are mostly obtained from the hide or the very sharp corner just before the car park. The Redstart pics are usually from the yard. I think there have been some issues with obstruction on the sharp bend and the yard. He didn't say what the problem with feeding was, he has been given permission to keep his feeders up just outside his house, I don't know if he will continue to feed the redstarts mealworms. I think they are cutting their nose off as they will possibly lose money if people can't go with tripods, or there will be more hand held shots with smaller lenses causing even more disturbance due to proximity.

Graeme said...

This is really sad, and without doubt they will lose funds and visitors as a result. The problem stemmed from some empty minded person putting dried mealworms out for the birds, and the Redstarts in the courtyard fed them to their young, and as they contain no nutrients or water content, the chicks died.
I don't see why they can't just ban dried mealworms to be honest, which would resolve the problem completely.

Brian J Davis said...

I don't see why birds need dried mealworms, they are basically dust. But if that is the case I can understand a ban on them would help. The disturbance issue is harder to address, although I think the birds are not affected, I think it's more of a case of blocking the yard. I think it's down to small minded people from the trust and the perception that photography must be bad. Welcome to my blog by the way.