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Thread: Swans not bothered!

  1. #9
    More than 30 posts! Club Member sweetm2369's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Re: Swans not bothered!

    There were, of course, objectors at Pegwell Bay of whom the
    most strident were worms and birds, or those promoting
    their interests! Pegwell Bay was an important site treasured by
    local fishermen for harvesting worms. The fishing lobby’s
    initial response was, to put it mildly, unhelpful. But trials
    unearthed – quite literally – a curious phenomenon. After the
    hovercraft passed over the mudflats the worms popped up,
    no doubt wondering what the devil all the noise and
    disturbance was, and were more easily harvested. This proved
    a bonus point which won over the fishermen. A somewhat
    similar experience occurred with the birds. The Bay was
    adjacent to an important bird sanctuary and every
    ornithologist in the land – bar one – was paraded to convince
    the Inspector that the demise of the sanctuary was inevitable
    if operation of the hovercraft was permitted. The odd one
    out -the Applicant’s expert witness - stuck to his guns and on
    the trials conducted as part of the Inspector’s site visit it was
    observed that when a hovercraft passed over the Bay the birds
    in question, feeding happily on the worms which had popped
    up, would rise gently from the water (or mud according to
    the tides) and then drop leisurely back down to resume their
    predatory activities. Game, set and match to the hovercraft!

  2. #10
    Extremely active > 250 posts! Club Member
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    Default Re: Swans not bothered!

    I remember racing at Whittlesey where there was a large flock of roosting gulls which took off when we approached them and as soon as we'd passed they'd land again. And that continued for every lap and every race. It didn't seem to bother them at all.

  3. #11
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    Default Re: Swans not bothered!

    I have done a study on the effects of hovercraft operations on the environment, digging out all the available research on the subject, including a good deal of research into birds & bird disturbance - all done for the Weston bid. This results in a 30 page report, more than 20 references, etc, etc. This is required by the Habitats Regulations for any new activity in a SSSI, SAC, Ramsar etc.

    This research says that hovercraft have virtually no impact on the environment excepting CO2 and noise. Bird disturbance issues can be mitigated by simple actions that are conistant with hovercraft operations

    The upshot is that bird disturbance is not an issue so long as there is adequate food for the birds, and the disturbance is not continuous. The only time this might be an issue is in the late winter (Dec-March) when food might be scarce and constant disturbance can prevent feeding. Even in winter, bird populations can stand up to one disturbance per 2 hours with no significant effect on bird mortality.

    This is one reason why we should never dwell in one area with our craft, it's the "messing about" that causes problems for birds (and people), not "cruising" where we are here & gone.

    This research can be modified for other areas with a little work. If anyone needs a copy, let me know.

    Ian
    Ian Brooks
    Gloucester, UK
    http://www.hoverclub.org.uk

  4. #12
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    Default Re: Swans not bothered!

    I have had a negative reaction from people living on inland lakes I think mostly because the hovercraft sounds different, which they then equate to being loud. As a test I had my friend who owned a house on the lake stand with me on shore as another friend took my craft out. The home owner said it was loud once before, which I did not understand the full meaning of. Together we could barely hear the craft over the jet skis and power boats, that is until the tail was pointing straight back at us, then it just sounded like a vacuum cleaner off in the distance.

    I then turned to my home owner friend and said; does that sound loud to you?

    He said, well I didn't meant to say loud, I meant to say certainly different, it gets your attention.

    And that my friends in the end is what it is all about for some people. Different = Bad in their minds, not a whole lot is going to change that other than some more exposure and education.

  5. #13
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    Default Re: Swans not bothered!

    Video clip taken today - with plenty of swans on the river
    http://www.hovercraft.org.uk/showthr...8316#post68316

    Everyone needs to be aware of birds of all types at certain times of the year - basically the over-wintering and nesting seasons. During both of these times disturbance can be a matter of life or death for some species.

  6. #14
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    Default Re: Swans not bothered!

    Quote Originally Posted by John Robertson View Post

    Everyone needs to be aware of birds of all types at certain times of the year - basically the over-wintering and nesting seasons. During both of these times disturbance can be a matter of life or death for some species.
    I think this is something that I could usefully produce a educational article on... as John says, there are things we should all be aware of in order to prevent unnecessary damage to bird populations. Who knows what a Ramsar is? A SPA? SAC? What exactly have the Habs Regs got to do with Hovercrafting? The truth is, these things all have to be taken care of if we are to live harmoniously with our twtiching naighbours, and to avoid being fined for upsetting the lesser spotted wading roadrunner (Accelleratii Incredibus) or the like.

    I'll put something together - in a few weeks, going to be busy hovering for a bit!

    Ian
    Ian Brooks
    Gloucester, UK
    http://www.hoverclub.org.uk

  7. #15
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    Default Re: Swans not bothered!

    The upside of taking care around wildlife is that you get to see things that very few other people see.

    These pics was taken last year of a hovercraft operating within a few metres of nesting seabirds (gulls, shags and cormorants (I think ) on an island 0.5 mile offshore- they aren't used to people). It clearly shows that wild birds tolerate hovercraft without significant disturbance (If you keep very still you can actually get within 3 metres) . There are NO birds in the air in these pics!
    I don't think many people have had the privilege of getting this close to wildlife!

  8. #16
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    Default Re: Swans not bothered!

    Beautiful photos, you must be hovering in pairs to get the pictures.

    Was the other craft of Sevtec design as well?

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