Pigeon plague on moorlands over Britain

Peak District 413

There has clearly been a plague of pigeons attacking this valuable heather crop on an SSSI in the Peak District  – that’s the only reason for employing bird-scaring devices such as this gas gun (and what are those white flags for?) in an SSSI during the breeding season. Obviously.

Since a gas gun doesn’t fall out of your pocket by accident when you are walking across the moor I guess someone put it there. And I guess they put it in this particular spot deliberately rather than choosing it with the aid of a random number table. And I guess they put it there for some purpose. No pigeons were seen during the taking of this photograph.

Plagues of pigeons may also be feared to be attacking the heather in grouse moors in southern Scotland according to this article on the excellent Raptor Persecution Scotland website.

bird-scarer-1-copy
Photo: https://raptorpersecutionscotland.wordpress.com/2015/05/29/gas-gun-bird-scarers-deployed-on-leadhills-estate-grouse-moor/

And then there was the report in the Independent that a propane gas gun was being used near the RSPB nature reserve at Geltsdale too.

This plague of pigeons is really getting out of control, isn’t it? Seems to be a general problem on grouse moors this year.  Duncan Thomas of BASC usually has a lot (of nonsense) to say about disturbance of Hen Harriers and we wonder whether he, BASC, the Moorland Association, YFTB, Ian Botham, the Game (and Wildlife) Conservation Trust or anyone else would like to comment on this year’s pigeon plague.

Has anyone else seen lots of pigeons, or lots of pigeon-scaring devices, on a grouse moor near you? Please let me know, and photos would be welcome.

Just for the avoidance of doubt, here are some images with identification hints:

"Woodpigeoncloseup" by Nickfraser at the English language Wikipedia. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Woodpigeoncloseup.jpg#/media/File:Woodpigeoncloseup.jpg
“Woodpigeoncloseup” by Nickfraser at the English language Wikipedia. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Woodpigeoncloseup.jpg#/media/File:Woodpigeoncloseup.jpg

Pigeon: note it looks like a pigeon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: Gordon Yates. Hen Harrier on Skye (not a pigeon)
Photo: Gordon Yates. Hen Harrier on Skye (not a pigeon)

Hen Harrier: note, it looks like a Hen Harrier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thurs 11th June CopyHenry: note he looks lovely! And quite like a Hen Harrier.

 

 

Likes(80)Dislikes(2)
Website Pin Facebook Twitter Myspace Friendfeed Technorati del.icio.us Digg Google StumbleUpon Premium Responsive

Get email notifications of new blog posts

Registration confirmation will be emailed to you.


7 Replies to “Pigeon plague on moorlands over Britain”

  1. We drive through the Peak moors regularly and certainly don't see plagues of pigeons or anything else! But I'd love to see a Hen Harrier there!

    Likes(11)Dislikes(0)
  2. On the Let's get MAD for wildlife fb page there was a near admission by Andy Richardson that they are a legal means of scaring off hen harriers. They still are adamant that they are for corvids and gulls. (Gulls? Really?)
    There is an interesting discussion on there as I type!

    Likes(6)Dislikes(0)
  3. I live by the Peak Moors and every view from my house is of a moor. Or it would be if there weren't great swarms of wood pigeons everywhere. I used to drive through the moors to work each day. The windscreen was thick with pigeons.

    Likes(3)Dislikes(0)
  4. Having had gas guns here in the past on SSSI moorlands during the breeding season we were told and so were the moor owners that it is illegal without a derogation from NE. One of those moors turned it off and hid it when NE came calling and on again when they left. Strangely the gas gun suffered a fatal accident a little time later.

    Likes(8)Dislikes(0)
  5. I'm afraid most estates in east Scotland are deploying post bangers by the score and even plastic mannequins to act as scarecrows. It is very noisy on the moors and sheer madness reigns. I wonder why they have started this tactic after so many years success without them. Strange.

    Likes(3)Dislikes(0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.