Incredulity and Sadness

PUBLISHED: 12:04 21 June 2007 | UPDATED: 12:35 04 May 2010

One of the birds that has been discussed.

One of the birds that has been discussed.

I WISH to comment on the letter from Mr A Isaacson. I read his comment with both incredulity and sadness. It seems that he is not living next to Roswell Pits, but are living in that other well-known body of water, which the French-speaking locals of Egypt

I WISH to comment on the letter from Mr A Isaacson. I read his comment with both incredulity and sadness. It seems that he is not living next to Roswell Pits, but are living in that other well-known body of water, which the French-speaking locals of Egypt call 'De Nile'.

He boldly pronounced 'there have never been any sightings of Harriers'. What a display of arrogance from someone who obviously has no ability or desire to enjoy or observe the local wildlife. Here is a picture of a Harrier taken in and around Roswell on June 12. I have close to 60 others all taken in one week.

It seems that you are keen to deny any existence of wildlife at this location, the fact that you claim not to have seen any wildlife speaks volumes. While I understand that some people can confuse otters and mink, I am not one of them and neither is the environmental scientist who I would imagine has a fair idea of what an otter looks like.

As for the Bitterns - these are some of the rarest birds in the country - they are, by the very nature of the destruction of their habitat and pollution by mankind, RARE.

I have only ever seen one, and I consider myself very lucky (I am, however, happy that what I saw was a Bittern, and do not require my judgement to be questioned by someone who obviously has very little knowledge or consideration for wildlife). The bittern is a shy bird, and although it is as large as a heron (which I hope you have managed to see at Roswell - I am happy to provide a picture if you are not sure what one looks like), it would take top prize in a camouflage competition.

Even if you were looking right at one in the reed beds, most of us would still not be likely to see it unless it moved, which it does, very slowly just to make locating it even harder.

If you go to the existing marina in Ely, which is very nice and has boats in the right place (i.e. on the river where the flow can help disperse the diesel and other discharges from powered boats, unlike the pits) it is undeniably good for the economy and tourists visiting Ely.

The marina is a pleasant area to visit - I am all for it. The trade-off with this is that you will find many people, the odd Muscovey duck (not endangered or particularly shy) and a few other common waterfowl. You will not find Bittern or Harriers, as they require some peace and quiet and a safe area away from constant human habitation and noise. By adding moorings to Roswell Pits, you will force them to go somewhere else. In this shrinking world, "somewhere else" is a very small place that is becoming as hard to find as a Bittern in a reed bed. May I return your comment and suggest that it is you, sir, who should wake up to reality.

C HUGHES by e-mail


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