Buzzard & kestrel confirmed illegally poisoned in Derbyshire

In March 2020, just after the start of lockdown, Derbyshire Constabulary reported the suspected poisoning of a kestrel and a buzzard, both found dead next to the remains of a pigeon at Ault Hucknall near Chesterfield (see here).

[Photo via Derbyshire Constabulary]

Samples were sent for toxicology analysis and last week the police received the findings. Both birds had been illegally poisoned with the banned pesticide Aldicarb.

This news was published on the Rural Crime Team’s Facebook page (see below). We haven’t been able to find any further news reports, for e.g. on the Derbyshire Constabulary website or in the local press.

These latest illegal poisonings are not the first in this area. A total of six buzzards were also illegally poisoned in neighbouring Glapwell between 2015-2016 (2 x buzzards, March 2015; 1 x buzzard & pheasant bait, February 2016; 3 x buzzards & pheasant bait, March 2016). Alphachloralose was the poison used in those cases.

[Some of the poisoned buzzards and a pheasant bait found at Glapwell in 2016, photos via RSPB]

There is a record of those poisonings in the RSPB’s 2016 BirdCrime report (here) and a short video, here:

It is quite clear that somebody in this area has access to banned poisons and is not afraid to set out poisonous baits that could kill anyone unfortunate to come in to contact with them, let alone wildlife and domestic animals and pets.

Let’s hope we see a continued publicity drive from Derbyshire Constabulary – these crimes warrant maximum awareness and exposure.

UPDATE 15th March 2022: Multi-agency searches in raptor poisoning hotspot in Derbyshire (here)

7 thoughts on “Buzzard & kestrel confirmed illegally poisoned in Derbyshire”

  1. And so it goes on and on and on and on. I think those more in the know than me have little confidence in either South Yorkshire or Derbyshire police getting to grip with this spate of Peak wildlife crime. It would of course help if we had a proper list of banned pesticides that it is illegal to possess. Why haven’t we, ah yes a Defra minister (Benyon) who also owned a grouse moor thought it unnecessary. One wonders how we allow politicians to get away with such shite.

  2. This is right on my doorstep and as you say, this area has history of raptor persecution . Would you be surprised to know that a Shooting syndicate offers partridge and pheasant days in that very same area, the xxxxx xxxxx syndicate !! No shocker there !

  3. When this was first reported I was intrigued by the possibilty that a Kestrel had apparently died following feeding on carrion – now confirmed. They are not generally regarded as being carrion feeders and Village (The Kestrel, Poyser) suggests that it ‘is probably not common in Kestrels’. He gives a clue, however, which could explain this behaviour when it does occur. He describes having found parts of pheasant, fox cub and hare at nests following prolonged periods of wet weather, which had presumably prevented the adults sourcing their more customary form of prey to feed their young. An interesting insight.

    1. There are plenty of records of poisoned kestrels in the past..it should never be discounted as an illegal cause of death in an otherwise healthy bird..

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