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.
News : Apr 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.
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 eagle24 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.
The police have launched a criminal investigation after a peregrine was found shot dead at Cambusbarron Quarry near Stirling on 15th April. The dead bird was discovered by a local Raptor Study Group fieldworker carrying out routine monitoring at the site. Courier article here.
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.
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.
The police have thanked the public for assistance and patience as their criminal investigation into the mass poisoning of raptors in Ross-shire continues. The current death toll has risen to 20 birds (14 red kites and six buzzards). Police press statement here.
Police were called to the Loch of the Lowes nature reserve in Perthshire on Sunday after two men entered an off-limits area and temporarily scared the breeding ospreys from their nest. The two men were escorted from the reserve and given a police warning. News here and here.
‘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.