I go birding all over Co.Down and the one thing that annoys me the most is the litter. Northern Ireland has a culture where everybody drops litter and doesnt care about it. This morning I went out to Killard again! I park the car and somebody has emptied his ashtray onto the grass patch that I park on: now I dont mind picking up the occasional piece but cigarette butts NO THANK YOU. The thing was it was a beautiful morning and this put me in a bad mood.
As I do my loop, with pickle, which is about 2.5 miles I came across an old Marks and Spencer salad pack and I thought I will pick that up on the way home. Then at the far end of the walk is a lovely beach called Ben Derg When I get to the beach there is tons of fishermans waste strewn along the tideline . Bits of nets, Buoys, Fishboxes, Rubber Gloves, Orange rope, Green rope , Blue Rope and you just know that it has all been chucked overboard by commercial fishermen. Not only do they rape the seas but they pollute it as well. When will they learn. God knows. ( Now I do like to eat fish but I also want to preserve them to some extent. I fear my grandchildren's children will not even know what Cod is.) Then one has to think what commercial fishermen are doing to this beautiful bird The Northern Royal Albatross ( I took this photo in New Zealand this time last year) The Royal Society for Protection of Birds is trying to inform fishermen on how to combat the problem of killing these birds when they longline you should visit this site www.savethealbatross.net/ for more information.
Sorry I digressed there for a while. So how do we combat litter I think the only answer is Education, Education and more Education. Children should be told the harm that it does to the environment every year until they leave school when they are 16/17/18. It should be drilled into them.
On my walk today I saw a solitary Gannet Morus Serrator feeding. To me the Gannet is a spectacular bird I just love sighting the black wing tips on the white body far out to sea. I once was out fishing for mackerel as a child and there were loads of Gannets diving right beside the boat it was thrilling to say the least. Time now for me to go to bed!