Calls for competency during duck-hunting season
HUNDREDS of protected ducks have been sighted on Lake Linlithgow just ahead of today’s opening of the 2017 duck hunting season.
Linlithgow, and the adjacent Lake Bullrush, are popular with duck shooters but environmentalists are concerned that the convergence of protected species among viable game species of duck will inevitably result in mistaken killings of rare species.
Hamilton Field and Game Club secretary Dr Rod Bird said he personally counted 466 blue-billed ducks, which are listed as threatened and vulnerable, on Linlithgow on Tuesday morning, along with few game species.
Dr Bird said he is an experienced counter of birds with more than 20 years doing that job.
“I use a powerful spotting scope. I can view the lake with that and count them individually,” he said.
“I’ve done this for 20 years minimum. It’s probably more like 40 years.
“That’s an under-estimate because you don’t get the ones that have dived. They are diving ducks.
“It means that they are going to be there over the duck-shooting season and the chance of them being shot, with that large number, is probably fairly high, I would think.
“Also, to my observation, there was not a lot of ducks (of game species) on there. A few but not a lot. Mostly grebes.”
Dr Bird believes both lakes should be closed to shooters and returned to the sanctuary status they enjoyed up to about 40 years ago.