Brian Etheridge is the recipient of the 2014 Donald and Jeff Watson Raptor Award

25 February 2014

Brian Etheridge was awarded the 2014 Donald and Jeff Watson Raptor Award at the annual SRSG conference on Saturday. Here is the official citation:

Brian is a founding member of the Highland Raptor Study Group and is currently the Group’s secretary.
His interest in raptors developed at an early age where, under the guidance of Brian Little, he and his mates, including such future giants of the raptor world as Mick Marquiss and Eric Meek, were out hunting the nests of Merlin and owls around Newcastle.
His interest developed during his time in the RAF, both when stationed abroad studying the likes of migrating honey buzzards at Gibraltar and at home where he started his own studies of sparrowhawks and buzzards around Kinloss.
He started work for the RSPB in 1988 and, although he was paid for much of his raptor work, largely on hen harriers and red kites, he did a lot that was unpaid work. In fact he would have done it anyway, paid or not, and that is a mark of a true enthusiast.
Brian has worked on many species but is particularly knowledgeable about hen harriers, red kite, merlin, honey buzzard, buzzard and goshawk and he is always happy to pass on that knowledge to others and help them if needed.
And, tellingly, much of Brian’s fieldwork has been in areas of high persecution where he’s never shied away from the issue; he’s done as much as anyone to shine a light on persecution incidents and those who do raptors harm.

The Donald and Jeff Watson Raptor Award is given in recognition of a significant long-term amateur contribution to the study of raptors in Scotland. Congratulations to Brian for a thoroughly well-deserved award.