News : Apr 2014

Red Kites set up home in Nairnshire for the first time in over 200 years

30 April 2014

A pair of red kites is attempting to breed in Nairnshire for the first time in over 200 years. The pair have built a nest close to Cawdor Castle; this is believed to be the first breeding attempt in the county since the early 1800s. This is very welcome news following the devastating loss of at least 16 red kites in the recent Ross-shire Massacre. Inverness Courier here.

SRSG welcomes parliamentary questions about raptor persecution

29 April 2014

The Scottish Raptor Study Group is delighted that a series of parliamentary questions have been raised by two MSPs in relation to the current raptor persecution incidents reported from across Scotland. Liam McArthur MSP has asked questions about the alleged police response to the recently reported poisoned peregrine found in South Lanarkshire, and Claire Baker MSP has asked questions about what further measures the Scottish Government will introduce to tackle the on-going crimes against birds of prey. We look forward to the Minister’s responses.

Conon Bridge death toll increases again – 22 raptors now confirmed dead

28 April 2014

The death toll in the Ross-shire Massacre has increased again as the police confirm the discovery of two more dead birds. The current number now stands at 16 red kites and 6 buzzards. Tests have so far shown that 12 of the birds were poisoned; the other bodies are still being examined. Inverness Courier here.

Police search North Glenbuchat Estate in Aberdeenshire following the ‘disappearance’ of young white-tailed eagle

24 April 2014

Police have conducted a search on an estate following the ‘disappearance’ of the first white-tailed eagle to be raised in East Scotland in 200 years. The young bird was being satellite-tracked and its last known signal came from the North Glenbuchat Estate in the Cairngorms National Park. This area of Strathdon is a prominent grouse moor area where several young satellite-tracked eagles have disappeared in recent years. In 2011, the body of a young golden eagle was found there having being poisoned with the banned pesticide Carbofuran. The Scottish Raptor Study Group is disgusted that yet another young eagle has ‘disappeared’ (presumed to be dead) in an area managed for driven grouse shooting and we urge the Scottish Government to introduce further measures to address the appalling and on-going persecution of these iconic birds. BBC news here.

Scottish wildlife forensics team examines dead raptors

22 April 2014

A behind-the-scenes view at the specialist toxicology laboratory where scientists examine dead birds of prey to identify the poisons responsible for their deaths, including the birds found in the recent mass poisoning in Ross-shire – see here.

Conon Bridge farmer says local farmers ‘have nothing to hide’

18 April 2014

A farmer whose properties have been searched as part of the criminal investigation into the mass poisoning of raptors in Ross-shire has given an interview to the BBC. Ewan MacDonald said he and the local farming community ‘had nothing to hide’. Police have conducted searches at Mr MacDonald’s three farms and his home and found nothing to link him to the birds’ deaths. BBC news here.

Osprey ‘Lady’ lays 69th egg at Loch of the Lowes reserve in Perthshire

14 April 2014

‘Lady’, the ‘celebrity’ osprey at Loch of the Lowes nature reserve in Perthshire has laid her 69th egg, according to reserve staff from the Scottish Wildlife Trust. This is Lady’s 24th consecutive breeding season at the reserve, where she has successfully reared 50 chicks. BBC story here. You can follow the Loch of the Lowes blog here for regular updates, and watch their Osprey Webcam here.