Telegraph UK Talks About Bird “Killing Fields Of Barbados” – Articles Have Curious Omissions and “Blame The Whites” Statements

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The international press and animal activists have targeted Barbados as a country where migrating wildfowl are slaughtered indiscriminately – a country without laws, a country where the government does not consider the natural environment worth preserving. These charges are made directly and indirectly in two Telegraph UK articles: Barbados Wildfowlers Attacked Over ‘Slaughter’ Of Birds Migrating From US and Killing Fields Of Barbados.

In our opinion, these charges of indiscriminate slaughter of birds, an uncaring government and a country without laws – are valid.

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Media’s Curious Omissions – Proposed National Park, Conservation Efforts At Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary

What is extremely curious about the articles is that despite all the “research” done by writers Paul Eccleston and Micael Shemilt, nowhere are the proposed National Park or the conservation efforts at the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary mentioned. Even the Graeme Hall swamp itself, the largest inland body of water and the last large mangrove swamp on the island, is not mentioned.

This makes me wonder how these articles came to be written. How did the migratory bird shootings come to the attention of the writers? Who did they interview? What Bajan could possibly have provided information and not told the writers about the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary – the largest and last mangrove watershed in Barbados and a famous and well-managed refuge for migratory birds? Even a cursory Google search of “birds, barbados” brings up links to the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary in the first five hits!

And yet, not one word about the Nature Sanctuary in an article about migratory birds in Barbados.

Curious

The Telegraph article Killing Fields Of Barbados also suggests that the swamps could become tourist attractions if only hides and walkways could be built!

“The swamps could however be adapted as tourist attractions as bird watching holidays have become big business both in the UK and in the US. If hides and covered walkways were erected and knowledgeable guides provided, visiting Barbados to view the autumn influx of migrating waders could become a feature of the islands tourist promotions.”

I guess that no one told the authors that the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary has had beautiful nature pathways and hides for over a decade and that the philanthropist owner has just spent over a hundred thousand dollars to upgrade and expand the walkways!

Curious.

But even more curious, this total omission of the Nature Sanctuary is not only found in the international press, it is found in the Barbados media…

It is interesting that an article by The Nation News: Watson: Bird Hunting A Concern, is quoted as a reference in the Telegraph UK articles – but the Nation News article again never mentions either the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary, the Graeme Hall mangrove swamp or the efforts for a National Park.

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Any media-savvy Bajan has to wonder how a Barbados-based journalist like Julie Wilson of the Nation News could possibly do an article on migratory bird shooting in Barbados without mentioning the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary and the National Park proposal.

Answer: The Nation News has a long history of deceit, censorship and omissions when writing about the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary and National Park proposal…

Nation News Prints Letter From Friends Of Graeme Hall – But Deletes Some Sections

Nation News Censors Important Story & Letter To Editor – Millionaire Philanthropist Abused By Barbados Government

Outrage As Deceitful Nation News Censors Letter From National Park Donor Peter Allard

Graeme Hall National Park: Will The Nation News Follow-up With Government & Politicians?

Why don’t any of the UK or Barbados bird-shooting articles mention the largest swamp on the island, the fact that no shooting takes place and that endangered species are preserved? That the multi-million dollar nature sanctuary is a world class tourist destination with new walkways and a variety of species that cannot be seen anywhere else on the island?

How is that possible?

The Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary is renowned not only as a tourist attraction but also for rescuing injured birds and nursing them back to health. Its captive breeding programme has pulled one species of parrot back from the brink of extinction. School children visit the sanctuary on a regular basis and on any day you can see Bajans as well as tourists enjoying the peace and wildlife at the last large mangrove swamp on Barbados. All this is known by every Bajan… and yet not one word of the sanctuary or the National Park movement appears in any of the articles…

Curious.

Even more curious is the race-based political message that is conveyed in the Telegraph articles…

According To The Telegraph, White Men Support The Swamps So They Can Kill Birds !

HUH?

And here is where any media watcher in Barbados must take pause and start asking questions about the source of these articles – about the agendas of these articles, how much “research” was actually conducted by the writers and the omission of relevant information that any Bajan would be aware of.

Once again, we agree that the slaughter must stop, that the government doesn’t care about the environment and that our country lacks the necessary laws to achieve what needs to be done.

WE SMELL AN AGENDA IN THE ARTICLES…

According to the articles, the reason for this continuing slaughter is…

a/ Whites are the shooters.

b/ Whites have so much political power that the government is powerless to stop the shooting.

c/ Whites maintain the swamps to facilitate the shooting.

d/ If the swamps were not maintained, the bird population wouldn’t be impacted all that much. (!)

Consider these statements from the Telegraph…

“The shooters consist of the (mostly white) plantocracy and wealthy businessmen of Barbados, a small but powerful minority with considerable economic and political influence.”

“The swamps are often expensive to maintain and are either the result of a damned stream or are topped up from a well. To justify their sport, swamp shooters, or wildfowlers as they call themselves, claim that the swamps provide a haven for wildlife during eight months of the year which would be significantly reduced were they to close. There is some validity to this claim, but nothing like enough to off-set the wholesale slaughter during the other four months.”

“There is no doubt that the indiscriminate slaughter of protected migrating birds is now a global issue with particular attention focusing on islands like Cyprus and Malta. It may surprise some to find Barbados in a similar category. What is more, this is not a case of hungry peasants killing for food but an out-dated sport engaged in by a wealthy and sophisticated minority. It is to be hoped that increasing external concern and pressure will persuade them to change their ways.”

Certain Government Officials Want To Personally Profit From Development Of Our Last South Coast Natural Area

All of this comes to light as we see the Government of Barbados using all its resources to discredit those who want to save the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary from development, and to establish a National Park on the south coast.

Prime Minister Owen Arthur and his gang would rather sell the last piece of undeveloped natural land in the south, build condos and line their own pockets. According to Matthew Kerins, the developer of the proposed and controversial Caribbean Splash Waterpark in the Graeme Hall watershed, the Prime Minister gave his blessing to developing the National Park area during a private meeting. Further, Mr. Kerins claims (AND WE BELIEVE HIM) that he spent some 2 million US dollars on “consulting fees” that guaranteed him the right to build his waterpark in Graeme Hall.

We agree that the slaughter of migratory birds must stop. We agree that the Government of Barbados has exhibited a callous neglect of the environment. We agree that Barbados is a country of no laws and little enforcement of the laws that we have.

All of these things must change.

But we also see in these “news” articles an agenda that is most disturbing, an incomplete and poorly researched journalistic effort that has made the Telegraph UK a pawn in the delivery of a political message in an unethical campaign that is contrary to the interests of Barbados citizens and our children’s future.

We Call Upon The Government Of Barbados To Immediately…

1/ Ban all wildlife shooting in Barbados. Period.

2/ Declare a National Park at Graeme Hall and ban all development in the Graeme Hall watershed forever.

3/ Enact and enforce laws to protect the environment.

4/ Enact and enforce conflict of interest and integrity legislation that will prevent elected and appointed public officials from profiting as a result of their positions of authority and influence.

Prime Minister Owen Arthur and his cohorts have had 13 years of majority government to pass any legislation they wished.

They could pass the above legislation tomorrow if they wanted to.

Co-Written by BFP’s Marcus and Cliverton – who, for the record – because it matters in Barbados – are nowhere near white. 😉

Also see Ian Bourne’s article on this subject at Bajan Reporter

Additional Reading

Graeme Hall National Park – Powerful Entities Want To Possess And Profit From This Public Land

Spurned and Abused By Barbados Government – Philanthropist Peter Allard Spending His Charity Dollars Elsewhere

Nation News Prints Letter From Friends Of Graeme Hall – But Deletes Some Sections

Nation News Censors Important Story & Letter To Editor – Millionaire Philanthropist Abused By Barbados Government

Outrage As Deceitful Nation News Censors Letter From National Park Donor Peter Allard

Graeme Hall National Park: Will The Nation News Follow-up With Government & Politicians?

223 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Crime & Law, Culture & Race Issues, Environment, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

223 responses to “Telegraph UK Talks About Bird “Killing Fields Of Barbados” – Articles Have Curious Omissions and “Blame The Whites” Statements

  1. BFP

    Cliverton here…

    I must mention that I am a wee bit disappointed in Ian Bourne at Bajan Reporter – who broke this story in Barbados, but did not go any further than repeating the UK articles.

    While I admire and share his concern for our environment (heck – that’s his full time job and he’s really into it!) – I am disappointed that even he didn’t mention the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary in his piece.

    But Ian? We still love your work!

    (and we’d love to hear your comments on our article)

    Cheers,

    Clive

  2. Crusty

    The most likely location of the mentioned swamps is NOT Graeme Hall;
    rather it is a pair of dugout holes located in St. Phillip, at:

    Latitude N 13.149786
    Longitude W 59.478247

    You can see this on Google Earth if you are interested.

    These are clearly artificial “swamps” and are likely part of a shooting club. The ground/water is partly obscured by clouds but a rough calculation of area suggests a total of about 8 hectares or 20 acres of water.

    I can not comment on excessive shooting or no bag limits but it does seem that the author is being selective in this article.

    Other recent articles by the same author are:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2007/08/24/eabeach124.xml

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2007/08/17/eawint117.xml

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/ earth/2007/08/08/eacoral108.xml

    The content is different but the style is similar – suggesting a rewrite of content supplied by others – and possibly without critical review before publishing.

  3. Bush Tea

    All due respect to you BFP people (who I admire and appreciate greatly) but surely you can see your bias… albeit righteous. Are you saying that an article about the indiscriminate shooting of wild birds by white men in Barbados is somehow flawed because it omits to mention a well organised conservation effort? Then how come your regular exposés on bribery scandals, mismanagement and inefficiency in Barbados do not mention my favourite well managed project that seem to be thriving against the trend and the odds?
    Point is, an article about crime is not any less valid if the writer neglects to mention that some other persons are in fact NOT criminals…and you completely lost me with your reaction to the accusation that mostly ‘white men’ were responsible..
    Overall I would suggest that Ian Bourne’s approach was more appropriate.
    \
    ***********************

    BFP Comments

    We will have to agree to disagree then Bush Tea. There has been a serious effort to by government to ignore Graeme Hall, to ignore the offer of free land for a National Park, and lastly to portray the natural habitat of the mangrove watershed as a liability and not an asset. Not to mention the Prime Minister’s assuring Mathew Kerins that he could have his water park…. that was until the popular outcry against development in the watershed.

    Only trouble is, Kerins paid some $2 million dollars “consulting fees” to get to that meeting with the Prime Minister (That’s according to Kerins – stated publicly in exasperation at a town hall meeting – You should have heard the silence and then the gasps when he let that little titbit lose!)

    So the Prime Minister is between a rock and a hard place and the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary and National Park proposal stand in his way.

    Even the other day there was a highly negative article in the Nation about the Graeme Hall swamp fouling the beach – when in fact Public Works staff were ordered to open the sluice gate in the middle of the day instead of at night.

    Then we have the constant comments on this blog from a very select few who comment to “get rid of that eyesore swamp” etc etc etc. All this has happened at once.

    We don’t believe in coincidence and that is why we ask the questions about the author’s sources and such an obvious exclusion when to mention the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary would have been right on topic.

    Nope… we don’t buy it. You can, but we don’t.

  4. Citizen First

    I support your four proposals. However I really do not see any hidden agenda in the two articles only support for a campaign to end the shooting of birds as a sport. That Graeme Hall exists does not negate what is going on elsewhere and in my honest opinion mention of the Nature Sanctuary was not directly relevant to the main issue of the articles.

    From my observations of what use to go on at the swamp near Golden Grove in St.Philip, I think the articles were fairly accurate. I grew up in that area and come to think of it I never saw a black person involved in shooting birds that is not to say that there aren’t any just it appeared to me that very few participated in that activity.

  5. Duppy Lizard

    With all due respect to your posting on the 2 Telegraph news items, I do believe you missed the point entirely. These items were not reporting on wildlife in Barbados in general terms, but rather they were focussing on the indiscriminate practise of individuals who shoot migratory birds for “sport”. I do enjoy your site and any help which you can contribute to have this slaughter stopped or curtailed will be admiral.

  6. Pogo

    BFP your love of Barbados is showing through.

    Doan always agree with you but keep it up.

  7. historical shooting clubs

    shooting of migratory birds has been going on in Barbados for over 300 years and became a way of life for many white Barbadians ( mostly all males ) and a few blacks.

    The last siting of an eskimo curlew was in Barbados where it was unrecognized and shot by a local shooter in the late 1950’s or early 1960’s.

    As a result of environmental concerns and changes in lifestyle and demographics this is a dying sport.

    Perhaps the article would have served us better if it would have concentrated on real numbers of migratory birds shot today, if they are available.

    The article is not as thorough as it could be in terms of numbers of shooting clubs, members, number of birds and type coming through Barbados, numbers shot ( historical and present )etc

    It would also be more balanced to hear from a shooter to here their version of why this sport is still meaningful to them.

  8. teleclassifieds

    Any Bajan with an ounce of integrity knows the below statements to be true. BFP your protestations dont make sense and are odds with reality.
    (According to the articles, the reason for this continuing slaughter is…
    a/ Whites are the shooters.
    b/ Whites have so much political power that the government is powerless to stop the shooting.
    c/ Whites maintain the swamps to facilitate the shooting.)

    **************

    BFP Comments

    We don’t disagree that the vast majority of the shooters are white.

    The idea that our blacks only majority BLP government has been some sort of puppet government for whites for the last 13 years is pure garbage. If our government is beholding to rich whites it is only because our elected representatives are corrupt.

    Such nonsense to say that this government is powerless to stop this slaughter because whites have the political power in Barbados. Pure unadulterated crap.

  9. Shrek

    We say that we are 98% literate. That means that 98% of Barbados above a certain age can sign their names, rather than making an ‘X’. Nothing more.

    Years ago the plantocracy ruled the land. These were people who went to school, but saw no benefit in the lessons provided, since these lessons would in no way affect their eventual fate.

    Which was a path to wealth incidently. Only the poor have to study, only the poor require high morals.

    These white uneducated people are your shooters. They like to bear arms too. Some call them rednecks, hillbillies…..whatever.

    They exist, and they are——–white.

    Don’t think to take this as racism. It is they who harbour much of this as well.

    We have uneducated masses of colour in Barbados too. We are all prone to our idiosynchrosies and our mistakes.

    But the writers in the Telegragh are correct in ther categorisation of these (white) people.

    Karl Watson and the late Captain Maurice Hutt (both of them whitish men) typify the true English view of this carnage. The English view is one that holds dear the art and science of ornithology (bird-watching). And the English love their animals and pets with passion.

    Wicked Simon Le Gris, and you white bird-shotters, now hang down your heads in shame and put down your bloody guns for ever. You are a stain on our proud country. Educated, caring people have said so for years.

    Captain Hutt, some of us listened to you. We uphold your memory and the good you did for Bajan ornithology, the books you wrote, the programs you did on CBC, the articles you wrote for the papers. We remember your long-standing pleas to prevent these actions that today go reported in the Telegragh.

    *******************

    BFP Comments…

    And do these white folks have so much power that a majority BLP government was impotent for the last 13 years to make and enforce laws respecting the environment, conflict of interests, of freedom of information laws? These “uneducated” people have so much power that they do what they want? That is the message of the UK articles – and it still doesn’t explain such obvious omissions as the Nature Sanctuary and the National Park – especially by the Nation News.

    Have we forgotten that the Nation News censored stories and letters about Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary on more than one occasion?

    Nope… we stand by our original analysis and questions.

  10. Duppy Lizard

    Does it really matter if it’s white men or green men shooting birds? That is not the point! The POINT IS THAT IT IS WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! And pray tell – what is a “whitish man”? Is that the same thing as a “blackish man”? It never seems to amaze me how everything in Barbados boils down to a colour issue.

  11. I have connected Graeme Hall Park to the Migratory Birds, since http, colon // bajanreporter dot blogspot dot com/2007/07/ british-conservationists-fear dot html but it is only NOW ppl have realised what I spotted ever since, I am waiting for the public to catch up – as BFP quite rightly points out, Bajans need some serious Media Literacy in their tails!

  12. BFP

    BFP Comments

    We don’t disagree that the vast majority of the shooters are white.

    The idea that our blacks only majority BLP government has been some sort of puppet government for whites for the last 13 years is pure garbage. If our government is beholding to rich whites it is only because our elected representatives are corrupt.

    Such nonsense to say that this government is powerless to stop this slaughter because whites have the political power in Barbados. Pure unadulterated crap.

  13. Citizen First

    I should like readers to NOT harp on the race of those who in the main shoot birds for sport. I have always abhorred the shooting of birds and I hope that the day when it is banned will soon be here. I suspect that the only way to effectively stop this activity is to ban the ownership/possession of guns except at approved shooting ranges and therein lies the true political problem.

    People of all races have impacted negatively on the environment of Barbados but I have found that while some whites have been involved in environmentally destructive activities, other white Barbadians have significantly contributed to the preservation of our flora, fauna and other features of our heritage. Their contribution to the positive effort of sustainable development has been oftentimes disproportionate to their numbers.

    It is however obvious that for an environmentally sound pattern of development to be established in Barbados, it is to Black Barbadians, given their numbers, who will have to not only take a leadership role but see related policies as critical to attaining a high quality of life.

  14. Karl Watson

    There needs to be some clarification regarding the two articles published in the Telegraph. Debate is healthy..uninformed debate is not..quite the contrary. What therefore is the background to the publicationof these two articles by the Telegraph? Let me explain and readers will see that there is NO “agenda that is most disturbing” and I personally would NEVER involve myself in an “unethical campaign that is contrary to the interests of Barbados’ citizens and our children’s future.”

    The issue of uncontrolled bird shooting in Barbados has been around for a long time. Maurice Hutt brought it to the attention of the Barbadian public in the 1960’s and 70’s. After his death I took it upon myself to keep the issue before the public. Therefore before the opening of the shooting season which runs from 15 July to 15 October, I wrote letters to the press reminding bird shooters that most bird species are declining in numbers, including the migratory shorebirds which pass through Barbados annually. I asked them over and over to police themselves as it is my position that in any civil society, consensus can create norms of behaviour without the need of “Big Brother” governments to legislate every aspect of our behaviour. I was not and am still not calling for a ban to the shooting in artificial swamps. I am calling for strict controls. Although it may sound contradictory, hunters actually make good conservationists.

    This year, a South American bird, the Southern Lapwing, bred here for the first time. I deliberately publicized this, in an effort to protect these birds. Yet one of them was recently shot. Will this be the fate of the others?

    Since migratory shorebird species breed in North America, both the United States and Canadian governments spend large sums of money to monitor their habitat and are attempting to halt the species decline which in some birds is as great as a 70 per cent loss in recent times. NGO’s also invest monies in these efforts. With the realization that conservation efforts focused only on North America are doomed to failure, attention has been turned to the Caribbean and South America where these birds winter. All the international organizations know that there is organized bird shooting in Barbados which takes between 20,000 to 30,000 birds annually..the numbers shot depend on weather conditions. There are approximately ten species targeted, three of which, Lesser Yellowlegs, Pectoral Sndpiper and Greater Yellowlegs are the species most frequently shot.

    The Telegraph letters have no political agenda. They seem tohave taken their cue from letters I had earlier written to the Barbados press. It is true that most of the shooters who number about one hundred are white Barbadians..but so what? I was writing about the need to protect birds not about ‘a good old boys network’ who in fact are not from the plantocracy (which is now extinct anyway) but come from the new bourgeosie of Barbados most of whom anyway are of very humble origins. Any failure to mention the Graeme Hall Sanctuary is mine and not Julie Wilson’s. As I am sure you know, I played a role in the creation of this entity..but I was not writing about Graeme Hall since there was no need to do so. Yes it was a shooting swamp but shooting of birds ceased there some forty years ago. Now you must understand the habitat needs of shorebirds. They need open landscapes with plenty of shallow water and mudflats. To make Graeme Hall sanctuary for shore birds, ALL of the mangroves would have to be clear cut. This is not feasible since it would affect negatively many other life forms including the Snowy and Little egrets now nesting there. As I was talking about shorebirds it was not necessary to mention Graeme Hall. As for the National Park proposals (there are two) that is an important issue and one for the people of Barbados to agitate for..not one or two individuals. Laws exist here..there is a Bird Protection Act.. the issue is one of enforcement.

    Now back to our “children’s future” yes grim indeed if the day comes when they look up into the skies and see no birds..remember Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring or the Passenger Pigeon which darkened the skies of North America one hundred years ago with the huge flocks, yet through over hunting are now extinct. So we do need a campaign..it is entirely ethical and does speak to the interests and well being of our citizens..remember Donne ‘no man is an island’ if BFP or its readers have not read any of Edward Wilson’s works then now is the time to do so.

    Excuse the length of this I end with a quote from an informed and concerned citizen who just e-mailed me this…”the sport is indefensible and has been for several years but it is shocking to know how many are willing to defend it unchanged. We had a day this year where over 3000 birds were killed in one day. The scary thing is that 6000 could have arrived and they would still have been shot such is the mentality. They know no concept of enough.” And by all means let some bird shooters write in..there are always two sides to a coin.

    Karl Watson.

  15. BFP

    Hi Ian

    Yes you did connect Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary when you first started covering the story in July and we missed that. (Golly – we visit you daily, so I don’t know how we missed that!)

    But we’d still like to hear your take on the idea put forth by the article that the government is powerless to act against the slaughter because rich whites control everything ’bout hey.

    Don’t mean to put you on the spot, but we expected you to go further in your current article than you did.

    And we still don’t accept that both the Nation and the UK paper accidentally left out Graeme Hall – especially in light of the Nation News’ long history of deceit, censorship and omissions when writing about the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary and National Park proposal…

    … but that might be a tough one for you to address seeing as you don’t write anonymously. (and we certainly admire your courage both now and when you were at CBC)

  16. Thistle

    Isn’t there still a Clay Pigeon Shooting Club? So why can’t these bird shooters have their fun shooting clay pigeons instead of real birds? I say ban the bird shooting. It is wanton destruction.

  17. Anonymous

    So BFP, exactly at which point do you concede? The articles are fine. They call for an end to the wanton killing of wild birds for sick fun- practiced mainly BY WHITE MEN. Full Stop!!!
    Now! Your issue is ANOTHER story… an important one (especially to you apparently) but we are not all evil because we can see the difference….
    By the way you want to start an argument (sorry debate) about the extravagances of ‘white men’ throughout history??? – I thought not…
    Finally – are you saying that the Barbados Government ( past present and probably future) is beyond influence from the white (rich) minority here?? (Please don’t make me loose all respect for your intelligence…)

  18. Shrek

    The groups that shoot birds and control economies are different- uncontested- this is the wrong format for such a discussion/comparison.

    Why not bring the British Trust for Ornithology here to Barbados, and request that they speak to the Ministers responsible, and make representation to the Prime Minister? Here’s a link (thanks Crusty):

    http://www.bto.org/

    Why not introduce the BTO to the Graeme Hall Sanctuary, where species are being conserved, and write a joint article on what is being done to try to change social and government policy, sending it to the Telegraph?

    Things ought to be changed re shooting birds in Barbados.

    I’m certainly not embarassed by anything I said or even mis-spelt. But then, I’m an ogre.

  19. I am really at a loss as to why not only there are not tougher endangered species laws, but also laws concerning illegal dumping and littering!

    It is my suspicion that there are those with enough connections abuse those same affiliations (either side of whatever political fences) to stay under the radar at the expense of our ecological and/or environmental future – with fora like BFP, the BU and Bajan Reporter, hopefully this misplaced privelege will diminish to a significant degree

  20. Cappy

    Well said Anonymous. Karl Watson you are a real “I” man. The only persons I can think of who claim “I do this” “I do that” more often than you are Denis Kellman and Joey Harper.

  21. samizdat

    The BFP’s surely right to keep drawing our attention to the gutless news “omissions” (aka censorship) at The Nation.

    And as for Watson’s comment, I’d have thought any half-way intelligent reader could see that he’s merely trying to clarify his own connection to the Telegraph articles: after all, he’s fairly extensively quoted in the second of them.

    Seems to me you’re the only “I” man on this thread so far, Cappy.

    “I” for idiot…

  22. Rumplestilskin

    Them thar ‘boys’ must find it mighty powerful to slaughter innocent animals that cannot protect themselves, with those big and powerful weapons.

    Maybe one afternoon an Apache or Black Hawk helicopter here on a warship visit will fly over the horizon and in the ‘heat of the moment’ mistakenly be shot at…and return fire!

  23. Anonymous

    more disinformation as usual.

  24. Backra Johnny

    Attempting to stop bird shooting in Barbados would be akin to British efforts to stop fox hunting.
    There are many parallels in the two “sports” which are self evident ..
    If the British have not been successful, you really think we will be?

    There are other “sports” and environmental issues that ought to get as much attention.

    1) Dog fighting and cruelty to animals in general.
    2) The indiscriminate throwing of garbage anywhere, especially from moving vehicles.

  25. Confused 888

    Why is the race of the shooters an issue? Surly it is wrong if it is done by whites or blacks. People seem to add racial descriptions to situations where they serve no useful purpose, often an indication I think of racial prejudice, conscious or unconscious.

  26. Bush Tea

    Confused 888, you don’t have to live up to your name. The race of the shooters is NOT an issue, it is just a FACT. Why do people like you always have to jump in and see some race war anytime someone mentions ‘white’?
    I suspect that some BFP hosts suffer from the same condition… I still waiting to hear them explain their reaction to the article mentioning the fact that shooters were mostly white…

    ***************************

    BFP Comments

    Hi Bush Tea

    We have already explained our “reaction” to the “whites have the power” political argument expounded in the articles… that the Government of Barbados is unable to stop the shooting because of the political power of the white shooters.

    Such nonsense! Our all-black majority BLP government has had 13 years to pass any legislation they want. To blame their failure to pass and enforce environmental protection laws on “white power” is the height of lies.

    THAT is the reason for our reaction.

  27. Confused 888

    Many things might be facts… the age of the shoots, their religion, there schooling.. there are many facts. People choose to include facts that they think are relevant. The fact that the race of the people was included means that the author attributes some relevance to it.

  28. CENTIPEDE

    There’s volumes on this matter and I haven’t the time to scrutinize it all. I am neither a proponent nor an objector on this matter, but I’ll throw in my 2 cents worth.

    ‘Bird shooting’ in artificial swamps was a passtime over the years when there was little in Barbados to do by way of recreation.

    Errol Barrow (and many of his black friends) was an avid ‘bird shooter’ and I used to shoot alongside him in a swamp in Graeme Hall. (There were several ‘swamps’ in Graeme Hall, each with it’s own name, the one I used to shoot in was call ‘Bunions.’ Get a hold of George Bagot or Harold Thomas and they can give you all the history you want to know.)

    I dont know about this ‘slaughter.’ Yes, migratory birds would come through at periods and some days they were more plentiful than others. Many days there were none.

    In my experience all the birds we shot were taken home and eaten. In fact we often supplied a certain restaurant with ‘long legs’ who had them on their menu as a delicasy.

    I suppose the times they are a-changing and different perspectives come and go. The cost of cartridges went up, the ‘artificial swamps’ began to dwindle and nowadays there are only a handful left, if that much.

    It’s OK to hook and kill fish as a sport but it’s not OK to shoot and kill birds as a sport.

    Migratory birds come down from the North on their journey to the South, in the millions or billions. Barbados is not in the line of their migratory path. The ones that come through here are the few that get blown off the normal course especially when there is ‘bad weather’ around. The number of birds shot locally, would not amount to even a fraction of 1% of the migratory population.

    In other countries (USA, Canada, UK, Europe, etc.)is OK to shoot phesants, grouse, quail, ducks, etc…. But it’s apparently not OK to shoot plover, ducks, crook bill, etc. in Barbados.

    C’est la vie.

  29. BK

    White people shot at birds because they have been the ones to get the gun licenses because they were land owners and the group which and still does carry influence in Barbados. What is so complicated about that to understand. It is a residual from our colonial past so get use to it.

    So what next?

  30. Shrek

    In New York the recent trend where people or businesses do things that are distasteful to organisations (like unions) is to fly huge blowup toys about 30 feet tall in front of their businesses with messages and stories on them.

    In this case it might also help to warn the birds off their impending doom.

    Dog-fighting is anotyher area that the Telegraph would enjoy writing about. We would welcome a visit from the environmentalist who writes these articles, and when he comes he will realise that there are many people in Barbados who oppose what he is writing about, but the legislation has been too lax to give even a half a care.

    We don’t respect our environment and there are no laws to punish people who disrespect.

    All kinds of environmental waste can be dumped and disposed of anywhere. In the end the population will end up drinking it in the water or eating it in a food crop.

    Biodiversity is consumed as an inexhaustible resource, with absolutely no thought or protection to the sustainability of species. Karl Watson should provide a list of the endangered species that may still pass here, and a plan put on how to protect these from the non-discerning rifles.

    That’s enough for now. The only thing we presently collectively protect are the turtles. We need to expand this and meld to tourism.

  31. crossroads

    Well said Backra, this article brings attention to the indiscriminate shooting of birds in bdos. This, from the same british folk who indulge in “fox hunting” or “duck hunting”. Lets blame the “white folk” for this slaughter on the enviroment. Although must add, that I have not heard of any “white folk”at our local “dog fights” or “cock fights”.

    If we are going to discuss the enviroment, lets work on all those persons who travel on buses and ZR throwing garbage out the window (snowcone cups, empty wrapers, plactic bags etc) it makes me sick,to drive behind these people and watch as they dump their s–t all over our beautiful island.

  32. Shrek

    Yes indeed, we all have our idiosynchrosies. It is said that the Royal Barbados Police Force is involved in dog fighting down on the East Coast too. No contest there either.

    Now we have recognised that there are groups of all the various types in Barbados who do thiongs wrong. We can now accept that race or colour is not a precedent for wrong-doing, which exhonaerates us from having an opinion.

    Dog fighting— wrong!
    Bird shooting—wrong!
    Polluting the environment— wrong!

    Creation of a legal base, legal precedents—absent.

    Enforcement—…………………non-existent……………………………………

  33. Wishing in Vain

    Were these not doomed to death anyway with them being knocked off course and with little chance of recovery, are they not just speeding up the process?

  34. Sicky...sick, sick , sick

    As the PM said, “zero tolerance” as it relates to swatters. In my opinion, a ban on bird shooting and the arrest and imprisoment of the petretrators. A year at Harrison’s Point would do. Then they would see and feel how it is to be shot.

  35. BFP

    BFP Comments

    Hi Bush Tea

    We have already explained our “reaction” to the “whites have the power” political argument expounded in the articles… that the Government of Barbados is unable to stop the shooting because of the political power of the white shooters.

    Such nonsense! Our all-black majority BLP government has had 13 years to pass any legislation they want. To blame their failure to pass and enforce environmental protection laws on “white power” is the height of lies.

    THAT is the reason for our reaction.

  36. Wishing in Vain

    Do you know that Owing frequents a swamp in the North of the island where the bigups lime ?
    And you expect to get him to ban theses swamps you got to be mad as hell.
    After all they serve ESAF see thru and we all know what a fan he is of that, Dominoes, Whisk, White people, Rich White People, and rum, and prostitutes.
    They are all available in one nice Swamp package.

  37. Wishing in Vain

    People of colour may have the control of power but the real power is in the domain of the rich elite white with the money such as the Smiths the COW and Bizzys, the Paynters the Tabours.

  38. CENTIPEDE

    WOULDN’T IT BE LOVERLY if there were more races in Barbados besides the blacks and the whites. If there was a heafty percentage of Orientals and Asians in the local mix people would be more inclined to focus on the facts. It’s a better idea to choose your socks by their color and your friends by their character.

    Yes, Errol Barrow and his black friends were avid ‘bird shooters’ – I should know, I shot alonside them. Get a hold of Clyde T or Carlton B and ask them for details … (if they’d be willing to talk.)

    Why is it OK to hook and kill fish and eat them but it’s not OK to shoot and kill birds and eat them?

    Why is it OK to shoot pheasants, grouse, quail, ducks, turkeys and other birds in USA, Canada, UK, Africa, Europe and other places but it’s apparently not OK to shoot plover, ducks, crook bill, etc. in Barbados?

  39. Has there been any outcry about Barbados decimating migrating flocks from World Wildlife Fund, Greenpeace or other environmental organisations?

    Since eco-friendly tourism is one of the professed objectives of our Government, one would think that a broadside of criticism in the Sunday Telegraph or Observer exposing what goes on would have an immediate effect on our legislators.

    Government cannot let Barbados be damned in the eyes of an increasingly ecosensitive world as a haven for bird slaughterers. Does Liz Thompson have a clue what is going on in this area of her responsibility? I doubt it.

    Let O$A shoot clay pigeons if he wants to exercise his manhood in his swamp.

  40. Straight talk

    Forget clay pigeons, let Arthur carry on exercising his manhood in pursuit of Mascoll’s birthquake.

  41. Yardbroom

    For many years I felt a sense of deep shame, it stuck to me like clammy cherry pulp on fingers when making kites. What you may wonder caused such shame, I say with deep regret that as a small boy I used a gutterperk – catapult – to kill wild birds.

    Under beautiful trees, I would draw my catapult to bring blameless creatures tumbling down to the moist shaded floor of a densely packed, wooded area.

    My mother had warned me incessantly of such boyhood pursuits, ” what have the birds done to you?” she would cry, but my catapult lay hidden under a stone near a pea tree, it hid my guilty secret.

    To this day I feel guilty, for those boyhood escapades, little did I know that as my mother was concerned about a couple birds and I about a few. Thousands of migratory birds, yes tens of thousands were being blasted to smithereens, their tiny bodies carpeting the muddy banks of Barbadian swamps, not too far distant from a discoloured stone near a pea tree.

    I wonder how many hundreds of thousands of times, small bodies covered with beautiful feathers in flight, came to be splattered with blood and dank water on a muddy bank, in what seemed from a-high an oasis of calm.

    Do I feel better, because grown men rigid with guns were blasting thousands to their death, for the fun of it, and I a mere two or three, I do not.

    The shame is mine alone, that they were white men, does it matter, I hardly think the birds would have noticed.

    That we should take lives just for the fun of it, little beautiful birds, just because we can. I wonder if those beautiful defenseless creatures could speak, what they would ask of us.

  42. Rumplestilskin

    Yardbroom: As usual, well said, particularly the last paragraph which, to my mind says it all.

  43. CENTIPEDE

    “Thousands of migratory birds, yes tens of thousands were being blasted to smithereens, their tiny bodies carpeting the muddy banks of Barbadian swamps.” That’s utter garbage. As a former bird shooter there was seldom a week where more than a 100 birds were shot. I WOULD KNOW… I WAS THERE. Yes, there were some days when there was ‘bad’ weather more would be shot, but those ‘good days’ were the exception.

    In any case what’s the problem. ALL WE SHOT EATEN.

    What about the gluts of fish that are landed here…. many of them to be thrown, rotting, back into the sea? Is that a problem since many of them are so pretilly colored… such lovely hues of steel blue, black, yellow and red.

    “I wonder if those beautiful defenseless creatures could speak, what they would ask of us.” Good question. Lets ask the birds we see in cages and ranges at the various fowl farms, the cows and goats that are slaughtered… don’t forget those beautiful, furry rabbits; the magnificent white turkeys… and the prize-winning pigs…..

  44. crossroads

    they would ask for directions to get back on course, instead of flying over this 14 x 26 rock.

  45. reality check

    BFP

    your article brought out an excellent discussion on issues that would never have been canvassed to such an extent in the local government sponsored tabloids. This is called reporting even though the telegraph article was very limited in its scope.

    good work

  46. Citizen First

    Centipede,

    It would appear that since Errol Barrow use to shoot birds in a swamp then it must be o.k. for the rest of us to shoot birds too.

    Who can argue with such logic?! By the way have you had any sea eggs recently?

  47. Karl Watson

    Here are some estimates from a reliable source: Bird Life International which may help to focus comments. They are the estimated global populations for the four main species which pass through this island and which are the ones most frequently shot:
    American Golden Plover 150,000 -200,000
    Lesser Yellowlegs 400,000
    Greater Yellowlegs 100,000
    Pectoral Sandpiper 400,000
    Thirty years ago when the Rt. Hon. Errol Barrow and others shot, bird numbers were much higher. On average, ornithologists estimate that bird numbers around the world have fallen in recent years by some seventy per cent. All that is being asked for in the various articles submitted is that the bird shooters recognize that times have changed and that swamps can no longer compete among themselves to see who can shoot the most birds. This means the imposition either by the shooters or by other forces, of bag limits or of a marked increase in the taxes on cartridges.
    Migration of shorebirds through Barbados occurs either down the chain of Caribbean islands or on the eastern flight path just to the east of Barbados. Here is the reason why it would be counter productive to close the swamps. Some 300,000 birds pass through Barbados annually. They need somewhere to drink water and rest after a long flight over open water. Given the lack of surface water, the artificial swamps provide this habitat, not Graeme Hall mangrove swamp which attracts different types of migratory birds.
    Maintenance of the swamps is costly..a compromise is take a few birds, enjoy the camaraderie, BS, rum, split pea soup and whatever and at the same time encourage the maintenance of bird numbers. Have your cake and eat it too since extinction is forever. The larger issue which should come out of this forum is not the red herring of race but the very real issue of the global environment..check what is happening in Greece today.

  48. Anonymous

    Capt. Maurice Bateman HUTT once enlightened me as to what the real problem is with swamp shooting in Barbados.

    Until some time early in the 20th.Century, yes de fellas woulda get ouka de house(and the wife’s hair) and shoot a few Plovers en ting.
    But then along came competitive swamp shooting, initiated by a man called MANNING,
    I believe sometime between the two world wars.

    This competitive swamp shooting necessitated the keeping of a score book, in order to achieve your “thousand” for the year.
    That was the hallowed figure to attain – 1,000 dead visitors to our shores.
    That was when the serious shooting started,
    when there were figures to be met!

    Nobody minds if de fellas go out and free up a few rounds and bring home a dozen Pika’s for the maid to clean,
    but Good Christ, to slaughter VISITORS dropping from exhaustion as they arrive on our island is just a tad beyond the pale.

    I’ve seen Longlegs brought into the hut that were worthless skin and bone,
    and certainly not worth the 55 cents that the shot cost!
    Yes, it’s a dying sport, but not dying fast enough.
    I’ve tried suggesting alternatives to counter the boredom…shooting clays,for instance… but they splinter into many sharp pieces when the fall into the trays,
    and then cut yuh foot when yuh goes in to pick up de Crookbills, if any are left these days!
    Or photographing the birds, with long lenses, capturing them that way…far more difficult, and the resultant photos endlessly rewarding,
    since they last a bit longer than six Chirps in a stew.
    But then too, I hear de fellas done shooting Chirp (Praise God, there is some logic creeping in,slowly)
    – I fear the bird species will die out before the silly practice….like the Curlew/Crookbill which is nearing extinction(like the sea-egg)…geez I wonder whyyy!?
    Couldn’t POSSIBLY be that We Humans killed and ate them all up, could it? Nawwww!

    Problem is, these redneck macho Bajan guys seriously look fwd. to July 15th,
    as an excuse to get out of the house,
    go sleep up in de hut, get drunk
    and talk bareshite wid other such intellectuals.
    It’s a boy thing,I guess (at the expense of visitor arrivals!)

    Maybe we should start a Fight Club,instead,
    to help ease the testosterone thing…
    No guns,fellas, just bare fists and simple ‘war-toys’ like brass knuckles and sticks…nothing more fun than that…sorry.

  49. Shoot Woody,instead!

    Dum could really free up de laws against Wood Doves, i.e. local Zenaida sp.
    who in some places have reached TOTAL PEST PROPORTIONS, as is the way of pigeons and Doves generally, if left to their own reproductive devices.

  50. jinx

    Dear BFP,

    A horrific photograph of a “Burned Dog”(while still alive) was sent to you a few weeks ago with the hope that you would have highlighted this latest case of animal cruelty in Barbados..The few concerned persons who chance upon these scenes do not bother with a call to the police as Animal Cruelty matters seem to be taken very lightly on this island. The “Heat Magazine” i understand, actually printed the same photo in last last Fridays edition. (They seem not to be too afraid of a little gore!)
    As for the birds? Shooting them is a blatant rejection to any ideas of preserving this islands environment.
    I am rather tired of quoting Ghandi!

    ************

    BFP Replies…

    Hello Jinx

    We did not receive that photo. I can assure you that we would have followed up on that had we received it.

    Cliverton

  51. Tourism problem

    “We had a day this year where over 3000 birds were killed in one day!
    The scary thing is that 6000 could have arrived and they would still have been shot
    – such is the mentality.”

    Oh yes!
    Boysie an de boys will sen’ in Town fuh fresh supply of shots if necessary.
    Mek haste en come back wide about 1-3,000 rds fresh, No.8.

    Like you said…they know no concept of Enough!

    Get rid of the scorebooks and you largely get rid of the problem,
    coz it’s a numbers-greed thing whuh gyne down.

    Seriously: get rid of the scorebooks.
    Boys would still have a wife-free weekend, probably more fun coz less stress to shoot everything above Chirp that come in de swamp,
    spend FAR less money on shots!
    tell jes’ as much jokes en ting.
    And still shoot a few when de day come,
    but no pressure to do so.

  52. Green Monkey

    Bird by bird, the avian population is shrinking
    The songs of tens of millions of birds have been silenced.

    It feels as if the lights are dimming.
    By Nathaniel T. Wheelwright

    Brunswick, Maine

    Forty-three years ago, when I reached what my grandfather imagined to be the eve of puberty, I was summoned to spend the weekend with him at his house in rural Connecticut.

    I knew what to expect because my four older brothers had undergone the same rite of passage. The climax of the weekend would be the ceremonial presentation of a double-barreled shotgun, followed by sober instruction on firearm safety and general manliness. Next, my grandfather would take me on an excursion into the woods and we’d fire off a few rounds.

    But when my turn came the ritual had changed. Instead of a gun, I was given a double-barreled pair of binoculars, and then my grandfather took me on my first bird walk.

    I was bewildered. But within an hour my disappointment was forgotten, shoved aside by sheer awe at the sight of a redstart hovering in midair, the sound of a wood thrush’s flute music, the swoosh of chimney swifts rushing in formation overhead. Out of the cacophony of the dawn chorus, my grandfather taught me to pick out the rhythm of a dropped ping-pong ball in the field sparrow’s song and the towhee’s exuberant “drink your tea!” By their silhouettes alone I learned to distinguish a phoebe and a kestrel.

    That weekend my grandfather lifted the veil to a world that had not existed for me before. I didn’t want our time together to end because I would have to go back to my family’s farm where, to the best of my knowledge, there were no birds.

    SNIP

    In his later years, my grandfather used to grumble that birds were becoming scarcer and scarcer. It was tempting to write off his gloom as the natural tendency of the elderly to romanticize the past, or maybe just an old man’s deteriorating hearing and eyesight. But it was true that the whippoorwill that had kept me awake nights when I visited him as a boy had gone quiet, and the woods and fields of the Northeast felt emptier to me.

    Earlier this summer, the National Audubon Society released a definitive study of population trends of North American birds, a monumental effort based on decades of Christmas bird counts and breeding bird surveys. The study confirms what my grandfather feared and what most of us now know. Birds that I used to see routinely growing up in New England – evening grosbeaks, eastern meadowlarks, northern bobwhites – are in free fall. The losses are mind-boggling. Since my grandfather introduced me to birds just half a lifetime ago, once-common species have declined by as much as 80 percent due to the usual suspects: habitat loss, pesticides, introduced species, and climate change. The songs of tens of millions of birds have been silenced. It feels as if the lights are dimming.

    http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0824/p09s02-coop.htm

  53. Anonymous

    God’s blessed little creatures should be protected. We can start by helping all the miserable cats and dogs we see daily floating around Barbados as orphans or being abused.

  54. Reporter

    Green Monkey

    You have written an excellent article and I agree with you ALMOST 100%. But here is where we differ in the message you have so eloquently delivered.

    I take the position in life that everything must be balanced if Conservation is to be preserved. There is no one factor for the declining numbers and extiction of the population levels of birds, animals, insects etc. And with it I might add so is land masses and habitat needed for the survival of these species.

    Therefore those who wish to enjoy hunting should have every right to do so but having the concience to do it with Conservation in mind. The gun is but one of many sources not the only or main one responsible for the declining species.

    I think the facts will support that more species have disappeared from the face of the earth because of pollution, human population consuming the earth and destroying habitat, disease, destruction of the environment, natural disasters and other causes than are or was caused by the gun. The gun was one more “contributing” factor. Look at the deadly Avian bird flu, botulism in marshes that killed thousands of waterfowl in North America.

    Having said this, I agree whole heartedly that the slaughter of migrating shore birds without a Government putting in place limits and hunters themselves having the intelligence and concience to also use discretion to preserve the species is irresponsible. There was a specie of Curlew (Crook Bill) that almost became extinct because of over hunting. And the same was true with the North American dove, both species have since re-bounded I am told but I am not an expert.

    Another thing that you would be familar with is that Canada years ago banned lead shot from being used by hunters in marshes because bottom feeding birds, waterfowl etc were ingesting the lead shot and dying from lead poisioning. I doubt that regulation is in effect in too many other destinations of the World including the Caribbean.

  55. David Brooks

    I am glad that someone correctly pointed out the one of our National Heroes and the ‘father’ of Independence – The Right Excellent Errol Walton Barrow – was an avid swamp bird shooter or wildfowler.

    Actually if you look at the book by Peter Morgan – The Life and Times of Errol Barrow – you will find on page 86 (lower right-hand corner) a picture of Barrow with the byline ‘Time to check the equipment on a fishing trip off the Tobago Cays in the Grenadines’ that it is not a fishing rod that he is ‘checking’ but a shotgun, and from the looks of it a 12 gauge pump which can fire off as many rounds and as fast as any semi-auto loader.

  56. Reporter

    David are you any family to Basil and his brother Louis? Both friends of mine though I believe Louis died!

    You are correct the Dipper was an avid swamp shooter and if I am not mistaken so was a friend of his Harold Thomas. Both Great Barbadians!

    I think David the point we shooters must bare in mind is this. Everything is changing and we need to do our part to conserve hunting by using common sense. Every day hunting and guns is coming for unjustified ridicule! We must do our part!

    As you know in North America or most parts of it in addition to limits, seasons etc we are not allowed to use any gun that fires more than three shots. My Remingto model 58 which is 40 years old and my Remington 11oo though capable of firing 5 shells must be plugged to fire only three. I have no trouble with that! We must all do our part!

  57. Citizen First

    Swamp bird shooting is a destructive, barbaric activity. Those who indulge in this senseless activity today are showing themselves to be self- righteous, self-indulgent, unbalanced individuals.

    We should consider that the only motivation to practise this “sport’ is to satisfy a desire to kill!
    The birds are not killed for food, nor because they are pests to crops or livestock, nor to provide material for clothing, etc and certainly not because they are a threat to humans.

    It is thus disturbing that there are armed individuals living among us who harbour a lust to kill.

    It does not impress me that Barrow also shot birds. He was just a fallible man not God.

  58. Reporter

    Killing cows, pigs, fowls etc can be seen as senseless and barbaric too. But we are not all vegetarians. I do not know where you get your information from but swamp birds sweet as s—–te and most are eaten and enjoyed much like a fowl! Or the ones I shoot are!

  59. David Brooks

    Reporter

    My father is Louis, and he is very much alive pushing 76 on Sept. 3rd., its my Uncle Basil (his brother) that unfortunately died a few years back. In fact, I think that my father is probably one of the oldest swamp shooters still around, at least in the top 5 eldest and I have learned a lot from him both in the discipline of swamp etiquette and of the many stories and people connected with it over the years.

    I agree with what you say to some extent but I also feel that there has been a lot of misrepresentation of the facts and much sensationalism of the issue but that’s what most media people do, and of course it gets everyone up in a turmoil.

    I’ve read so much BS above that I it would take a couple lorries to move away.

    Yet having said that, many years ago the Barbados WildFowlers Association was formed, to be the umbrella body for all swamp shooting, we have been trying in vain to get it back going but unfortunately we can’t seem to get much action – maybe all of this will do it.

    People complain that I have a tendency to bring up the past, but if we don’t learn from the past then we really are fooling ourselves. Let me shine some light here for some that may not know these things.

    Capt. Maurice Hutt was married to the sister of Dr. Peter Branch, who had his practice down in the Black Rock area – he brought me into this world.

    The Branch (and Massiah) family were also avid swamp shooters – don’t forget the you had two Massiah brothers and one sister, who married two Branch sisters and a brother, so you have Peter Branch, David Massiah and Horse-Collar Massiah (I forget his given name) all from three different sets of parents (or couples) and so they were all double first cousins.

    Peter (Branch) and his brother-in-law Maurice (Hutt) used to have big-down arguments at the dinner table over the swamp shooting issue, and we would be talking 40 or 50+ years ago. One could say it became a major family feud, but you would never hear about this from any of Hutt’s friends or associates.

    We can talk about regulation and all of that, and maybe it has its place here due to some over-zealous persons which by the way would have been censored by their peers in days gone by, but in the final analysis it will have no bearing on the populations of these bird species – Karl Watson knows this, the US Fish and Wildlife Service knows this and every other major authority on the subject knows this.

    So in reality for someone in the know, I am lost as to why this is getting so much attention, except that most of believe that there are some within the swamp shooters circles, that have their own hidden agendas, and are fueling this whole thing.

  60. David Brooks

    CENTIPEDE

    “It’s OK to hook and kill fish as a sport but it’s not OK to shoot and kill birds as a sport.”
    ********************

    I’m glad you brought that up too, because I’m sure there are days that 3,000 Flying Fish would
    be no where near to total ‘island’ catch for a ‘good’ day.

    I recall someone quite aptly putting it in context … consider this anology between fishing and bird shooting.

    With bird shooting the bird is usually killed immediately, and if not as soon as possible
    by the hunter. (Yes, some may get away wounded, but the same with fishing)

    With fishing now, they gasp and gasp for several minutes before they die. It like putting a grain
    out there with a hook, when the bird has swallowed the hook, let him fly around for a while (with
    big game fishing this could involve hours) on the line and when you do pull it in then plunge it
    under water to let drown. (I’m sure the bird drowns much faster than the fish out of water).

    I can hear it now, some will say ‘oh, its different with fish’ – but I’d like someone to explain that.

    What is the difference between the killing of birds and the killing fish, who by the way may well
    have swam for hundreds of miles too? Yes, fish migrate too! That’s why we can get them here when they are passing.

  61. Anonymous

    Just how many guns in your little arsenal, Mr. Brooks?

  62. Getting BYE

    I think the man got a valid point Anonymous.
    U dont feel so?
    (I don’t own a gun or hunt anything)

  63. Anonymous

    Let him answer

  64. Reporter

    David there is a big anti gun/hunting lobby all over the world but I wont bore you with that.’

    The thing to remember is unlike the days gone by most of the swamp birds you shoot but also other waterfowl that does not migrate to your area are facing death from far more different sources than the gun. Ducks Unlimited the US and Canadian Government are well aware of this. Therefore in areas like yours if discretion is not shown what you are in fact doing is adding to the problem!

    Fortunately these birds you shoot and I realize that they are the only ones coming there are not shot in North America. Nobody in there right mind in North America is going to spend $25 on premium loads to shoot these birds. Ducks, geese, turkeys, grouse pheasants yes!

    However let me share this with you 50 years ago the black duck and mallard were so plentiful they darkened the heavens on the Prairies. The black duck came close to extinction and the mallard population is also hurting.

    Botulism is a major factor, lead poisioning is another but here was what really impacted the waterfowl populations. How it impacted shore birds I dont know! The Prairies are filled with potholes that migrating waterfowl uses. About 30 years ago farmers were paid by the Government to fill in these potholes to get bigger yields of wheat. At the time no one realized how it would decimate the waterfowl population. Waterfowl are creatures of habit and they stop basically at the samer potholes annually. Ducks Unlimited and the Government is now trying to reverse this tragedy but it can’t happen overnight.

    My point being if the people in the Caribbean are not attuned to the fact about these issues impacting shore birds and waterfowl at the source in North America. And if they believe that there is no threat to these species and continue to shoot them in the same numbers as was done 50 years ago I think it is a mistake.

    Personally and I am not saying this in a callous way I dont care if you guys believe you can shoot them all because in North America they are not shot so they wont be missed by waterfowlers here.

    I think you need to look at the big picture but as far as I am concerned I couldn’t care less what you people do because it does not impact hunters in North America. All I am saying is that as hunters we all have to be responsible because today everybody seems to be anti gun/hunting.

    I know that statistics in Canada is showing less and less people hunting and that is not good!

  65. David Brooks

    Citizen First

    Your comments seem to suggest that you are cynical, self-serving and somewhat unbalanced yourself. Get a grip on reality.

    Its people like you that I would be afraid of since you seem to be preoccupied with the word ‘kill’.

    You’ve used the same arguments before – i.e. sound like a stuck recording – when I raised the issue of licensed firearm holders going into public places, which tells me that you have some issues here and they are deep rooted.

    Its radical thinking like this that usually ends up with chaos.

  66. Hunting licence

    Pay $20 per bird.

    Eat that, it sweet nuh?

  67. Reporter

    I think your point about fish catches is very relevant and you are correct. But Barbados has always believed they would never run out of fish because it was the ocean.

    I remember as a boy fishermen not only caught nuff flying fish but plentifu Gunyman I believe the name is a big flying fish. How many of them are you still seeing?

    Look at the East Coast of Canada where cod salmon etc were as thick as peas 50 years ago now there are few, The fishing industry is broke.

    The Japanese and others arrived with their huge nets and caught everything thar swam!

  68. David Brooks

    Is that what you pay for a Flying Fish?

  69. Anonymous

    Come on Brooks. We want the entire list.

  70. David Brooks

    Sorry, Reporter, I was responding to Hunting licence …

    By the way, the duty alone (not including VAT, etc.) is 70% on guns and ammunition. I’ve been saying for years that the Government should put aside a portion of that for conservation purposes.

  71. Anonymous

    Waiting. Give it up Brooks.

  72. David Brooks

    #
    Anonymous
    August 27th, 2007 at 1:11 am

    Come on Brooks. We want the entire list.
    *******************************************

    You hide behind your ‘Anonymous’, I don’t need to, as I have nothing to hide.

    Two – handgun & shotgun – happy? I doubt!

  73. David Brooks

    #
    Anonymous
    August 27th, 2007 at 1:15 am

    Waiting. Give it up Brooks.
    **********************************

    Give up what? I just answered you. What now?

    Cat got your tongue?

  74. Anonymous

    Do you carry both handguns with you?

  75. Jeppa

    You hide behind your ‘Anonymous’, I don’t need to, as I have nothing to hide.

    Two – handgun & shotgun – happy? I doubt!

    #
    Anonymous
    August 27th, 2007 at 1:23 am

    Do you carry both handguns with you?

    DUH! Let me make it simple for you anonymous

    1 Hand Gun
    1 Shotgun

    1+1 equals 2 guns but only 1 handgun

  76. David Brooks

    That’s what we have to deal with. See ?

  77. Citizen First

    The rearing of livestock is done to satisfy the nutritional needs of humans. The slaughter of livestock is done under varying degrees of regulation with regard, inter alia, to minimising the suffering of the animal at the time of slaughter. It is not done merely to satisfy a lust to kill. Some Chinese believe that consuming parts of tigers to have many benefits to humans. However other than these Chinese, no one in their right mind support the killing of these animals for such purposes given their diminishing numbers. Yes tigers that threaten or prey on humans are selectively killed but again not to satisfy the bloodlust of the hunter.

    Fish may suffer (I suppose) but again most fishing is done to supply human populations with their protein needs not to satisfy blood lust. I am ambivalent about sport fishing but at least fish catches are sold for human consumption. However, even in commercial fisheries, there is the concept of the maximum sustainable yield (MSY). Failure to determine this quantity may result in the collapse of the fishery, sea-eggs anyone? Worldwide, fish stocks are in danger of collapsing due to over fishing. Do you know that conch of recent fame is actually on the CITES list and that Barbados is actually surveying the local population to determine what the MSY if any should be? Turtle meat is delicious but I can pass on this especially in the light of dwindling numbers.

    The lesson then is simply that we must exercise restraint. What is the MSY for some of these wild bird populations? What nutritional needs do they satisfy that cannot be provided by commercial agricultural systems? According to Karl Watson the GLOBAL population size of some of these bird species is of the order of hundreds of thousands not “millions or billions”. An annual kill of some tens of thousands therefore seems to me to be significant.

    According to Reporter “but swamp birds sweet as s—–te and most are eaten”. I really don’t know what s–te tastes like but it does explain smell of his argument! No matter what inane argument is brought to this debate, the only reason to shoot birds in Barbados (particularly in large numbers) is to provide the shooters with the perverse pleasure of making the kill.

  78. Anonymous

    I do wish I could have found just one thing wrong (unless of course you’re lying); but I would suspect not since you are the affirmed spokesman of amament in Barbados, and have to be squeaky to have such a big mouth.

    Maybe some of the others.

    Many do not agree with much of what you say. But it appears that your family has a history of gun use. A family tradition is not to be snivelled at even if many find it distasteful. Many believe that the world would be better without guns.

    Interesting to note the duty is 70% on a gun and ammunition.

    In order to facilitate the protection of ones family, very few bullets should be needed. For hand-guns government agencies could add at least 1000+% to the duty. However, this would only be on the ammunition, not the guns.

    Of course it only takes one bullet, but life is priceless as we all uphold.

    For shotguns one could do similar, but since some insist on eating (or so they say- I don’t believe them) without discrimination all flying creatures that come here one might advocate a tariff for the environmental contamination by the stray lead shots, payable by way of a hunting licence, as suggested.

    One might advocate the formation of a list of the bird species that migrate through the island, and if even one of these species can be shown as endangered one would not be out of order to suggest a sum of something like $10,000+ hunting licence, payable annually, with penalties for shooting these animals.

    Making it a far more discerning hobby.

  79. Citizen First

    Mr Brooks

    you are certainly confusing me with another writer. If you would be so kind as to review the thread on hand guns which you motivated

    (https://barbadosfreepress.wordpress.com/2007/08/09/barbados-handgun-etiquette-what-to-do-when-the-office-manager-wont-let-you-bring-your-glock-to-work/ ),

    it would be seen that my contributions (4 in all)to that thread were to suggest that:

    a) the number of guns in a society does NOT always correlate with the homicide rate.

    b) my main concern is with illegal firearms and that I can understand why law abiding people would want firearms given a sense of rising crime rates.

    c) that our homicide rate is nearly as high as the US (according to statistics) even though we have a strict gun ownership regime.

    The word “kill” was NEVER used by me in any of those posts nor did I challenge your right to bear arms but now…hmm.

  80. Citizen First

    to Reporter

    I have revisited your posts and acknowledge that you do accept and recommend control and responsible behaviour by the hunting community. You also recognise that animal populations can be hunted/harvested to extinction.

    I am implaccably opposed to any shooting of birds in Barbados BUT if a compromise can be arranged then at least that will be progress. It just that in this matter there seems to be unwillingness to accept that irreparable harm is possibly being done.

    Anyway, sorry if my words may have been intemperate.

  81. David Brooks

    Sorry, Citizen First, but your comments above …

    ************************************************
    We should consider that the only motivation to practise this “sport’ is to satisfy a desire to kill!

    It is thus disturbing that there are armed individuals living among us who harbour a lust to kill.
    ************************************************
    seemed to strike a note of familiarity, granted I did not check the ‘other’ thread (subject) line, but I do recall this line coming through quite often. Might you have more than one noms de plume here?

    I cannot tell. I reveal myself, yet you may exhibit multiple “noms de plumes” or personalities.

  82. Birdwatcher

    From the US Fish & Wildlife Website :

    The migratory bird conventions with Canada and Mexico define “game birds” as those species belonging to the following families: Anatidae (swans, geese, and ducks), Rallidae (rails, gallinules, and coots), Gruidae (cranes), Charadriidae (plovers and lapwings), Haematopodidae (oystercatchers), Recurvirostridae (stilts and avocets), Scolopacidae (sandpipers, phalaropes, and allies), and Columbidae (pigeons and doves).

    The Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which implements the conventions, grants the Secretary of the Interior the authority to establish hunting seasons for any of the migratory game bird species listed below. In actuality, the Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that hunting is appropriate only for those species for which there is a long tradition of hunting, and for which hunting is consistent with their population status and their long-term conservation. It is inconceivable, for example, that we will ever see legalized hunting of plovers, curlews, or the many other species of shorebirds whose populations were devastated by market gunners in the last decades of the 19th century.

    Although the Migratory Bird Treaty Act considers some 170 species to be “game birds,” less than 60 species are typically hunted each year.

    The USFWS clearly determines each year that the appropriate bag limit for the plovers which are shot in Barbados is ZERO

  83. Citizen First

    Mr Brooks

    I do admire your confidence in using your real name. I like using the name Citizen First on this blog because in part it allows my contributions to be accepted or rejected on the strength or weakness of my argument and not on who I am or what I do (which happens only too often in public debates).

    I ONLY post under the name Citizen First although occasionally I have inadvertently posted under “anonymous” because I forgot to type my name.

  84. David Brooks

    Anonymous

    Let me enlighten you … my mother, who is certainly no supporter of bird shooting, will tell you without reservation that the first ‘hard-food’ that I was fed as an infant was finely chopped up or mashed swamp bird meat.

    She will however say that she was brought up with Chickens, Ducks and Pigeons in the ‘backyard’ and therefore accepts to some extent the bird shooting. Don’t go telling her the details of how it was shot, but she will enjoy preparing, cooking and eating them.

    Does this not sound like how the majority of us think – the civilized man. Bring the meat – chicken, beef, pork, etc. – don’t tell me how it was killed, but I’ll cook, serve and eat it. If all such killing was a crime would not all of us be accessories to the crime? And vegetarians don’t get away either because plants are living too.

    So where do we draw the line?

  85. David Brooks

    Citizen First
    August 27th, 2007 at 3:08 am

    Mr Brooks

    I do admire your confidence in using your real name. I like using the name Citizen First on this blog because in part it allows my contributions to be accepted or rejected on the strength or weakness of my argument and not on who I am or what I do (which happens only too often in public debates).
    *************************************************

    So are you saying that my comments/contributions are any less than yours because I’m not afraid to use my name?

    **********************

    BFP Auntie Moses says watch your language Mr. Brooks!

  86. David Brooks

    Citizen First
    August 27th, 2007 at 3:08 am

    Mr Brooks

    I do admire your confidence in using your real name. I like using the name Citizen First on this blog because in part it allows my contributions to be accepted or rejected on the strength or weakness of my argument and not on who I am or what I do (which happens only too often in public debates).
    *************************************************

    So are you saying that my comments/contributions are any less than yours because I’m not afraid to use my name?

    BS! Wheel and come again.

  87. David Brooks

    Dr. Karl Watson mention some population figures here, I will add to those and the annual percentage of what I estimate is shot here …

    Species Population % shot

    Black-bellied Plover 200,000 0.050%
    American Golden-Plover 150,000 1.667%
    Greater Yellowlegs 100,000 1.500%
    Lesser Yellowlegs 500,000 3.000%
    Willet 250,000 0.020%
    Whimbrel 57,000 0.088%
    Hudsonian Godwit 50,000 0.020%
    Ruddy Turnstone 235,000 0.213%
    Red Knot 400,000 0.003%
    Sanderling 300,000 0.017%
    Pectoral Sandpiper 400,000 1.875%
    Stilt Sandpiper 200,000 1.750%
    Short-billed Dowitcher 320,000 0.188%
    Long-billed Dowitcher 500,000 0.090%
    Common Snipe 2,000,000 0.001%

    Dr. Watson, would like to comment, concur and/or disagree that these figures are reasonably correct, since they are close to yours, if you do the math?

    If so, is there really a major cause for concern? Notwithstanding a few idiots that do foolishness and are basically untrained (you probably find this trend in their ‘normal’ lives as well) who make it bad for others.

    Back in the 1970’s the Upland Sandpiper or locally called the Cotton-Tree (plover) was put on the Protected List here in Barbados mostly due to the efforts of Capt. Hutt, however after some research I have found the following with regard to its status here.

    Upland Sandpiper 350,000 0.029%

    Now, please tell me how and why should this species been put on the local protected list (at the same time the Cattle Egret went on) when we only shot less than 10% of 1% of the total population figures published just a few years ago.

    Furthermore a couple years ago, the Barbados Wildfowlers Assocaition, really acting as a group consortium of swamp shooters of sorts, decided to stop shooting …

    the Buff-Breasted Sandpiper (which I don’t think 90% of our swamp-shooters have ever seen, its so rare around here, even before it was rare generally),

    the Hudsonian Godwit (which personally I didn’t think necessary as we only shot about 0.02% of the population, less than the Upland Sandpiper) but it was agreed.

    and the Red Knot which has been under pressure primarily from the over harvest of its main food source along the eastern seaboard of the USA – the horse-shoe crab’s eggs – certainly not because of our shooting of them which only comes to about 0.003% of the population, which in today’s terms would be higher as the overall population has dropped, no one doubts that.

    So in summary, the highest percentage taken for any one species (namely, the Lesser Yellowleg or Longleg) is about 3% and I would wager not more than 5% in the extremes.

    The next highest come in at under 2%, the Pectorial Sandpiper (Chirp), the Stilt Sandpiper (Cue), the American Golden Plover (Black/Grey Breast Plover) and the Greater Yellowlegs (Pica)

    The Plover has many years of low numbers due to the fact that they continue to fly right through to South America and the Argentine Pampas, without stopping, so when they do get diverted here how could they termed as tired? They’ve only flown less than half what they would normally do when no ‘bad’ weather is around. But to get back on point, even in a year when there is a ‘flight’ of plover, which only comes along every 10-15 years, the total number taken could not exceed 3% of the total population.

    I will add here for reference, that in the USA which has the Woodcock (something closely looking like a snipe) with total population of 5,000,000 (yes, 5 million) some 2,000,000 (yes, 2 million) are shot by hunters (legally) – that 40% right – and they are also listed on Audobon’s Watch List in the ‘yellow’ category, just like the Golden Plover, Whimbrel and Hudsonian Godwit but remain as a legitimate hunted species in the USA. Yes, there are bags limits but when 40% is taken I would expect that, not when its less than 5%.

    The Ducks are the same, each year hunters take about 20% – 30% of the population but they are not blamed for the periodic decline of numbers – its the commercial interest that want to drain ALL of the wetlands to build on and leave the birds no where to breed and nest.

    And as Dr. Watson quite rightly said most hunters are in fact conservationist. Remember when the Passenger Pigeon, the Eskimo Curlew and many other species got really decimated it was for commercial $ bills. In the last 60 or so years there have been several organizations – Duck Unlimited, etc. – that have made progress in stopping the breeding habitat destruction, through money paid by hunters to preserve wetlands, etc. and if that was not done we would not be seeing as much birds as we see today and that is a FACT.

  88. David Brooks

    Birdwatcher
    August 27th, 2007 at 2:56 am

    From the US Fish & Wildlife Website :

    … It is inconceivable, for example, that we will ever see legalized hunting of plovers, curlews, or the many other species of shorebirds whose populations were devastated by market gunners in the last decades of the 19th century.

    Although the Migratory Bird Treaty Act considers some 170 species to be “game birds,” less than 60 species are typically hunted each year.

    The USFWS clearly determines each year that the appropriate bag limit for the plovers which are shot in Barbados is ZERO.
    *************************************************
    Note the phrase ‘market hunters’ in the 19th. century, this was never practiced here and if so certainly not in the large volume that was available in the USA in the spring time migration, which by the way we have never been part of.

    The USFWS has no jurisdiction here, furthermore they have no such opinion with regard to what we may bag here in Barbados and frankly they know that the numbers are insignificant with regard to the big picture, and therefore it is inappropriate to either infer their bag limit in Barbados is zero or that we should have one to start with.

  89. Citizen First

    Mr Brooks,

    you just don’t get it (or do you and you just want to be annoying?)…cows, pigs, chickens, sheep etc are NOT in danger of extinction. These wildbirds are at risk. If we wish to be a civilised country then conserving our biodiversity is a defining characteristic along with contributing to GLOBAL efforts to protect and manage ALL LIFE on the planet (read Birdwatcher’s post above).

    WE DRAW THE LINE AT KILLING WILD ANIMALS AND BIRDS FOR SPORT.

  90. David Brooks

    BFP Auntie Moses says watch your language Mr. Brooks!
    ************************************************
    Yes, okay sorry, you will note I reposted with the abbreviation ‘BS’.

  91. David Brooks

    #
    Citizen First
    August 27th, 2007 at 3:44 am

    WE DRAW THE LINE AT KILLING WILD ANIMALS AND BIRDS FOR SPORT.
    **********************************************

    So please advise what are FISH? Some prehistoric ‘animal’ that has no feelings and deserves to die?

    Notice how everyone of you anti-bird shooting advocates are silent on this.

  92. Citizen First

    Mr Brooks

    You have me at a loss!!???

    Lets keep it simple.. you like to use your actual name (I did say this is admirable!)… I prefer to use Citizen First for the reason stated (no criticism of you was intended or implied). THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ANY RELATIVE VALIDITY OF ARGUMENTS / CONTRIBUTIONS OF YOUR, MINE OR ANY OTHER POSTER.

  93. Birdwatcher

    Mr Brooks,

    No such inference made.

    All the species that are shot in Barbados are still recognised as “game birds” by the USFWS. They could if their population status was good enough set a bag limit for the US

    You are shooting birds that the USFWS has determined that no shooting should take place in the US.

    From the population figures you have quoted you can see you are shooting some of the least common species on the plant.

    Several of the species shot in Barbados are listed by the US Shorebird conservation plan as “Species of High Concern”.

    They should not be shot at all not even at the low percentages you indicate because you seem to fail to realise that we do not exist in isolation. These birds in many cases are declining and are also killed in other parts of the world e.g guyana and surinam.

    What gives you right to your 1%. What should the other countries share be? what happens if the species continues declining? at what point do you stop? what if guyana or surinam take more? what if barbados builds even more swamps? who is checking the 1% is sustainable?

    Dont you know that not only are these populations very low in many cases the birds are very vulnerable and populations could change dramatically.

    Yes the harvest in the US of ducks is very high. However these populations are enormous in comparison with shorebirds and the culls are monitored carefully to ensure sustainability.

    All the hunters in the US which pay to preserve wetlands accept bag limits, who gave you the right to shoot without limit?

  94. samizdat

    David Brooks

    Let me make sure I understand you.

    First, you’re saying you shoot swamp birds primarily for food rather than fun?

    Second, you’re not convinced that instances of rare/endangered bird species killed here have any real impact on their overall population statistics?

    Right?

  95. David Brooks

    No, its simply that you hide behind an alias which I suppose is your right, but who is taking the risk of persecution here in real terms, certainly not you.

    Your ‘anonymous’ status here allows you to vent on what you want without any possible retribution.

    I believe in a free democracy here in Barbados, so if you miss my name in the telephone directory or hear that I am missing otherwise, well then you know that I sacrificed myself for your anonymity.

    Feel good?

  96. Birdwatcher

    samizat……….

    All of the birds shot in Barbados are rare.

    Only one seen but usually not shot is officially “endangered”. The non shooting of this bird was due to the campaign of several right thinking shooters

    At least one other seen but usually not shot bird is listed the by the US shorebird conservation plan as “highly imperilled”

    Several listed by the US conservation plan as “species of high concern” are in fact shot but this is causing debate amongst the more sensible members of the shooting community.

    Mr Brooks from his comments clearly advocates the continued shooting of them because of his certaintly that he wont affect the population. I am not sure where he sources such a right or if his certainty is wisely held.

  97. Birdwatcher

    Samizdat……….

    Mr Brooks also attaches a certainty to the population figures cited that would make the organisations who compiled them laugh.

    They are at best broad estimates.

    For species that are given bag limits in the US large sums are spent to determine very accurate data.

    For shorebirds more reliable information about population trends is collected. The news here is not good in many cases.

  98. Citizen First

    Mr Brooks do not let your self-delusion get the better of you…”sacrificed myself for your anonymity”. (wow!)

    I am going to take my chances with the US Fish and Wildlife service, with its many well trained scientists, enormous budget and years of experience in these matters and accept that for many of the wildfowl migrating through Barbados no (or restricted) shooting should be permitted.

    I reject your self serving estimates of numbers of birds shot which are unverified by any independent body and are not referenced to any scientifically determined (peer reviewed) measure of a maximum sustainable yield or impact assessment.

    On a final note, on a moral level I find it deplorable that we should kill or mistreat any living creature in the name of ‘fun’.

  99. samizdat

    My take on this?

    A man who gets his kicks (as opposed to his food) from destroying a living creature, rare or not, isn’t really much of a man.

    Incidentally, hardly takes guts to use one’s own name when posting about a topic like this.

    Be openly critical of Owen Arthur and co, though (like Adrian Loveridge) – then I’ll admire your cojones.

    But swamp bird shooting? Nah….

  100. Birdwatcher

    Mr Brooks also likes to confuse……

    Yes the woodcock is on the audubon watch list yet still shot. This is because the population is over 5 million (contrast with the pathetic populations of the birds he shoots).

    The bird is on the watch list due to a small but steady population decline. The USFWS in response ;

    “there has been a reduction in the bag limit and season length of woodcock hunting in the East, and an elimination of hunting in the South during early nesting”

    The plover shot here is in decline. The decline is the worry of many organistions. Is Mr Brooks prepared to accept a bag limit? any kind of limit at all?

  101. Birdwatcher

    Imagine, by Mr Brooks own figures little Barbados can kill 5% of a bird species population.

    He does not get it. That is a disgraceful situation.

    Controls are needed Mr Brooks. Yes you can hunt, yes you can fish, but to do so recklessly without limit is unacceptable.

  102. Birdwatcher

    As per Mr Brooks……..

    Duck Unlimited, etc. – that have made progress in stopping the breeding habitat destruction, through money paid by hunters to preserve wetlands, etc. and if that was not done we would not be seeing as much birds as we see today and that is a FACT

    Mr Brooks can you tell us what the position of Ducks Unlimited on the shooting of shorebirds?

    Are they in favour?

    Are they in favour of unlimited shooting?

    Are they in favour of any shooting at all?

  103. David Brooks

    #
    Birdwatcher
    August 27th, 2007 at 4:10 am

    > No such inference made.

    Oh, but it was !

    > From the population figures you have quoted you > can see you are shooting some of the least
    > common species on the plant.

    More BS.

    >Several of the species shot in Barbados are listed >by the US Shorebird conservation plan as “Species >of High Concern”.

    Only by the Audubon Society (be careful your feathers are beginning to show, Birdwatcher), but not the US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

    >They should not be shot at all not even at the low >percentages you indicate because you seem to fail >to realise that we do not exist in isolation. These >birds in many cases are declining and are also >killed in other parts of the world e.g guyana and >surinam.

    You (as usual for most so called conservationist) have failed to mention that in virtually every species mentioned here the main problem lies in the removal of habitat in North America and in particular their breeding grounds on the North American continent.

    So far there have been no evidence to show that our taking of the small numbers that we do has had any bearing on population trends. And there has been some cases of increases but that is being suppressed.

    >What gives you right to your 1%.

    Did I say it was my right? Actually its not MY 1% its an island total over several months. And how does that compare to Flying Fish catches again – silence …

    >What should the other countries share be?

    That I agree is outside of our control but the numbers do not supporting a serious problem, unless of course Audubon, etc. are being fed by erroneous data from these parts.

    >what happens if the species continues declining?
    > at what point do you stop? what if guyana or >surinam take more? what if barbados builds even >more swamps? who is checking the 1% is >sustainable?

    Then we consider the data but not hype.

    >Dont you know that not only are these >populations very low in many cases the birds are >very vulnerable and populations could change >dramatically.

    Yes, but there has been no such dramatic trend, except for the Red Knot, which has nothing to do with our doings, to make us think otherwise.

    Again, significant data and trends are being studied and decisions should not be based on hype and any one persons feelings.

    >Yes the harvest in the US of ducks is very high. >However these populations are enormous in >comparison with shorebirds and the culls are >monitored carefully to ensure sustainability.

    See above.

    >All the hunters in the US which pay to preserve >wetlands accept bag limits, who gave you the right >to shoot without limit?

    It was the US hunters who paid the price with regard to having bag limits, as they in with the birds nearly all on the time, especially where the duck and geese are concerned – not to mention that these birds were paid for back them so the ‘incentive’ was much greater and thus the ‘slaughter’. With regard to the shorebirds, they had access to them both in the spring and autumn migrations, and I should add that it was the spring migrations were most of the damages was done in bygone days. In spring most of these birds do not pass this way, and therefore we have never been part of this aspect.

    But I assume that notwithstanding all of this, I will have convinced no one, because we all like ‘little birdies’ but don’t give a hoot if the fish in the aquarium rolls over.

  104. David Brooks

    So we should move around Barbados shores and shout at fellas fishing on the beaches, cliffs or on some rocks and tell them they should not be doing so because they are doing it for ‘fun’.

    Great, try that, see what reception you get. You would not dare do it, would you? Only here where you can hide.

  105. David Brooks

    Ducks Unlimited have no position on our shooting of some species of shorebirds. As a member I’ve asked, so unless someone has some recent information to the contrary please advise.

    Furthermore, I occurs to me that something has been missed here and that is, there are several species of shorebirds that pass through Barbados in much larger numbers than the ones we do shot but which are NOT shot.

    Anyone would like to venture what the reason is?

  106. Birdwatcher

    You just dont get it Mr Brooks and probably never will.

    Everyone knows the major issue is habitat destruction. That does not give you a license to kill by shooting. We all know about the market hunting during the spring migrations. That does not give you the right to keep on killing just because you were not part of that. It is tiresome that you even think you made a relevant point. You are killing birds that by your own admission are facing increasing threats. You dont get a special pass because you are not causing the habitat destruction. You need to accept the cold reality that due to circumstances yes beyond your control you need to control yourself.

    Sustainable hunting is just as important as sustainable fishing and your constant reference to fishing is laughable. The silence is our bewilderment that you actually think you made a relevant point.

    Get your facts correct. The US Shorebird Conservation plan is produced by the USFWS. The plover is listed as a species of high concern. This has nothing to do with audubon.

    This is real data not hype.

    Does the plover need to be listed as highly imperilled before you consider even a bag limit.

    Who is studying the data and making the decisions? you have the right to make such decisions?

    As for the BS, rare is a subjective word, but a modicum of common sense would indicate that (by your figures) a species which numbers but 50,000 worldwide is uncommon.

    How do you seriously expect to convince ordinary right thinking people that you have a right to shoot as many as you choose of various species of birds which have raised the concern of just about every bird conservation organisation in North America.

  107. Birdwatcher

    from the website :

    “Ducks Unlimited, Inc. supports the sustainable use and harvest of renewable resources based on sound science. We support waterfowl hunting, when conducted in an ethical and sustainable manner, as a legitimate and acceptable use of a renewable resource.”
    ————————-

    The shooting of birds listed as species of high concern by the USFWS is hardly ethical and together with the other threats faced, hardly sustainable.

    I imagine DU were surprised to be asked such a stupid question since shorebirds have not been legally shot in the US in over 80 years.

  108. Birdwatcher

    yes mr brooks, you love to divert attention. Yes we know they are bigger threats than you and yes we know about the many many small species for which Barbados is a fantastic refuge. Why dont you you make it a refuge for SOME of the birds you shoot. You love to quote percentages. Why dont you let a % of birds arriving at your swamp pass through untouched.

    Surely this is a reasonable request. How can you say no. Being a hunter you should be a conservationist.

    How about you let through 50% of the plover arriving at your swamp? maybe even 25%.

    What say you to my simple request?

  109. Anonymous

    The pollution of the acres of these swamps by lead makes it probably permanently unusable for farming fish.

    Bird shooting is yet another sport where the participants sit, drink themselves into inebriation, and then shoot whatever flies in.

    One is tempted to call on Gov to take control of the Three Houses spring and divert it for the purposes of making St. Philip a breadbasket of Barbados via greenhousing. That would make you think.

    One is tempted to continue the call for a hefty hunting licence fee be placed for your decades old environmental damage and to cause you to voluntarily curb the harvesting of high percentages of the endangered species, percentages which may well result in lower numbers, and eventual extinction.

    Go shoot your “tilapians”, put them in a pot and eat the lead within. Many of us look forward to the day your bird stew sticks in your liver.

  110. David Brooks

    Birdwatcher
    August 27th, 2007 at 5:09 am

    Imagine, by Mr Brooks own figures little Barbados can kill 5% of a bird species population.
    ***********************************************
    You see how you caught at that (you would make a good fish on a hook) … however, you failed to add in the part were I said this may only happen every 10-15 years and 5% would be an absolute maximum, it is more like 3% on average, with the annual average being about 1.5% (some years its much less).

    I rest my case as to the ability of radicals like you being able to discuss something in a fair manner.

    Hype, Hype, Hype … that all you know about.

  111. David Brooks

    None of the species shot here are NOT endangered.

    Why do we keep harping on the fact that these species have not been shot in over 80 years in the USA. There is a reason for that and I mentioned it already but you refuse to acknowledge it.

    The very reason that virtually all of these species have made a comeback after from 80+ years ago, during which time we have still been shooting them, speaks for itself.

  112. David Brooks

    >Who is studying the data and making the >decisions? you have the right to make such >decisions?

    Certainly not you either!

    >As for the BS, rare is a subjective word, but a >modicum of common sense would indicate that >(by your figures) a species which numbers but >50,000 worldwide is uncommon.

    I agree it is subjective and that means you can twist the truth to your own liking too. The larger species that tend to have these (seeming low) numbers have never had high numbers by virtue of their size.

    Certainly, if you wanted to sound like a proper bird watcher, you would know that the number of hummingbirds versus eagles (in any era of this planet) would be massively skewed to the hummingbirds, that does not mean that eagles are rare. Same goes for fish – oh, but sorry you don’t consider fish an animal.

    Hype, Hype, Hype … that all you know about.

  113. David Brooks

    By the way, I made this point earlier but am yet to get an answer or would the answer not serve your purpose … waiting … (will it be more hype though) …

    **************************************************
    Furthermore, I occurs to me that something has been missed here and that is, there are several species of shorebirds that pass through Barbados in much larger numbers than the ones we do shot but which are NOT shot.

    Anyone would like to venture what the reason is?
    **************************************************

  114. jinx

    Am i to understand from all this discussion that these game birds will killed to feed the Barbados population? or is this mass murder “just for fun” ??

  115. David Brooks

    Correction … (just realized this isn’t good English)

    “None of the species shot here are NOT endangered.”

    should read …

    “NONE of the species shot here are endangered.”

  116. David Brooks

    By the way, does anyone realize that Native Americans (Eskimo’s, etc.) are exempt from the restrictions of Migratory Bird Treaty Act in their traditional hunting grounds.

  117. David Brooks

    jinx

    some of your guys just don’t read all of the subject matter, do you? All you pick up on is the hype, or only what you want to read.

  118. Thistle

    Jinx:

    Bottom line is: THE BIRDS ARE SHOT FOR FUN. And all kinds of reasons/arguments will be given for this “fun”.

  119. David Brooks

    Ducks Unlimited, Inc. Resolution
    Hunting Position Statement

    Passed by DU, Inc. Board of Directors on May 24, 2001

    RESOLVED, that the Board of Directors adopts the following statement as the Ducks Unlimited, Inc. position on waterfowl hunting:

    “Ducks Unlimited, Inc. is a North American habitat conservation organization, conserving wetlands and associated habitats for the benefit of waterfowl, with subsequent benefits to other wildlife and people. Ducks Unlimited, Inc. was founded in 1937 by sportsmen, who recognized that conserving wetlands helps to ensure the future of waterfowl populations. Today Ducks Unlimited, Inc. is strongly supported by both hunters and non-hunters who recognize the many benefits associated with our habitat conservation program.

    Ducks Unlimited, Inc. supports the sustainable use and harvest of renewable resources based on sound science. We support waterfowl hunting, when conducted in an ethical and sustainable manner, as a legitimate and acceptable use of a renewable resource.

    Ducks Unlimited, Inc. does not direct its resources toward the influence of firearm or hunting legislation unless the legislation is clearly and directly related to waterfowl habitat conservation.”
    **************************************************

    Odd how only one paragraph was quoted earlier – selective ain’t we?

  120. Anonymous

    There you sit on your land where multi-millions of dollars of food could be produced cheaply, but you keep it in trust so that the birds will come for fun and enjoyment.

    Expropriate the Three Houses Plantation for food production!!!

    Use it or lose it!!!!>>>>>

  121. yatinkinkiteasy

    After reading over 100 comments, I did not find one mention of the shooting of our bajan green monkeys by a merry band of white bajan rednecks in pickups.
    These hunting sessions are even encouraged by Government, who pay a reward for every monkey tail produced!
    What is even more incredible in these days of sensitivity to Visitors who visit , there was a Feature, Front page story(with a colour photo of a cute monkey) in a recent copy of “Friends”…a free visitor magazine, read by thousands of visitors. The article describes the “bajan Monkey” and then talks about how many millions Mr Baliu ? makes at the wildlife reserve, exporting them for scientific purposes, and giving details on how one can make some extra cash killing these innocent creatures, not for food, but for fun and profit .This shameful sport is just as bad as swamp shooting, or fighting pit bulls to their death.
    I dont hear anyone complaining about this brutal activity…why?

  122. David Brooks

    Anonymous
    August 27th, 2007 at 12:23 pm

    There you sit on your land where multi-millions of dollars of food could be produced cheaply, but you keep it in trust so that the birds will come for fun and enjoyment.
    ***************************************************
    Oh, you so missed the point. Why don’t visit the Ducks Unlimited web site? If it were not for DU, yes, there would may be large areas being drained and used for food production or building shopping malls, etc. but guess what? Most of the waterfowl species would already be extinct and we wouldn’t having this debate now.

    Please educate yourself about the facts before you spout off again. Its embarrassing.

  123. jinx

    As the subject matter now seems to be you Mr.brooks….
    I do think, that neither you nor your fellow hunters rely on these birds for raw materials…….
    You all really need to spend more time in the supermarkets and department stores and less time in Nature which clearly, you do not appreciate!

  124. Birdwatcher

    Mr Brooks debating skills are hilarious.

    Any point in his way is “hype”.

  125. jinx

    Yatinkiteasy,

    And the Green Monkey which most Bajans class as “pests” are still being sold in Pet Shops????? Go figure….. These beautiful creatures should be left in the wild they do not make nice pets and can be in fact quite dangerous in a domestic environment!
    There is a grown man using a baby monkey as a photo opportunity for the tourist dollar. I do not think it is in the least bit properly cared for as it has not been growing as it should . But to whom do you complain ?

  126. John

    Shooting birds I believe is as old as Barbados.

    It is a part of our culture.

    I don’t have a problem with considering it as a form of “hunting” if the “hunter” has a single shot and not a magazine of shots to blaze away with abandon.

    Give the bird a chance and yourself a challenge of hitting a moving target … or take up clay pigeon shooting.

    Some balance needs to be enforced.

    Killing hundreds of thousands of these defenceless creatures just because you can is wrong.

    If the “hunter” has the latest greatest gun with which to blaze away, then go into the wilds of Africa or South America with no support where the prey will be a threat and a real game will ensue.

    … or better still, join the army and hunt prey who will also be on the hunt …… for you.

    Even the odds up a little!!

  127. Anonymous

    And my point is that if the hunters refuse to be reasonable about this, then the powers should start to look at ways and means. Ther’s more than one way to skin a bird shooter.

    Reflect long and hard, bird shooters of Barbados. The time has come for us to talk of many things.

  128. Reporter

    I entered this discussion on the BU and I see where it is now heating up in the BFP. Let me again give these views for consideration based on how we do things in Canada. Because without conservation we would be in deeper trouble than we already are.

    All hunting/fishing in North America is stringently controlled and if you break the law you pay a heavy price. All of your equipment, guns, boats, cars etc used in the offence is confiscated and if found guilty you are fined thousands of dollars.

    I remember one year returning from Tisdale Saskatchewan from a duck hunt and as I arrived at the Saskatoon airport a guy looking like a hobo approached me seeing my dog he knew I was a hunter. He was an undercover RCMP officer and he inspected the number of ducks I had shot to bring back. I had my legal limit and up here if shipping ducks as I was doing you must leave the plumage on one wing so the specie of duck is easily indentifiable by law enforcement.

    Following my encounter the officer and I got into a discussion about people breaking the law. And he took me to a place in the airport and pointed out a Lear jet and said that aircraft was impounded by us yesterday and four lawyers from Chicago was charged for shooting over their limit. You know what those bastards had? 250 mallards they were hundreds over their posession limit!

    All species wether it is waterfowl upland birding (grouse, pheasant, turkey) moose, bear, deer, fox, wolves, coyotes ANYTHING have specific seasons where you can hunt. With animals you can only use dogs in some cases to find or flush them out. Biologist at the Ministry of Natural Resources determine from year to year when the season opens and closes and how many specific species you can shoot. As an example if you are waterfowling I think the limit now is 4 mallards per day in Ontario. In other Provinces it might be higher by one or two or lower. God help you if you do not obey the law and are caught!

    Guns can only have a maximum of one shell in the chamber and two in the magazine. This does not apply to rifles and big game hunting. I am talking automatic or pump shotguns. We in Ontario cannot use lead shot anymore to hunt waterfowl because lead poisons and waterfowl bottom feed and it was discovered we were losing thousands of ducks and other species because of this. We therefore must by law use only steel shot in marshes and water. In upland game hunting lead is still permitted because you are hunting in fields and forests.

    The seasons here are not that long but long enough with most starting in September and ending in December. No one that I know shoot the shore birds that are hunted in the Caribbean so these species are really not impacted to any extent by hunters here.

    What people have to realize is this. Unless conservation is stringently practiced species will disappear. Why? because there are myriad other factors caused by pollution, global warming, man etc that are killing wildlife and waterfowl by the thousands. Hunting is but only one factor.

    Not that long ago one of the major wetlands in Manitoba the Delta Marsh was hit by botulism and thousands of waterfowl died and there was little anyone could do about it. I can only scratch the surface of what I am trying to explain!

    Our lakes, streams and rivers are controlled in the same manner when it comes to fishing. And even in spite of stringent limits put on catches along with seasons our fish stocks in Ontario are gradually diminishing. Carp is not a fish most people here eat because they are considered scavengers. This year we had a severe epidemic of a viral infection that has killed thousands of carp in several connecting lakes. The cause is yet to be determined. All of these things show how fragile our environment really is and how little we still know about it.

    Canada is a huge country and if we see these things happening here in spite of what we are doing what do you think can and will happen to small land masses like Barbados. And which will eventually impact the ocean. Forida imposes no fishing zones in the sea off their coast and they too impose limits on sea fish!

    I dont think hunting these swamp birds is evil or should be stopped but I certainly think that a more responsible approach should be taken about how many are shot daily.

    I do not do much hunting anymore but I loved hunting the Manitoba potholes in Minnedosa, Erickson etc north of Brandon. I got as much of a kick out of watching my Labradors and Chesapeake Bay retrievers finding my ducks as I did actually hunting. Anf here is another thing up here. Most responsible hunters hunt over dogs because if you shoot ducks and you dont have a dog you lose 50% of them especially the wounded ones. And that too is very poor conservation.

    I am not preaching nor do I have all of the answers I have shared with the hope some might see the light. I do not intend to get into an argument.

    What works here for us and is accepted by 95% of our hunters might not be what Barbadians want to do and that is their business not mine!

  129. David Brooks

    #
    Birdwatcher
    August 27th, 2007 at 1:14 pm

    Mr Brooks debating skills are hilarious.

    Any point in his way is “hype”.
    **************************************
    I call it ‘hype’ when you don’t report the whole story, but enough to sensationalize the topic, which is what you have been doing. If that is ‘debating’ then leave me out of it, I’m willing to discuss facts or at least some semblance of educated estimates or points of view without the need to go to extremes like others here have been doing.

  130. Troubled

    Mr Karl Watson: I very much appreciated reading your submission on this blog where you highlighted the number of birds remaining. As I agree that everything must be self regulated – and self regulation is being practiced in the swamps if you care to check – it must be pointed out what are the real reasons for reducing numbers!. Does it have something to do with the declining food source on the shores of north america?….as i appreciate your careful choice of words in you articles and on this blog, please can you advise of all the factors so that bird shooters are not seen as “barbarians”. Awaiting your response…..

  131. Troubled

    Anonymous
    August 27th, 2007 at 12:23 pm
    There you sit on your land where multi-millions of dollars of food could be produced cheaply, but you keep it in trust so that the birds will come for fun and enjoyment.

    Expropriate the Three Houses Plantation for food production!!!

    Use it or lose it!!!!>>>>>

    *******

    Use it or lose it?….maybe you should spend some time with Mugabe in Zimbabwe and then come and run for elections in Barbados – you thoughts seem most sensible!!!!

  132. David Brooks

    Reporter:

    I agree with virtual all that you have said. You will note that I have not broached the subject of bag limits here (as yet). The main reason for that is that I think the Barbados Wildfowlers Association (BWA) should be revamped and made to function properly, but I think that will happen shortly.

    Though I know I won’t be very popular for saying what I have been saying here – i.e. in particular engaging in ‘public’ debate over this issue – so I expect some of my own peers to ‘pull me over the coals’ for even coming online here. So you see why I mention about using my real name and running the risk of being persecuted from both sides. But I do what my conscience tells me to do and I am no diplomat – I call a spade a spade, but people don’t like that. For me however I prefer to deal with such people because you know where you stand with them, and not have someone smile up your face and then talk about you when your back is turned.

    Anyway back to the matter at hand, in addition the issue of bag limits is a complicated one and there are other factors involved. Most of us feel that there should also be a limit on the amount of water area that is used for any one swamp, as it is a well known fact that with more water area you have then you have a much better chance of attracting more birds. This is very evident when you have several swamps in the same proximity.

    Essentially, simple putting daily bag limits across the board would disadvantage the smaller swamps that don’t have the resources (mainly money) of the bigger ones. If you were to put a daily limit of say 100, some swamps on certain days may do this before 8 am, while the smaller ones close by only get 10 for the whole day. So when the smaller swamp has a ‘good’ day with the right conditions, then it too has to stop at the said same 100 but that may only happen 2-3 times a season/year when it happens 2-3 times a week for the larger swamps.

    I know this sounds simplistic and I don’t expect any support from the radicals here, in fact you’re going take this all the wrong way and ‘hype’ on it, but the whole issue is more complicated than one would think but I have said this so that at least persons who are reading this and may have some influence would consider these things if and when it becomes necessary.

    For the record, I have always supported conservation and am willing to listen to reason when it is presented properly, not ‘hype’. Contrary to what most here may think, it is the hunters of this world that are the conservationists.

    All the talk here about banning hunting is but near-sighted, for when that happens it is then you will start seeing the species numbers drop and guess what, the said same persons spouting all of the pro-conservation talk here will be powerless to help and mostly would have forgotten all about this, which means that their talk would be just it, talk.

    This is were I have my difficulties with such people, misguided intentions with unintended results because they let their emotion rule what they say instead of reason.

  133. Troubled

    Books….I admire your valour for openly stating your opions on this blog….however i dont think this is the arena to openly through brain storming ideas out…..bag limits for swamps…the larger swamps just put 2 – 3 shooting huts down and say they are 2 – 3 different swamps…clearly this could easily be the case in st. philip. who is going to police the bag limits…..who will check….what i am saying is that most swamp shooters have agreed codes between them, but it take one person to bring it down….what experienced bird shooter do you see shooting a lap wing….i think the wild fowlers should put pressure on the rouge shooters out there that are ruining it for everyone!

  134. Anonymous

    Far from Zuimbabwe, we are talking about recognised practice in North America. If a piece of land can be used for profit, it should be used for profit. Government will remind the owner, and then after a time he/she will be served with notices. If nothing is done then the land will be expropriated and used for its stated purpose.

    Many of the old school fail to see that Barbados is undergoing a huge social upheaval. If people like bird shooters think that their ways are going to remain, then they too are going extinct, just like the little biirds they bully.

    Think long and hard bird shooters. Are you a part of change in Barbados, or are you just inbred idiots who own land and sit on it>>>>>>

  135. Troubled

    Anonymous: Please advise where in North America is land exproriated from the owner for any reason….?…just incase you are unaware of the meaning – “to deprive one from ownership” or “taken out of the possession of another and transferred to one’s own use often without permission”…which ever way you prefer to see it….

    additionally…..there are only a few farmers in barbados that make profit from agriculture…and guess what…..i bet you they are bird shooters!

    do your research next time……

  136. Anonymous

    In cities, capital cities of Canada and America. That is where. These are areas where land is scarce. Barbados is like this too, and you won’t be able to sit on your land and dictate terms forever.

    Times are a-changing, and you who bully and dictate terms ought to reflect on what I’m saying. If not the times will pass you by.

  137. Troubled

    we are getting closer….but can you specifically give me any particular case?…just saying cities in canada and america are too vague!….i really dont see the Captalists of the world seizing land because they are holding it…..in the cases you are reffering to i am sure the owner has sold for large amounts of money….but anycase….it would be interesting to hear from you….

    As i said…..run a campaign with those views and see how for you get….also…..with the demographic break down of the island….what class do you think owns the most land…..

    I tell you what….dont reply unless you know what you are talking about…..

  138. David Brooks

    Anonymous
    August 27th, 2007 at 5:17 pm

    Far from Zuimbabwe, we are talking about recognised practice in North America. If a piece of land can be used for profit, it should be used for profit.
    ***************************************************
    No, your thinking is exactly what is going in Zimbabwe – what is happening there these days is just as bad as when it was in colonial (white) hands – total dictatorship and chaos – thus showing that a man is a man regardless of his colour, he will still trample your rights when given the chance.

    So you are saying that all land should be used for profit irregardless of the consequences. You didn’t seem to get the idea before so I will need to spell it out for you. Where will these said same birds breed and raise their young? They don’t breed here, they don’t breed in the their main wintering grounds which is another couple thousand miles to our south, in southern South America. They ONLY breed in the northern spring time in the northern hemisphere and the land being preserved by DU (and other such entities) are the only lands they nest on and it requires LARGE open spaces for these millions of birds (from several hundred species) to be able to breed and raise their young.

    So if we go by what you are saying, do away with all these preserved lands, sell them off to commercial interest and bring about extinction to virtually all of these species in about 10 years.

    Oh, great, I suppose that one way to stop swamp shooting just get rid of the birds as quickly as possible.

    You obviously have an agenda with regard to Three Houses plantation and the water rights there. This is not the forum for this. Start your own separate subject/thread on the matter.

  139. David Brooks

    Anonymous
    August 27th, 2007 at 5:33 pm
    ************************************

    You sound like you would be a bully too if given the chance.

  140. Troubled

    boah boah

  141. David Brooks

    I would like to hear from Dr. Watson too, even if to get this debate back on track, as usual these blogs go off on extreme tangents, which is tiring after a while and particularly non-productive.

  142. Reporter

    David I knew your family before you were born and I knew many of their generation including me who shot birds in Barbados so I know a little about what I talk.

    Let me first say I hear what you are saying but reducing water areas is a double edged sword I THINK THOUGH I AM NO EXPERT. The shore birds shot in the Caribbean need all the help they can get migrating and if you reduce water areas to balance the argument you give it could cost the migrating birds valuable feeding and resting spaces and cause starvation disease etc to some. Which is exactly what we want to avoid!

    The Barbados you are describing obviously exists because others seem to suggest that our island has become one where to speak your mind you have to fear for your good name etc. That is a hell of a Democracy. Well to them I say screw you I live in a Democracy where we love to hear what can better us in anything so if Barbadians want to live like a closeted society go for it!

    What we do here is form Associations one for example is the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters. These are very powerful lobby groups that have the Governments ear, because their membership is substantial and theit vote important.

    I do not like trying to contribute on these blogs either because they are some who seem bent on talking rubbish and are very adversarial. They dont want to listen and learn.

    We have game wardens and I might never be stopped in a season to have my catches or what I shoot checked. But you never know when one will show up and that is the big stick. If they catch you it could spell financial ruin for you and your family and court cases are written up in the press so that is an added embarassment.

    We get our hunting and fishing regulations every year free and you damn well are told by the Ministry of Natural Resources what changes they have made. Usually it is done in conjuction with dialogue from the OFAH and other experts, because these Associations take part in re-stocking lakes and protecting wetlands like Ducks Unlimited.

    Up here the matter is a bit complex because in addition to ducks that you hunt from a blind etc. As the Fall progresses you get the ducks that raft in big bodies of water like the Pin tail, Canvas back etc where you hunt from a boat floating in the lake with maybe a hundred decoys. I never liked that hunting because of the cold.

    In the Prairies you have never experienced anything until you have shot a “stubble field” a field that the wheat has been removed but a lot of remnants remain.

    You wait until a flock of mallards (500 to a 1000) have chosen a specific field to feed and once they stay there for a few days you know they are settled. You can walk right up to them and when they fly it is like thunder but they are not going anywhere. All you do is stick up a few silhouettes dig a quick hole for youir butt (behind) and pull a little stubble around you. And while you are doing that these ducks are coming right back in and is landing feet from you. Hard to believe but true! In ten minutes you have your limit and you are out of there. You can get about two or three shoots and then the flock gets smart and leaves. We could shoot a hundred but we do as we are told shoot your 4 or 5 and get out.

    I am quite sure that swamp shooting will go in Barbados long after me and you are gone. But here is another good thing in Barbados coming to an end because of bloody greediness and bullheaded thinking. I personally do not give two s—–ts what the boys do. But they are correct you wont solve the problem on this blog!

    These blogs have A FEW individuals on them that are not interested in opening their minds and learning. And once they know you are white it becomes harder to share your experiences and hands on knowledge with them because they do not want to learn. They have a serious persecution complex! I couldn’t care less what color you are if you can teach me something I listening. I might ask questions but not BS!

    I think that all of the shooters in Barbados need to rethink their position to preserve a sport we all love and cherish with so many trying to stop it. Do not think we do not have a big anti gun up here but in the USA they are told to go and screw themselves. You dont mess with gun owners and hunters in the BIG US of A! Unless you want to get it stuck up your keester!

  143. whatever

    reporter: you are not making much sense other than you know MR. Books family….you care to coralate hunting ducks in canada with shooting shore birds in barbados? – it did make for a great story! thanks

  144. Wishing in Vain

    From the picture of Owing in todays paper it looks like he went to a swamp party and had one too many Eternal Saviour and Friends in that picture he looks rough or maybe it was the combination prostitutes and the ESAF that took hold of him.
    Has anyone appoached him to cease the swamp shooting or is he beyond approach on the subject?

  145. whatever

    Wishing in Vain: do you care to clarify what you are saying?..hmmmm…..we may be onto something!

  146. Reporter

    The boys tell me de waitin for Thompy to get in before broaching the subject.

    When you read this blog and BU, Wishing I is tink Owen ent de only one hitting VSOR. As a matter of fact sum on hey and BU like they put some other type eh substance in tbe snuff box!

  147. Wishing in Vain

    Ask Hallam Nicholls what his mission was for Owing both here and on Overseas trip he was the one assigned the job of procuring the prostitutes for their play, some things never change you know.

  148. whatever

    i dare any of you to say what you have to say and stop speaking in parables….or are you too scared of the same persons you are making reference to?

    CHICKEN!!!!!

  149. whatever

    i thought so….

  150. Reporter

    Anybody reading my posts know I do not speak in parables. If you would like me to clarify anything I said I will be happy to try and do so!

    What get a little tired of is being singled out of the crowd and being accused of being someone I am not. I do not give a tinkers damn who anybody is on this blog in real life so long as they talk reasonable sense and enter into reasonable dialogue!

  151. whatever

    guilty mind…i was actually refering to “sishing in Vain”

  152. whatever

    but since you raised it….what are you refering to as “other substance in the snuff box”?

  153. Anonymous

    I think I’ve argued with you enough. Good day, and good luck in your future enterprises. Try to come up with a few profitable enterprises some day. Ta ta-

  154. whatever

    i thought so

  155. Reporter

    No Guilty Mind speaking FACTS not parables!

  156. Wishing in Vain

    My post is as straight forward as ever Nicholls finds prostitutes for Owing’s use want it any clearer ???

  157. KAS

    Of course its all true, for the last few months birds are being shot every morning from about 6.00.am even on a Sunday. What possible pleasure grown men can get from murdering little birds that are no good even to eat I can’t imagine.
    In St Lucy there are many maintained artificial wet lands filled by pipes and stocked with plastic decoys in order to lure the poor tired birds within range of the morons with guns.
    Please get a life you brainless goons and stop this senseless slaughter. And please have the consideration to allow people who work for a living to have a peaceful Sunday morning .
    No wonder your wives want shut of you!

  158. whatever

    so which nicholls and which owing would that be….come on…you almost there…..bet you wont say exactly who you are refering to?…..

    lets have full names……leave nothing out!

    CHICKEN!!!!!

  159. Wishing in Vain

    You remember this post?
    Ask Hallam Nicholls what his mission was for Owing both here and on Overseas trip he was the one assigned the job of procuring the prostitutes for their play, some things never change you know.
    Owing Seymour Arthur who else you think ?

  160. whatever

    Who is Owing Seymour Arthur?

    gottcha!

    your ip address is 10.10.01

  161. Karl Watson

    I’m glad to see so many comments though a bit disturbed that some have turned personal and have strayed from the point. There seems to be clear support for controls to be put in place. Swamp shooting in Barbados does have a fscinating social history and Mr Brooks has given the uninitiated some idea of its meaning and significance for those who take part in it. Humans have been hunters for much longer than they have been agriculturalists, so it is a deep seated instinct not to be lightly disregarded. Having said that the broader picture in the world today, of which Barbados is just one tiny link, is extremely disturbing. Human population growth coupled with advanced technology has created havoc with most lifeforms, birds included. In Scotland recently, the seabird breeding season ended in disaster simply because parent birds could not locate enough food to feed their young and so abandoned them. Climate change is altering habitat and creating shifting migratory patterns for birds. This also has negative implications for breeding success. There are no single theory explanations for the many changes taking place. Habitat loss, food loss, pesticide impacts, hunting..these are some of the major challenges we face and I’m glad to see that mention has been made of dwindling fish populations as well. But back to birds. In this hemisphere there is a multinational effort underway called the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Initiative (recently expanded to include other migratory species). I had the honour of attending two conferences in Chile and Costa Rica as the official representative of Barbados. The consensus is that only an on going multi national effort both in the breeding areas i.e. USA and Canada and the wintering grounds in South America can save these birds. Does Barbados have a role to play and in the final analysis, do the numbers of birds shot here annually have any impact on the hemispheric/global situation? The scientific answer to both these questions is yes. This island because of its geographic location is an important staging post in ordinary migrations and a critical staging post in crisis situations i.e. bad weather. Now would it be helpful to stop all shooting and allow the artificial swamps to drain and revert to bush? NO! That would be exceedingly counter productive, as it would result in the loss of habitat crucial for the survival of shorebirds. But I am sure that Mr Brooks, and I hope his colleagues in the shooting fraternity, will agree that changes in the old traditional practises must come..here and elsewhere, but home drums should beat loudest first. Nobody wants the situation to occur when the klee klee klee call of incoming picas (Greater Yellowlegs) are silenced forever. But believe me, it can happen..I have historical records of Eskimo Curlew and Golden Plover here in Barbados in such dense numbers that small boys walked among them with sticks, knocking them senseless. Yet the last known Eskimo Curlew in the world was shot here some fifty years ago and the Golden Plover are in serious trouble. The prime culprit in these cases was/is excessive hunting. There are others, some alluded to by other posters on this blog. I think the onus now is on the bird shooters to come up with sensible proposals for conservation which will be put in practise and adhered to, season after season..but the bottom line is that species such as the Godwits, Red Knots and Golden Plover should not be shot at all..and the massive kill counts for species such as the favourite bird of the shooters, the Lesser Yellowlegs needs to be drastically reduced from the present yearly counts of 12,000 to 15,000 birds to an acceptable figure. It does not require government intervention to correct this situation, it is my belief that public opinion demands it.

  162. Birdwatcher

    As per Karl Watson……..

    “……..but the bottom line is that species such as the Godwits, Red Knots and Golden Plover should not be shot at all..and the massive kill counts for species such as the favourite bird of the shooters, the Lesser Yellowlegs needs to be drastically reduced……”

    Yes Mr Brooks go ahead call it hype, it is your standard argument.

    Are you prepared to conserve any plovers that pass your gun this year??

  163. Troubled

    Bird Watcher: the real question to Mr Brooks is do you pay “subs” at a swamp or do you rely on invitation only….is this your way of justifying it to yourself…in my opinion that would be even worse as you probably only show up on shooting days “i.e bad weather”….basically you only partake in the slaughter days as you call it and nothing else…no comradary, no bonding no effort to maintain these valuable marsh lands…. please decide what side of the fence you wish to be on….

    Mr Watson: thank you for your insight on the plight of these birds….however you danced around my initial question….what are the main reasons for the declining numbers?….i understand that everything including shooting in barbados has an effect, but what is the major reason…perhaps the decline of the horshoe carbs on the shores of north america which is the main staple of these birds….please can you address this question…what efforts in particular are being made to increase the feed stock of these birds?…..you also mention not to shoot the godwits, red knot and golden plover….well if you cared to do complete research you will notice that the godwit and red knot are not being shot by the majority of swamps as part of our self regulation. Maybe the plover should be taken into consideration.

    Please do not get me wrong….certain birds should not be shot…yes i agree….but it must also be pointed out that the main reason is not the sport in barbados…anyhow, you have acheived in increasing the sensitivity of this topic…well done….that is the first step….

  164. bored

    can we start this thread over

  165. Troubled

    where is my rebuttal?

  166. Birdwatcher

    Troubled, I am confused by your comment. Are you asking me if I pay subs?

    Both Mr Watson and myself are aware the swamps have taken some steps at self regulation and the non shooting of godwits and red knots is a good example of this.

    Mr Brooks on the hand is critical of the voluntary restriction on godwits and wont even reply to my requests for conservation of the golden plover.

    He calls the concern for this bird of every major conservation organisation mere hype and apparently plans no steps to reduce the kill of this bird on the Island

    On your question directed at Mr Watson, this is an area of much research and no one here is likely to be able to give you a precise answer.

    In most cases the apparent reason for decline is habitat destruction. As the birds are no longer hunted in NA hunting is not as significant a factor as in the past.

  167. Troubled

    The subs question was for Mr Brooks. Thanks for answering the major question – decline mainly due to habitat distruction!

    It seems to be a double edged sword for the conservationists as if they put too much public pressure on bird shooting it may attract the attention of the wrong politician and bird shooting may become a thing of the past – guess what?…we will go and shoot clays, but you local habitats will be lost forever…..I think now that you have the attention of the bird shooters this forum turns to a more private venue where Mr. Watson can discuss behind closed doors with the BWFA.

  168. Karl Watson

    Dear Troubled..a foot injury doesn’t permit me to do much dancing these days! but to repeat..my generalized assessment of a complex situation is as follows:
    Bird populations losses are due to:
    Habitat loss
    Food Loss
    Pesticide impacts
    Hunting losses
    Observe that these four losses are human induced.
    Please note too, that difficulties faced by one species may not be the same for another..some species might stage a recovery as habitat changes..others go into terminal decline.
    I know that many swamps now no longer shoot godwits or red knots but as you yourself pointed out, this applies to the MAJORITY of swamps. Herein lies the crux of the problem, along with the very alarming issue of rogue shooters..the need to have a consensus among ALL swamps..there is a need to be consistent in agreement, application and enforcement of conservation measures. Case in point: the use of tapes and loudspeakers playing amplified bird calls day and night. This is an inappropriate use of technology. It has largely replaced the dying art of whistling..this was sportsmanship…a single or double barreled shotgun of a single shooter is a far cry from a bank of shooters all armed with pump action/multi cartridge shotguns. This reeks of a firing squad not a sportsman pitting himself against his target. The idea of sport shooting as I understand it, is that it involves some skill in which the prey stands as good a chance as the hunter.
    Rogue shooters should be of great concern to the committed swamp shooters, many of whom are now becoming genuinely conservation minded. As I write this, I hold in my hand three rings, one red, one green, bearing the inscription EHM and the third, a silver ring with the details USA 1621 18469. This bird was shot in the Long Pond area by an itinerate individual. Computer records show that it was a Sanderling, three years old, ringed in New Jersey. It had made the flight across the Atlantic on two occasions before being shot in its third winter. These types of individuals need policing and their gun license taken away if necessary. There are also other pressures the bird shooters could themselves apply..a case in mind is the situation surrounding the killing of two ospreys a few years back, even though these are legally protected in Barbados by the Wild Birds Protection Act.
    Yes, swamp shooting is a traditional pursuit which has produced folk art..besides the whistles, the carved bird decoys are an example of this art. Out of this has come for example, the marvellous bird montages carved by Mr and Mrs Geoffrey Skeete and their sons…wonderful artistry..it is nothing short of remarkable that this small island of ours..no bigger than a simple provincial market town in the UK or North America could reach such a pinnacle where we outcompete the best in the world in bird carving..akin to the consistency with which we win gold medals at Chelsea, or the numbers of world class body builders we have produced over the decades or the cadre of cricketing greats coming out of this island. I am therefore arguing strongly for a win-win resolution. I believe in negotiated compromises not arbitrary diktats.
    International NGO’s are willing to help without being too intrusive but they are consistently monitoring our situation as are, I am sure, international governments. So I repeat, let us put in place, enforced remedial measures which will allow some form of restricted shooting while at the same time, vigorously promoting a conservation ethos.

  169. Swamp Man

    Mr. Watson: I dont think that anyone is really against what you are saying, but I think that the shooters believe that the recent tones have been that the decline is soley caused by bird shooters in barbados – an unfair statement in my opinion…. I think that if you clarify or point out the bird shooters in barbados are not the sole reason you will find better cooperation. This needs to be cleared up at once…..

  170. Ocean

    I have a solution!! GET RID OF THE WHITES!!! let them go back to their cave man antics back in the caucas mountains where they can feel free to divulge in their carnal blood thirst lusts for however long! There is a reason why Goddess did not put them to have their origins in Afrika where it was a pure paradise… and put them away from Her precious plants and animals and minerals. GET RID OF THEM!! for too long they have been doing nonsense! and teaching us to be like them.. and now has the bewitched black race as numb and as indifferent to Nature as they always were. We were not such killers of nature… we were her defenders.. GET RID OF THEM I SAY!!!we cannot live together… and Time is proving that.. they have not learnt BASIC fundamental principles of civilisation (that we and the rest of hue-manity knew before THEY came) such as living harmoniously with Nature, and not destroying her with every ‘development’. GET RID OF THEM!and then we can NOW RE-learn about ourselves.. and Mama Nature.

  171. Citizen First

    Troubled,

    As I have indicated before I am opposed to any shooting of birds. However, I am old enough to accept that compromise is often the best outcome and from some the posts on this thread it seems that there may some movement in that direction.

    BUT your last sentence – “I think now that you have the attention of the bird shooters this forum turns to a more private venue where Mr. Watson can discuss behind closed doors with the BWFA.” is disturbing. This issue is a PUBLIC issue. The birds are not the preserve of the BWFA nor Karl Watson. Any regime of conservation and managemnet must recieve the sanction and input of the wider public and Government authorities and be so transparent in its application and operation, that the public is satisfied that the objectives of protection and conservation of our common heritage is achieved.

  172. Troubled

    Citizen First: agree with transparency but certain things must involve initial discussions with the relevant persons before a general forum can be included…..that way alot of the axe grinding gets done with sensible parties where real progress and be made…..just look at the sensless comments on this forum which would be counter productive in any real discussion…point in case….OCEAN – do you think that person would have anything valuable to add to discussions…i think not!

  173. whatever

    Ocean: you are obviously illiterate!!!!…..you say get rid of the white man’s development….i say to you give back your precious car, dvd, cd’s, bling as you call it and anything modern if you are so against it and return to your hut made of dung “shit” on the plains of the Sarangetti. To you I say you will not make it past the second day before your wilderness defeats you!…

  174. Citizen First

    Troubled
    Yours has been a fair comment. I hope that you and others (such as D. Brooks) can motivate the the shooting fraternity to an acceptable position. By acceptable I mean in accordance with those conventions and treaties that Barbados has signed and a level of shooting that can be scientifically shown to not cause bird populations to collapse towards extinction.

  175. Duppy Lizard

    As I puruse the numerous submissions (is this a record?) I can’t help but think what a sad commentary for Barbados! Such animosity and such racial hatred. Don’t worry folks, the writing is on the wall – we’ll all soon be extinct.

  176. David Brooks

    #
    Birdwatcher
    August 27th, 2007 at 11:33 pm

    As per Karl Watson……..

    “……..but the bottom line is that species such as the Godwits, Red Knots and Golden Plover should not be shot at all..and the massive kill counts for species such as the favourite bird of the shooters, the Lesser Yellowlegs needs to be drastically reduced……”

    Yes Mr Brooks go ahead call it hype, it is your standard argument.

    Are you prepared to conserve any plovers that pass your gun this year??
    **********************************************

    As usual, you pick out only what you want to – I call that hype – but to answer your question …

    No, because as I’ve said before we only have big flights of these every 10-15 years and even then less than 3% of the ‘estimated’ population is shot here, and in the other ‘off’ years only about 0.5% is taken in reality and nowhere can I find that the American Golden Plover has taken any nose-dives in population (like the Red Knot has, but only the sub-species that flies through the eastern USA), so until I am presented with significant data that shows this, and not your unreasonable say-so, I will consider them as fair game.

    We’re still catching flying fish and dolphin aren’t we?

  177. David Brooks

    Troubled
    August 28th, 2007 at 3:16 am

    Bird Watcher: the real question to Mr Brooks is do you pay “subs” at a swamp or do you rely on invitation only….is this your way of justifying it to yourself…in my opinion that would be even worse as you probably only show up on shooting days “i.e bad weather”….basically you only partake in the slaughter days as you call it and nothing else…no comradary, no bonding no effort to maintain these valuable marsh lands…. please decide what side of the fence you wish to be on…

    ***************************************************************************

    I would have to consider that you are a swamp shooter that has a problem, not to mention being out of date with your question and therefore your reasoning.

    My record regarding swamp shooting goes back 40+ years and I have always been on one side of the fence. Your attempt to insult me is like water off a duck’s back. I have no shame in saying that for a number of years I could not afford to shoot in a swamp, my father went through the same thing before me, and that’s when he realized who his real friends were.

  178. David Brooks

    I would like to thank Dr. Watson for his fair comments, I may not share some of them and we may agree to disagree on certain things, which is each other’s right in a democracy, yet may change but not until maybe, as I have said before, we need to sit down and discuss the facts and come to a consensus where either side does not feel pressured into doing something just because someone wants it to be so.

    However, at least I can see that he shows reason and common sense in his approach. This shows professionalism, a sense of fair play and integrity.

  179. Birdwatcher

    Mr Brooks,

    Do you use amplified bird calls to attract the birds you shoot? that is, taped recordings of bird calls played over speakers?

    Dr Watson calls this “inappropriate”. Do you agree?

  180. David Brooks

    On the other hand, Bird Watcher, I have reviewed your posts here and they strike a certain cord that I (and in fact many others) recognize.

    If correct, and my gut feeling is rarely wrong, you are in fact a Swamp Shooter but with a case of sour grapes. You are bent on a certain agenda and if you don’t get your way, you will destroy all in your temper tantrum.

    Beware, you may put to much faith in your own abilities to effect this and I don’t think your knight in shining amour can help much, because don’t forget that King Arthur had a round table for all his knights, which was purposely done to show that he but first among equals – i.e. this is still a democracy – but in any case I have a few knights that I can call upon too, even if I don’t have the $ that you have.

    I hope you see reason and temper your attitude in the future. (Also, don’t be edged on by others either).

  181. Birdwatcher

    Mr Brooks,

    Your reply was disappointing considering you had just lauded Dr Watson for the professionalism of his posts.

    Will you reply on your position on the speakers?

  182. David Brooks

    #
    Birdwatcher
    August 29th, 2007 at 3:45 am

    Mr Brooks,

    Do you use amplified bird calls to attract the birds you shoot? that is, taped recordings of bird calls played over speakers?

    Dr Watson calls this “inappropriate”. Do you agree?
    ***************************************************

    Frankly, I am a very experienced bird whistler – been doing it for nearly 40 years – so I really don’t need tapes playing over speakers. While I have been part of the ‘modern’ trend of using speakers, it has only been to equalize the odds against the bigger swamps.

    Can you whistler? Or do you depend on others or have, like in the old days, a dedicated whistler employed to do so while you shot?

  183. Wishing in Vain

    I think the reponse is in the affirmative.

  184. Birdwatcher

    dedicated whistlers are indeed part of the old days. That should answer your question right there. I was not aware of any “professional” whistlers in modern shooting.

  185. Birdwatcher

    Enlighten me ;

    what is my case of sour grapes?

    what have you perceived my agenda to be?

    who is my “knight”

    I am not prone to temper tantrums and if by “destroy it all” you mean close down shooting then you really dont know me. I need the swamps but not for shooting so I would never like to see them go. I promise you that I would be as upset as any “bird shooter” if we lost the swamps.

    I call for “temperance” and “reason” because I am sure without, the swamps will close due to external pressure and it surely wont be my doing.

  186. Birdwatcher

    Lets look at temperance and reason?

    will you accept bag limits? for each species?

    You love to quote the wonderful conservation activies in NA by hunters (and rightly so) and each of them accept bag limits.

    None of them individually or in any particular areas could by themselves affect the populations of the birds but they all accept limits. You claim you cant affect the populations but why cant you accept limits like the NA Hunter?

  187. David Brooks

    But tell me why? All you say is that I should accept bag limits but without reason to do, except by your say so. I firmly believe that our ‘harvest’ (as the word used by North American specialist) have little or no impact on the population trends.

    Provide some facts about our impact. The fact is that our numbers are basically the same as they were 50 years ago, so if our involvement was of any significant wouldn’t we also be seeing less birds, which is not the case.

    But as usual you have some twisted logic that will say, you can’t look at things like that.

    As to your other questions, they simply cement my assumption and prove it. Others know what you have said.

    I agree that there are no more ‘professional’ whistlers these days but that was as a result of your protagonists (i.e. your edgers on) that started the load speaker trend and, more importantly, what are they prepared to do (now) to correct this.

    I’ve proposed that the Barbados Wildfowlers Assoc. should also include ‘classes’ or at the very least encourage the learning of the art of bird whistling, but I was all but told that was nonsense by none other than you.

  188. Sweet Revenge

    I would like to train a large bird, such as an ostritch or an Emu, to use a shotgun. Then I would line up all those bird murderers in the middle of a swamp and let the ostritch shoot the whole bloody lot of them. There, I’ve said it. Kill me now.

  189. David Brooks

    … while you’re at it, train some dolphin to do the same and line up all the Oistins, Conset Bay, etc. fishermen and do the same … (you could get the trini’s to help train them)

  190. Fisherman

    Every bird shooter ought to be sent directly to jail be they businessmen, professors, car racing enthusiasts, hotel owners whatever. Shooting birds is cruel and barbaric.

  191. Birdwatcher

    No one shooter or a group of shooters (like the barbados group, could be a wisconsin group, could be any group) is likely by themselves to be a cause or even the sole cause of the decline of a game bird.

    The shooting harvest of a group, together with the harvest from the other threats (trapping in surinam for example or breeding ground habitat destruction) could result in population declines.

    One cause in isolation would not be a significant cause but collectively they could put strain PARTIULARLY where the total population of species is very low (as it is for most shorebirds including the golden plover)

    Faced with such a situation in a game bird; declining population from a low base and a high vulnerability to rapid change (vulnerable means something that could happen in the future) any effort to reduce the harvest from threats is welcome. Some threats are more difficult than others to make some immediate impact. Shooting however, is one where by direct restriction (voluntary or otherwise) the “harvest” from at one least one threat could be reduced.

    This reduction would and must be in tandem with other efforts in attacking the other threats. Reducing shooting alone would likely not be effective.

    The converse to the harvesting will apply. No one single conservation effort will likely be able to turn around the decline but together all efforts would be hoped to have the desired effect.

    The predicted outcome of all the efforts is of course uncertain and may even be futile.

    When these birds were decimated by market gunning the market hunting was outlawed but the shooting by the hunter was only initially considered a “temporary ban”. This occured in the early years of the 20th century

    The impact of banning all man made harvesting was there for all to see as population rebounded from near extinction in cases like the plover. However, the plover never returned to the levels of the past and appears now in decline again.

    No one can be sure if the conservation efforts today (one small piece of hopefully a much large pie being reduction in barbados bird kills) will have a positive impact. However, it can be quite certain each small step is needed.

    I cant put it any simpler than that, Mr Brooks. Temperance is needed. You dont live in isolation.

  192. Troubled

    But that is the beauty of a free democracy …..people can have different points of view! But I would have to agree on the comparison: Fishermen use gill nets and fish pots….those devices indiscriminatly kill every and anything that comes in their way, including dolphins, turtles and whales…. maybe while you are out saving the birds, you should save the fish as well…. or maybe you only care about your own passion – that makes you selfish…..

    Mr Brooks: If you are an advocate fo Mr Watson and want reform…you are you using speakers…i think you said to even the field – to you my friend that make you a HYPOCRITE!!!!!

  193. David Brooks

    … beam me up, Scotty, there’s no intelligent life here … bye.

  194. Ocean

    COMMENT DELETED BY BFP FOR RACISM

    Ocean advocates getting rid of one specific race from Barbados.

    Banned for life. Find somewhere else to post your hate.

    Signed,

    Every one of us at BFP

  195. Shrek

    The weird thing about it is that the bird killer also professes to want to protect society by carrying a gun in public places. Don’t enyone make a false move.
    Pow!-squeak
    Pow!–squeak
    Pow!—squeak, etc x 1,000.

    (insert twighlight zone music here)

  196. Birdwatcher

    Reading my last post it may be possible to conclude that the best solution is stop shooting completely.

    This is not the case.

    The best solution is as practised in North America. Allowing hunters to shoot means they will contribute to the cost of maintaining wetlands.

    We should want the wetlands maintained in Barbados as a potential refuge for birds to increase the chances of the birds making their winter stop. Therefore we should allow the hunters to shoot

    The problem I have with the shooters in Barbados is they want all. No bird left untouched. They need to commit to allow birds to pass through untouched and not just the species too small to eat.

    Mr Brooks is dismissive of bag limits . He wont restrict his shooting unless it is proved to him that he/barbados are a direct cause of decline. The other threats are beyond his control so leave him alone he cries to his share. He loves to boast of the conservation contributions of hunters but alas no contribution from him. He shoots all and maximises his kill by using amplified bird calls on ourdoor speakers.

    Shoot carefully Mr Brooks. Each bird you kill is potentially one less breeding pair next year in the Arctic. Shoot carefully, for it is your privilege to shoot not your right.

  197. Birdwatcher

    Now Mr Brooks give me you standard reply.

    First tell me that all this talk about decline and small populations is just “hype” and I have “sensationalised” the issue.

    Next insult me, tell me I am just a shooter with “sour grapes” bent on an agenda and that I want bag limits just to “get my way”

    After that, please point out that the declines are not your fault and therefore you must continue shooting unabated. You only take a very small percentage so leave you alone. After all, yours is special right to harvest not enjoyed by others.

    Then go on to tell us what marvelous conservationists hunters are and how the birds would not exist without the hunters. Dont bother to point out you conserve nothing, shoot all you can without limit and use speakers to maximise kill.

    Go on tell us taking your fair share is nothing different than fishing.

    Go on Mr Brooks, I look forward to it.

  198. Birdwatcher

    “…………with the species still in decline we are worried about the numbers shot in Barbados each autumn…”

    David Wege
    Caribbean Program Manager
    Birdlife International

    Talking about the Golden Plover.

    Just “hype” right Mr Brooks?

  199. Birdwatcher

    As per Mr Brooks ;

    “………I firmly believe that our ‘harvest’ (as the word used by North American specialist) have little or no impact on the population trends…….”

    As per Dr. Watson……….

    “………Does Barbados have a role to play and in the final analysis, do the numbers of birds shot here annually have any impact on the hemispheric/global situation? The scientific answer to both these questions is yes……….”

    ———————————————————–
    I leave the public to decide which is an accurate statement.

  200. David Brooks

    I am awaiting official information and recent data from the National Coordinator, U.S. Shorebird Conservation Plan, US Fish & Wildlife Service, with whom I have been in contact over the last few years.

    However I will not be sharing that here, as this forum has proven not to be of such a standard that would merit do so – my mistake initial I thought BFP would be somewhere were intellectuals can debate topics freely. I was grossly wrong.

    You will (or may) hear through the proper channels and/or officials, if there are any new findings and what decisions will be made.

    That’s all folks.

  201. Straight talk

    God speed, David Brooks, back to your swamp.

    The probable reason you did not engage any intellectual argument hereabouts is that your case is indefensible and as such wasteful to pursue.

    I will not continue as this may encourage your unwelcome return.

    The next time you are knee deep in the migratory birds, whose only brief stopover in Bim was for
    rest, food and water, please do not consider you are part of the same human family as me.

    Goodbye.

  202. Birdwatcher

    If Mr. Brooks is willing to take information from the US Shorebird Conservation plan of the USFWS and act on it then that it is good. Give credit where it is due, that is a most reasonable response from him.

  203. Wishing in Vain

    Have not heard much on this subject recently, but here is an extract from overseas just check the yearly shooting fee.
    Bird shootingon even after ‘Dean’
    published: Saturday | September 8, 2007

    The Editor Sir,

    I have been informed that even after the terrible Hurricane Dean, the Government and the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) are still planning to allow the 2007 bird shooting season to be held.

    I have been an ardent bird shooter since age four, when I would go with my father, and have been involved in the sport for the past 45 years. I have never missed a bird season, therefore, under normal circumstances, I would never be one not to want to have a bird season.

    In 2004, after Hurricane Ivan, the Government and NEPA saw it fit to stop the bird season immediately because of the damage to the bird population. So why are they willing to allow the season to be held at this time after the passing of Hurricane Dean.

    We are not allowed to shoot birds without a hunter’s permit purchased through dealers who collect it on behalf of NEPA. The cost is $10,000 this year; and it has increased every year since its inception. As a bird shooter I pay this fee grudgingly, as I do not see where it goes to protect or enhance the birds or wildlife population. It has not been paid this year by most shooters, because the season which should have started on August 18 was postponed to September 1 due to the general election.

    Main Reason

    I believe this is the main reason for NEPA allowing the season to still be held from the 8th September. NEPA needs this money because they depend on it to finance a major part of their budget. They are willing to allow the bird season to be held and the few birds that survived the onslaught of Hurricane Dean to be slaughtered so that they can finance their budget.

    I have been informed that the season has been cut from sixweeks to three weeks, and that the shooters are still required to pay the full permit fee of $10,000. This drives home my point that NEPA is only interested in getting their budget financed and do not have any interest in our wildlife protection.

    I have always had a low opinion of this organisation, but now they have confirmed my worst fears that they do not care about our wildlife or our environment. They are only interested in collecting revenue.

    I am, etc.,

    KEITH DELAPENHA

    Manchester

    Mandeville

  204. Wishing in Vain

    Have the two parties met or do they even plan to meet ?

  205. Birdwatcher

    what parties?

  206. Wishing in Vain

    The hunters and Mr Watson have they worked out a relationship ?

  207. Birdwatcher

    Not yet, but hopefully soon.

    It does not help that some hunters dont trust Dr Watson and it does not help that some hunters are like Mr. B and think they live in isolation to do as they see fit.

  208. Wishing in Vain

    some hunters dont trust Dr Watson ,
    He is only trying to get them to do the right thing is he not?

  209. Birdwatcher

    He is indeed, but the hunters dont like change and they dont trust anyone who talks change. Just read Mr B, does he sound like someone willing to change anything?

  210. Wishing in Vain

    We have not heard Mr Watson for sometime on the subject, when will he speak again?

  211. Wishing in Vain

    I really would like to hear Mr Wtson’s recent views.

  212. Wishing in Vain

    I really would like to hear Mr Watson’s recent views.

  213. Wishing in Vain

    We have not heard Mr Watson for sometime on the subject when will he speak again?

  214. Wishing in Vain

    Shooting or no shooting?

  215. bashy

    A very interesting article entitled ‘Shorebirds in Danger’by Lionel Worrell in the Nation today.It ends
    ‘There exists, therefore, no meaningful excuse for the continuation of this antiquated practice, other than for the reason that is a tradition of the old elites. Like other shameful legacies of our past, this, too, is one we should not keep.’

    Do bird hunters know how to read that is the question?

  216. Wishing in Vain

    I saw it as well and thought to myself how timely it was!!

  217. Birdwatcher

    There is one “meaningful excuse”. Just one.

    Wetlands make for welcome bio diversity.

    The shooters need to make it a complete reality. Then, and only then will they have something to defend.

  218. Cat

    Curous if anything has been resolved on these barbaric shoots?

    Their 2008 season will be fast-approaching and I dread the next migration to be heading south again.
    Any updates would be greatly appreciated!

  219. Rumplestilskin

    Hmmm. Does the international media spend as much attention also talking about the ‘Killing Fields of the World’, where every five minutes a child dies from hunger?

    Where youngsters by the thousand are sent to die in war, while major companies make millions from the same war?

    Or is that too ‘politically incorrect’ or does not go with the tea and biscuits as well?

    Even our media in Barbados is focused on minor issues, when the change of use in acres of agricultural land is granted, so that a few greedy and avaricious persons can live in spendour while the majority struggle to make ends meet in buying food?

    A big hear, hear for the media on this one, well done lapdogs!

    Or should the well done be ruff, ruff?

    As long as the Extra Old and Coke on ice sips well while ‘One’ overlooks the golf course as ‘One’ discusses the daily happenings and who played with who’s wife, things are quite fine, no?

    Jolly good and all that?

    Where is the humanity, or is this lost in a sea of excess?

    Or what about Africa? A brutal regime oppresses the Opposition and scarcely a word from the other ‘leaders’?

    Oh, and that is just Zimbabwe. We hear of Africans ‘brothers’.

    Which ones? The ones murdering the rest of their countrymen?

    Brutality entrenched, do not blame the West for this one.

    Man’s actions depict man’s heart.

    Peace

  220. Cat

    Indeed, and I’m sure you can find those “other” topics of concern to further your own discussion.

    The topic here is regarding migrating birds that are shot over Barbados, in barbaric style.

  221. Paul

    Can anyone tell me what is happening at Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary? …and also at the other swamps?
    Will the senseless shootings start again this August?

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