What would be the best solution, control Buzzards using licenced killing, or use a suitable non lethal device which does not harm the Buzzard?
BELOW ARE THE WORDS OF A GAMEKEEPER WHO PROTECTS GOSHAWKS ON THE ESTATE WHERE HE WORKS.
I am sure regular visitors to this website will have seen the post on the 4th January, concerning non lethal electrical deterrents, and their possible use at game bird release sites.
This article was criticised the same day by Raptor Persecution UK, I in turn responded to this by placing a comment disagreeing with their interpretation of the ethics of using such a device, and it’s possible illegality here in England. However the device would only be illegal if it was used without a licence should a licence be required, this has so far not been determined.
In this comment, I referred to a situation experienced by me during my career as a gamekeeper.
This was greeted firstly by incredulity, ( partly I think because of a misinterpretation of my statement), closely followed by an attack of the most virulent mockery, concerning my knowledge and observational skills regarding Goshawks.
Only one critic, Anandprasad , approached the subject in a reasonable manner .
I realise that my related experience was (to some obviously), hard to believe or accept.
This does not excuse the manner of my criticism, nor the refusal to allow me a right of reply to my detractors. On two occasions since my last critic posted his comment on the 5th January, I have had my reply up for moderation, only to see it removed shortly afterwards, without any explanation.
I am grateful to Raptor Politics for agreeing to publish this reply, printed below. It is changed slightly from the original, to take account of the time that has passed, and to give a little more detail of Goshawk nest spacing in the woods where I worked.
It may help to set my reply in some context, if readers would refer to the post on Raptor Persecution UK, scroll down to read comments that were published, before reading my words of reply that were not allowed, but have now been kindly published below by Raptor Politics.
Thank you very much.
BELOW ARE THE WORDS BY THE SAME GAMEKEEPER THAT RAPTOR PERSECUTION UK REFUSED TO PUBLISH IN A RIGHT OF REPLY, WHY?
My comment below, which I attempted to post twice on Raptor Persecution UK without success.
I really must apologise for misleading you all, but at no point in my comments posted did I state that I had seen 17 Goshawks in the air together. That would be a stupid exaggeration even from a member of the “Nasty brigade”, wouldn’t it?.
The term “main Pheasant release area”, referred to up to five pens in the central area of my beat.
My figures were based on the number of Goshawk nests with just fledged, or about to fledge young, plus adult (and at least one sub adult) birds on my beat at the time my Pheasants were released in June. These juveniles gradually dispersed through the autumn, though I feel certain that some remained on the ground till at least the following spring, (I can regularly hear contact/ begging calls to the end of September ).This does not preclude the fact that juveniles from other sites may have dispersed into my area also.
The four nests were situated in an approximate L shape, the total distance between them amounting to about 1.75 kms. The closest distance between successful nests being 250 metres .
When intersecting lines were drawn between the nests, they were found to be contained in a “box” measuring 1 km by 0.8 km.
The two further nests on my beat were 2.6 kms and 3 kms away from this group.
A nest on a neighbouring estate was, at this time I think, less than 3 km away, other nests on our ground at a slightly greater distance.
I am a founder member of two Raptor study groups. My schedule one disturbance licence which I have held for thirty six years now runs to twelve sides of A4, covers species much rarer than Goshawk, and is valid for six counties. That’s before we get onto the one for Scotland.
I do not recall any of the authors of the above smart arse comments being quoted in the available literature on Goshawk. Websites such as this, while generally doing a good job bringing issues to the fore (at least to those who are interested ), tend to encourage a herd mentality.
It’s the old, I think I know a bit about raptors (so many seem to nowadays), let’s jump on the bandwagon, and have a collective laugh at the stupid gamekeeper who can’t know what he’s on about syndrome.
I resent insinuations enclosed in comments posted by Raptor Persecution UK that I had shot any of these birds, and now request these libellous comments are immediately removed.
I somehow don’t think Mr Newton, or Mr Kenward approach things in quite the same manner.
We at Raptor Politics feel very disappointed that anyone should wish to criticise a gamekeeper who has demonstrated his commitment to protecting goshawks on the estate where he has been employed for many years. In addition, preventing this man who has been unreasonably criticised and prevented from making a right of reply is utterly disgraceful. Inappropriate and inaccurate comments posted by people with little or no experience of the goshawk shows a distinct lack of intelligence. This man who was a gamekeeper and also had a licence allowing him to work with and protect goshawks must stand for something. We would suggest it would be reasonable to congratulate such a person, a beacon of light showing that at least one gamekeeper really cares for our raptors instead of killing them. How many gamekeepers do you know that are prepared to welcome the goshawk onto the beat they are employed to protect?
We have enough battles to fight with the shooting establishment, we must not under any circumstances do battle between ourselves.