8 thoughts on “Useful guide to aid harrier identification (author unknown)”

  1. Satirical truth!

    Although, ignorant, selfish ……. could be replaced by, “I was ordered to do it by an ignorant, selfish …..!”

    Like war crimes defence, I was under orders.

        1. Yes, officer Dibble himself. Interesting to note that the original tweet by ShootingUK was re-tweeted by Tim Bonner and the NGO. Good to see the CA and NGO living up to the high standards of fact-checking and attention-to-detail for which they’re renowned.

      1. Brilliant, Jeff! The is a truly astonishing article, full of lies and misinformation (well, what would you expect from the UK shooting industry), so I will address some of the points raised Duncan Thomas.

        “Over-disturbance is also a well-known reason for failure.”

        People, make a note of that statement!

        “By far the most successful method of site management is to ensure that all persons that could potentially be affected by a nest’s presence are made aware of its location and importance at the earliest opportunity.”

        Then make a note of that statement.

        “We do not create exclusion zones and accept life must go on around these locations.”

        Then consider this statement. The Hen Harrier is a Schedule 1 species “for which it is an offence to intentionally or recklessly disturb at, on or near an ‘active’ nest.”

        If “life must go on around these locations” and “Over-disturbance is also a well-known reason for failure.”, then why is deliberate disturbance being accepted? Surely, with a law stating that it is illegal to intentionally or recklessly disturb the species, then an exclusion zone should be set, yet here we have evidence suggesting that shooting-related activities is disturbing this species.

        “Remember, however, that without lawful vermin control and modern moorland management we would not have sensitive species such as the hen harrier in the first place. It nests in the longer heather and, of course, the grouse is a major food source.”

        Really? So the Hen Harrier as a species only exists as a result of gamekeeping and moorland management, and has only existed as a species as a result of “sport” shooting? The Hen Harrier did not exist as a species before the advent of game shooting? I don’t believe that, so perhaps Duncan Thomas (if he reads this blog), or Tim Bonner and Charles Nodder could provide some evidence to support these claims. They clearly believe in the article, so I can only hope that they will engage in discussion and offer their take on the matter.

        “I would love to detail the many success stories and to name the gamekeepers and estates that constantly produce quality numbers of hen harriers and other sensitive species – my frustration is with the reluctance of so many to self-publicise and promote the quality work that goes on behind the scenes.”

        Again, really? There is no reason to publicise the names of these gamekeepers, but surely if some of these estates are producing “quality numbers of Hen Harriers”, then surely they would be only too willing to have their names associated with such sterling work? However, I do believe the statement to be a lie, as I am quite sure that with the number of ornithologists and naturalists working in England every year, some of them would have discovered these “lost worlds”.

        “Without this management, based on centuries of experience, Britain would not host the diverse range of species that it does.”

        Wait, what? I don’t think that’s true either. If we were to take the total list of species native to the British Isles, how many in this list owe their existence and British presence to the activities of “sport” shooting management? I am quite happy to suggest that the sum and total is none, nought, zero, zilch, nada, nulla, so I will open this one up to those involved in the shooting industry to enlighten us as to how many native species they believe that sport shooting management has “brought” to this land. Any takers?

        “I would urge the shooting community to push the accepted boundaries and to go the extra mile to engage and build positive relationships with persons or groups often perceived as the ‘other side’.”

        Aye, there would be agreement on this issue, providing the shooting industry stop illegally killing protected species, or repeatedly calling for “control” measures to be taken against protected species. Stay within the law, stop trying to get protected species onto the General Licence list, and things will improve. A simple switch from intensive management for driven shooting, to a walked-up shooting system, would help greatly.

        “There is an enormous amount of work going on to build bridges behind the scenes, but it is often a case of five steps forward, four steps back.”

        Yet three simple steps would drastically reduce much of the conflict.

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