Anyone up for a spot of red kite shooting?

Though I’m aware that taking pot shots at birds of prey is generally considered unsporting, there are so many in the part of mid-Wales I’m staying right now that I think they almost qualify as a pest. Plus, of course, it would really, really, REALLY annoy the RSPB. And annoying the RSPB, to my mind, is such a noble and worthwhile task it’s kind of the modern equivalent of being a medieval peasant and doing the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella or dying of dysentry on the Crusades: it earns you a top tier seat in the kingdom of heaven because, you know what? Even GOD hates the RSPB, that’s how awful it is.

(to read more, click here)

15 thoughts on “Anyone up for a spot of red kite shooting?”

  1. This post/story is littered with factual inaccuracies, if you can’t even be bothered to get your facts correct how can you possibly begin to offer any sensible comment.

    1. Wind Turbines, There are 2908 operational wind turbines in the UK, scientific surveys have shown that they kill 0.19 Common Kestrels each per annum. That represents c550 individuals from a population of c37,000 breeding pairs.

    2. Larger Raptors, Red Kite do not prey on smaller raptors they feed on Carrion, nor do Common Buzzards and to cite White-tailed Sea Eagle that have a population size of of c40-50 pairs almost all on the West coast of Scotland is beyond laughable. They could not eat that amount of Kestrels if you caught them, cooked them and served them up on a silver platter.

    What you completely fail to mention is that the most likely cause of the Kestrel population decline is the indiscriminate use of poisons including the banned substance Carbofuran to kill rodents. These poisons are present in around 70% of the livers of Kestrels tested by the independent Predatory Bird Monitoring Scheme and build up as Kestrels repeatedly catch rodents that have been poisoned.
    Either your research (assuming you did any) was sloppy or you deliberately ignored it as most poisons are put out by farmers and landowners, your mates at the CLA will probably be able to tell you all about it.

    For the record I am not an RSPB member.

  2. Birds of prey have been protected far too much and for far to long to the extent that their huge numbers are now having a detrimental effect on their prey. Garden birds, such as the Robin and Sparrow are falling prey to the large numbers of birds of prey and the RSPB then wonders why the sparrow numbers are diminishing????

    It is because their predators are not being controlled. Now we have a healthy breeding populaton of birds of prey, it is time they were controlled to give the smaller birds a chance. Another example of environmentalists meddling with things they don’t understand (nature) and getting it badly wrong again- just like with CO2 and global warming!

  3. Such ignorance is remarkable. Red kites feed on carrion, they do not take live robins or sparrows but what can you expect from an idiot who idolises the vacuous Mealanie Phillips and can’t even spell dysentery.

  4. Is this a satirical blog? Or are you being outrageously controversial for some comedic reason? Or could it be that you simply have absolutely no clue about British bird populations, conservation, the food chain etc

    It’s a long while since I encountered such a load of twaddle.

  5. I am truly amazed at the incredible level of ignorance achieved by the writer of this article. If I knew as little about a subject as Mr Delingpole does on this particular topic, then I would simply not write about it. My 9 year old son has a better grasp on predator / prey relationships than the author of this twaddle!

    Mal Taylor (a proud member of the RSPB along with one million others!)

  6. Oops a daisy. It does look like an off-day posting, James. Totally agree that institutions like the RSPB rarely put much thought into their reason for existing, but rather more into political and ideological projects. I do like the selective nature of the people upbraiding you for remarks of the eating habits of Red Kites. They eat carrion our experts shout. Well they do, but why not mention that they are quite happy to take small mammals and the like? How much of a sin is that lack of accuracy?

    I have to say, driving from Aylesbury to High Wycombe the sky seems full of Red Kites and a majestic sight it is too.

    Is 550 raptors killed per year acceptable? Our helpful correspondent doesn’t say. Would it be OK for just anyone to kill 550 birds a year? Randomly. I thought people shooting birds was a heinous crime in the left-liberal book of sanctimony, because it was pointless. But killing them with a pointless machine is satisfactory. This lack of consistency, logic and reliance on an ability to ignore hypocrisy when it is your own, is why I can never get into the ranks of the especially-good-hearted left-liberal.

  7. I think what’s most shocking about all of this, is the surprise which some commentators are expressing in relation to James’ lack of research. This is James Delingpole. THE James Delingpole. Renowned for utterly failing to present anything approaching the truth, nor substantiated by anything approaching a fact.

    Thanks to Alan Tilmouth, for his informative and corrective post, and thanks to John of Kent, for his ignorance, which quite frankly made my morning.

  8. Clearly, George, you haven’t read any of Delingpole’s novels. They are extremely well researched. He does not have a reputation for untruthfulness, such as you have alleged in your post, except perhaps in your own closed mind.

    I don’t know why I bother responding to people like you who have already drunk the liberal-left Kool-aid. Total waste of time.

  9. Quiet right Frank. Reading Delingpole’s novels would involve spending money, which would inevitably filter down into Delingpole’s faux-aristocratic mitts, to be spent on private education for his mini-mes. Judging by the standard of his articles, actually buying his books would represent a colossal waste of money akin to the financial blackhole that was the Labour Government’s new NHS IT system.

    Personally I’d rather stick it in the charity jar.

  10. If the RSPB really wanted to effect numbers of garden birds positively, they would instigate a cull on Magpies.

    One pair of Magpies has taken over 18 chicks, and dozens of eggs, from my small 1/3 acre plot this year alone.

  11. “Pete says:
    August 12, 2010 at 10:53 am

    If the RSPB really wanted to effect numbers of garden birds positively, they would instigate a cull on Magpies.

    One pair of Magpies has taken over 18 chicks, and dozens of eggs, from my small 1/3 acre plot this year alone.”

    Well said Pete, but it is not just Magpies. My personal experience of this problem- My folks in Scotland kept 120+ (approx) garden song birds alive for years on their small holding by feeding them though the harsh Scottish winter- including sparrows, blackbirds, robins etc. Last year when I visited the folks, their garden bird population has been decimated by Sparrowhawks- yes birds of prey- which farmers are sadly no longer allowed to shoot.
    These birds have absolutely no fear of humans anymore as we are no longer their predator. The final straw for my Dad was when one of these hawks killed some of his budgies- one of then had a death grip on the poor budgie through the chicken wire that surrounded the budgie enclosure- and would not let go- despite being hit with a stick- these birds of prey are now a pest and a menace as James D correctly blogs about- and they need to be controlled.

    Shame on the RSPB and shame on most the posters above for posting misinformation and slandering James good name!

  12. “#
    George says:
    August 11, 2010 at 8:37 am

    I think what’s most shocking about all of this, is the surprise which some commentators are expressing in relation to James’ lack of research. This is James Delingpole. THE James Delingpole. Renowned for utterly failing to present anything approaching the truth, nor substantiated by anything approaching a fact.

    Thanks to Alan Tilmouth, for his informative and corrective post, and thanks to John of Kent, for his ignorance, which quite frankly made my morning.
    #

    George, you are the one showing your ignorance – please take back what you said as you do not know what you are talking about! Shame on you….

  13. John of Kent,

    Did you flunk O-level biology? You know how animal populations and prey/predator ratios work right? If there are, in fact, “too many” birds of prey, they will rapidly decimate their own food chain, and their numbers will subsequently decline.

    It is human intervention – which you propose – which causes all the problems. Left to their own devices, birds of prey will find their niche in the British eco-system and enrich all of our lives.

    You make lots of mistakes in your posts, not least when you insinuate that we were once ‘predators’ to sparrowhawks. Shooting something and then not eating it does not match any definition of predatory I’ve ever heard.

    Back to school for you. Preferably not JD’s school of half-truth and bluster.

  14. Well Done JD

    I will forgive a few minor inaccuracies – the general tone of your piece was spot on. The RSPB have had it their own way for far too long, infiltrating Whitehall with their vested interest in countryside legislation.

    The RSPB need to check their facts a little more closely too – did I see a retraction and apology in a recent publication for false reporting again about raptor poisoning. Its always been a good money spinner for them when Joe Public thinks that wicked gamekeepers are out to get every buzzard, kite and harrier that ever takes to the wing.

    The most recent fraud is their complaint that the Herring Gull is now a species in decline and needs special protection! I don’t see many twitchers camped out on out local landfill site hoping to get a rare sight of Larus argentatus.

    Well on a recent visit to Dorset, I see that they have reached far into their coffers to spend thousands on enormous bill boards all over the county appealing to Oliver Letwin to leave them out of the next round of funding cuts! The warden was bleating on the local radio about what impact cuts might (hopefully) have on them.

    I’m not a natural conservative voter but if Oliver and his friends can put the RSPB mafia onto the endangered species list then he will get my vote every time.

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