Buzzard Gary Jones
I've found out about something today that shocked me to the roots and should you too, any right thinking person - and in particular any right thinking birder - should act in every way possible to halt what is set to become a three year project entitled, wait for it....The Development of Management Techniques to Reduce the Predation of Pheasant Poults by Buzzards, a trial area is to be in Northhumberland where it is claimed shoots have suffered significant losses accountable to the Buzzard.
Its pretty hard for me to get my head round the fact that this project is funded to the tune of a truly obscene £375,000 of tax payers money. And how about this for one of the sickening methods proposed to be used and named as a 'non-lethal technique' whereby the nest is to be destructed during construction in order to displace the birds by using squirrel drey-poking poles, or shotgun from below to force the pair to move on to breed elsewhere, or possibly not at all that year.
The ultimate irony here being, that the Buzzard has reached a point where its population has stabilised since its persecution years, and that our government has sanctioned this project of destruction beggars belief.
So now we have it that, not content with wiping out the Hen Harrier, landowners and shoot managers have colluded with their friends in high places to bring about this trial project behind a smoke screen called 'research' on its way to also riding their land of another raptor called the Buzzard but which they prefer to see as 'vermin'.
But theres more irony in all of this in that, the proposed nest destruction to be used in this project is the very same nest destruction used illegally by gamekeepers who continue to persecute other species such as the Goshawk, yet here we have DEFRA giving the green light to use the very same tactics whilst apparently pretending its OK in this case to label it 'non-lethal'.
All of this awful business needs to be stopped, yet heres more irony in that, as a birding blog, and as a blogger I feel I'm not at liberty to publish names and addresses I have at my disposal, but what I do know - and what I am at liberty to publish - is that the BTO are a part of the 'Project Advisory Group' so why not let them know your feelings about the nest destruction proposal, and ask them what their views are on it whilst you're a it.
And by the way shouldn't all we 'birders' be getting in touch with our MP's too, apart from the subject matter, isn't £375,000 a lot of 'our' money to hand over to the landowners and shooting fraternity in order to prop up their profits.