Watching Twite is a delight. Every time one jumps, the others bob up and down, too. We’ve been photographing a few of the winter visitors to Knott End-on-Sea this weekend and I’m still smiling about the experience or seeing their huddled bobbing masses. Soon, they will all be gone, north of the border to Scotland. In England they’ve almost been destroyed as a breeding species. We’ve paid landowners to introduce industrial farming methods which have poisoned the plants whose seeds they eat.
As an attempted remedy, last year we paid landowners to sow over 600 acres of Dandelion, Common Sorrel and Autumn Hawkbit in ‘Twite meadows’ in a desperate last-ditch attempt to save them from extirpation. Please let that sink in for a minute. We’re having to sow Dandlions because the species which rely on eating their seeds have been starving to death in the toxic wasteland we call countryside. It’s enough to twist your melon.
I’ve enjoyed seeing them on the windswept shores of Orkney as they flock along the cliffs and surrounding fields. We should be enjoying them in England as well.
Do you care enough about a small, unassuming brown bird to do something about losing them as our neighbours and wild companions?
It’s time to make a stand, preferably wide-legged and proud-chested, like this: