28th November. Sitting Ducks

With a tip off that DEFRA would be on site from 6:30am a couple of us nipped down an hour before with the intention of flushing any wildfowl that might remain following the previous evenings flushing. Things looked good, lots of noise made and the remaining ducks eventually flushed. When we managed to flush a party of Canada Geese we were convinced that we'd succeeded in our mission.

The DEFRA taskforce arrived on mass at 07:30, 6 4X4's and 6 motor boats. Dawn broke and the result of our efforts were revealed a raft of Pochard with 20+ Ruddy Ducks among them. The slaughter commenced!! By 8:40 the bulk of the Ruddies had been cleaned up with around 10 birds remaining. Having had to leave for parental duties at 7:20 I returned at 8:40, lost the plot a bit, stuck on my HI-Viz and jumped the wire fence and sat myself stubbornly at the waters edge taking photos of the ensuing massacre. At first it seemed to work the guns went quiet. After a short break the boats started to head towards me and it soon became clear that they intended to drive the birds away from me. This seemed to piss them off a bit but after an hour they had rounded the last one and started to pack up.

One of the few remaining in the foreground whilst another is scooped up




I think I was starting to get to piss them off a bit


Another one bites the dust




With just a couple left the hunters took to rounding then up and forcing them towards the hidden guns.


THE END




27 comments:

franksidebottomsuncle said...

A very sad and black day for RVCP. And there is nothing the Park can do about it whatsover. DEFRA come, they see, they slaughter. Simple as. I would urge anyone who has Ruddys on there patch to keep away if DEFRA are about to visit, because anyone who has any love of wildlife would find this absolutely heart-breaking to watch. I saw one poor duck which had at least 5 cartridges pumped into it before it expired. This operation certainly isnt quick or clean. As stated a valiant attempt to flush the little beggars failed, they are just reluctant to fly, instead trying to dive their way out of danger-to no avail. And to add insult to injury we had a sweaty sock trying to hand out a glossy pamphlet explaining their actions, talk about brainwashed!. He had stock answers for every question, he would have made a nice target for an obscure religous sect.
And as final word, boys and girls,just remember that this cull is supported and condoned by the good folks at the RSPB, consider that when your subscription falls due please. They will never, ever see a penny of my money again!! (Sorry Keith!!)

Andy Mackay said...

Absolutely obscene. And I bet every one of the hired guns was a typical inadequate little redneck turd (as all wildfowlers/hunters are), loving every minute of it.

Mike Watson said...

The shooters we know locally openly admit that they enjoy killing animals for fun. There is no debate. Whether or not the cull is necessary this seems a dreadful way to do it and I don't doubt for a moment that the folks carrying out the slaughter enjoy it. Reminded me of these brave heroes:
http://www.billsaiffoutdoors.com/fowlpro
The diving duck page is especially disturbing.

Anonymous said...

Alien species are the most common contributory factor in avian extinctions since the year 1500? See www.biodiversityinfo.org/sowb/default.php?r=sowbhome for more info. Of course, if your love of fluffy ickle ducky-wuckys is more important than protecting a globally threatened species then you might want to join the WI as opposed to the RSPB.

franksidebottomsuncle said...

The biggest contributing factor to W-H ducks predicament wasnt alien,,, it was Spanish hunters who almost shot the things into extinction,,,,, and any prizes for guessing one of the fastest increasing breeders in Spain???

PS can u play "duelling banjos" cos I think I saw you in a film once

Mark said...

I suspect the biggest contributory factor to any extinction is man. Time to stop blaming alien species we were the ones who fuc*ed about with nature and when nature bites back we think we can sort it out by sticking a plaster on it. This scheme is doomed to fail as they only kill a percentage of what's really there. Remember the whole British population stemmed from 6 birds (4 males 2 females).

Anonymous said...

How many other species did you see shot? You suggested on NonBIRDerFORUM that species would be mistakenly killed?

Anonymous said...

How many birds were "left to die slowly, maimed" (as you predicted on PlonkerForum). According to your photos and story it sounded all rather efficient. Were you disappointed?

Anonymous said...

Do yourselves a favour, go to the Birdlife website and actually have a read. "I suspect the biggest contributory factor to any extinction is man", no sh*t Sherlock! Who do you think moves the aliens around? It is even worse when you start looking into the effect rats and cats but Ruddy Ducks are part of the same problem.

Mark said...

On this occasion there appeared to be no 'wrong' targets though a Coot was pursued at one point. Five rounds of shot in to one bird is hardly quick!! Post removed by administrator means just that. Mainly because some prick comes along and has a snide dig behind an anonymous post at people instead of contributing facts to a sensible discussion.

Mark said...

No one will ever know as no records of this species will ever be submitted from this locality again.

From Birdlife.

Spain In Spain, White-headed Duck breeds in ponds of Ciudad Real, Toledo, Alicante, Almer�a, M�laga, C�rdoba, C�diz, Huelva, Sevilla and Balearic Islands. Most of the breeding sites for the species are located in Andaluc�a. The species was almost extinct in 1977 when only 22 individuals Since then, there has been a clear increase, but with important fluctuations. The drought of the beginning of the 90's had a clear effect over O. leucocephala abundances. The September 2000 census gave an estimation of 4,489 individuals, which represents the highest level of abundance recorded so far. However the results of 2001 indicated an important reduction in comparison with 2000. The species is present in 78 wetlands The largest population is located in Andalucia. With respect to reproduction status, it has bred in 26 wetlands. 98 reproductive females have been documented and 385 chicks. In 2001 the situation has decreased to previous levels. Again, the cause is an important decrease in El Hondo chicks (just 18). However, something has happened in El Hondo but is not clear what.
Population size Population/range Season status
2678 individuals (Sept. 2001) Increasing Resident

Getting on for 3,000 individuals and increasing. Hardly a species in trouble any more. Thanks for drawing my attention to that.

Anonymous said...

I think the problem is that the Ruddy/Whiteheaded hybrids are also fertile therefore multiplying the problem somewhat, also not reporting sightings would make a mockery of the WeBs counts, and I don't think the 'sweaty sock' comment helps anything apart from show a low intellect.

Andy Mackay said...

And you might want to join the BNP, you retarded, brainwashed anonymous fuckwit. Why don't you have the balls to put your name to your comments if you feel that strongly about it?

Anonymous said...

Andy, thanks for sharing the extent of your education (and artistic sensibilities) with us. Now run along and let the adults (particularly those with a more scientific bent) go about the job of conserving biodiversity.

Anonymous said...

Evening, who is the monkey who thinks 3,000 individuals is a good population for a duck species? Not the same person who claimed this was a "sensible discussion" surely. Try looking up how many other species in Europe have a lower population,... Jebus Crust! I bet you're allowed to vote too.

franksidebottomsuncle said...

I was thinking about apologising for my sweaty sock comment earlier because I think it could be deemed racist in some way. I work with several Scottish guys who dont find it offensive and its a term used daily in light-hearted banter between workmates. I will apologise for that at least. I dont think this slanging match is doing anyone, birdwatchers or DEFRA employees any favours. But if government empoyees from DEFRA do get involved in this sort of slanging match, even anonamously, then I do find that somewhat sad. Thats it, I've done.

Anonymous said...

Andy, Mark and Frank's Uncle, have you volunteered for Ruddy Duck nest searching all next spring to reduce the need for shooting?

Anonymous said...

Whole population derived from just 6 individuals? Are we talking about the Hebrides? Andy L.

Ps - Ruddy Duck cull is a necessary evil. However, from my own experience of wildfowlers they are all c*nts. Once the Ruddies are culled, the next vermin to be wiped out should be them.

Mark said...

Over 3 thousand individuals is the total population in Spain at just 78 sites! Bearing in mind that that was 7 years ago I suspect that the population is significantly higher now.
Given that all the other American Ducks have appeared in Europe in an apparently wild state, what's to say that Ruddy Ducks wouldn't have occurred and colonized without human aid.
Regardless of what we have learnt from the Ruddy fracas people still back schemes to introduce a population of Great Bustards. The population of Great Bustards in Spain are sedentary whereas the Kazakhstan birds (where the Salisbury birds originate from)are migratory. The introduced birds have already occurred in France. How long before they mix with the Spanish population and introduce their migratory genes?

This is like telling the Catholics that there's no god a complete waste of time.

Andy Mackay said...

I don't know why you allow anonymous comments on here, Mark - it just gives all the mouth-breathers from Birdforum another place to regurgitate crap they've heard someone else say.

Anonymous said...

So, just to check, Andy and Mark, I can put you down for nest monitoring next year then?

Anonymous said...

Hi again I thought I'd done but no. In answer to the question of whether I'd be prepared to search for Ruddy nests next spring on any of my local patches the answer would be a resounding yes. If birds are to be controlled lets do it in at least a humane way. I certainly dont agree with the cull, but what really upsets me is the methods. The expense must be astronomical, unless of course the staff are all "volunteers".
I have been birdwatching around this area now for over 30 years. I have watched the dreaded Canada Goose slowly take over most if not all of our waters. The moorland reservoirs which once produced breeding Teal, Tufties, etc are now totally dominated by Canada Geese. An alien species which until very recently no-one has taken any steps to control and is now reaching plague proportions.
I dont like to see birds blown out of the water and dont like to see people enjoying doing it!!
There has got to be a better way surely,,,,,
franksidebottomsuncle

Anonymous said...

I agree Canada Geese and the rapidly increasing Greylags should also be culled. We should do something about the parakeets too, all the other hole-nesters are gettting out-competed round my way.

Anonymous said...

Yeah Mark, I don't know why you allow anonymous comments on here either, it just gives all the mouth-breathers from Birdforum another place to regurgitate crap they've heard someone else say. Wait a minute 1,422 posts Mark? Oi, Andy, are you calling Mark a mouth-breather? ANDY!

Mark said...

Agree Andy and from now on all anonymous postings will be blocked! Let the spineless bastards stick to forums where they can spout their bile and have the advantage of hiding behind a pseudonym. By the way 1400 posts over six years - do the math TIT!!!

Colin said...

If the RSPB were involved in sanctioning this murder then we should withdraw our membership, in fact I already have.

Earl Gray or Dave for short! said...

Fight,Fight,FIGHT,FIGHT!!!!