Book Review by Phil Lawson
While out walking from Redmires along a footpath over the moors, I got talking to another birdwatcher on the subject of grouse. He asked me if I'd read Mark Avery's book 'Inglorious' about the conflict between birds of prey and grouse shooting. He mentioned how gamekeepers shoot brown hares because they carry a tick that could spread to grouse.
Although I was familiar with the problems of raptor persecution, I had not heard of this before. He recommended I read the book so I ordered it from the library. I picked it up on Wednesday lunchtime, thinking it could be a dull read. How wrong I was! I could not put it down and had read it by Friday teatime.
The book tells the story of the battles between bird lovers and grouse shooting over the past 40 years or so. It puts forward a strong case for banning driven grouse shooting as the only answer to improving the lot of upland birds of prey. The book refers to two cases on our patch of the successful prosecution of keepers. I was a witness in court alongside the RSPB and other members of our group for one of these cases. That was 15 years ago now and nothing has changed. I began to think just how many birds of prey have died in the Dark Peak during this time.
'Inglorious: Conflict in the Uplands' is a highly informative and compelling read. I recommend you all read it and then make up your own mind as to the best way forward.
'The Birds of Derbyshire'
To order your copy at £45 plus postage email or phone the publisher. See details here
'Breeding Birds of the Sheffield Area'
Read details of Sheffield Bird Study Group's critically acclaimed new Breeding Atlas here
Get your copy here or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Picture of the Week
Whooper Swan Rescue, April-May 2016
Back in April, I was contacted in my capacity as founder of Yorkshire Swan Rescue, regarding a flock of Whooper Swans at Middleton Moor in the Derbyshire Peak District. By the time I was informed of the situation at Middleton, considerable concern was mounting for the 15 or so Whooper Swans which had been on the site for some weeks on their attempt at migration.
Witnesses reported dead and dying swans at a lagoon used in a mining process for Fluorspa. One of the elements found within this lagoon is lead; a highly toxic metal which is fatal to birds if ingested.
Tragically, several dead birds were observed were upon my first visit with a further nine sick and lethargic swans remaining, all displaying the classic symptoms of lead poisoning read more...
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