This morning I was walking back through a wood after having shot a few pigeons feeding on newly errupting kale when I saw a guy walking up the track towards me. He had a collection of maps, binos and other papers. He explained that he was out doing a bird survey and was dismayed by the lack of finches and other song birds. As he spoke he was constantly looking at me and then the shotgun under my arm with suspicion. Yes I said I keeper pheasants, I also shoot pheasants but in doing so I spend hours providing habitat that will be of benefit to song birds, I control foxes that raid ground nests, I shoot magpies, crows and other vermin that would be detrimental to song bird populations. In the middle of freezing December through to March I am out filling feeders many of which provide birds and other wildlife with feed. Always worth a blether to these people. I hope he continued his survey with the knowledge that the finches and song birds that he did not see but are there are in good hands.