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Gamekeeper accusing ‘bird activists’ of killing raptors was on TV last night

Following yesterday’s blog about that Scottish gamekeeper who was interviewed on BBC Scotland radio, accusing “bird activists” of killing satellite-tagged golden eagles and hen harriers (see here), he was also on the telly last night. The TV piece was a shortened version of the radio interview. Here’s the transcript they left out: “I now have […]
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Caring gamekeepers warn public not to tamper with poisoned baits

Gamekeepers in Scotland have asked the public not to hamper ‘legitimate moorland activities’ after a number of poisoned baits were disturbed next to a popular walking area. The baits, which are approved by the Modern Poisoners’ Society to be deployed by trained gamekeepers to control predators such as golden eagles and red kites, were interfered […]
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“Bird activists” killing satellite-tagged raptors, says gamekeeper

It’s ok everybody, the mystery of the vanishing satellite-tagged raptors has finally been solved. It wasn’t the (non-existent) wind farms (see here). And it wasn’t the unreliable satellite tags with a dodgy salt water switch attached to Olive Ridley Turtles off the coast of India (see here). No, the real reason, according to a Scottish […]
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Review of Scottish raptor satellite-tag data widened to three species

A couple of weeks ago we blogged about the Cabinet Secretary for the Environment’s call for a review of golden eagle satellite tag data (see here). This was in response to the news that eight young satellite-tagged golden eagles had ‘disappeared’ on grouse moors in the Monadhliaths over a five year period, with three of […]
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Death in a National Park

Many people think that a National Park provides a safe haven for wildlife. It’d be a reasonable expectation. The reality is somewhat different. The following photographs were taken last week inside the Peak District National Park. To be more precise, they were taken on the northern side of the Bole Edge Plantation (Strines Wood), close […]
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Flawed Natural England policies assume gamekeepers don’t illegally kill raptors

We’ve been blogging for over a year about the use of propane gas guns on grouse moors and about our concerns that these booming bird scaring devices are being used to discourage raptors (and particularly hen harriers) from settling to breed (e.g. see here, here, here, here). In June this year, Natural England finally produced […]
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Northern England Raptor Forum: 2016 annual conference

This year’s Northern England Raptor Forum conference will be held on Saturday 19 November at the Xcel Centre in Durham, co-hosted by the Durham Upland Bird Study Group and the Durham Bird Club. The conference programme has just been announced (see here) and includes the following presentations: Birds of the Durham uplands: current population trends […]
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Buzzard shot dead in Richmondshire, North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire Police are appealing for information after the discovery of a buzzard that had been shot dead. On 4th August 2016 a member of the public reported that a buzzard had been found dead near Manfield, North Yorkshire. The buzzard was recovered by the RSPB and taken to a vet in Leeds. An x-ray […]
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Obscure sea turtle tracking data from India used to explain ‘disappearing’ eagles in Monadhliaths

A couple of weeks ago we blogged about the ‘disappearance’ of eight young satellite-tagged golden eagles on grouse moors in the Monadhliath Mountains of Highland Scotland (see here). Keen to deflect attention away from the most likely suspects, the grouse-shooting industry claimed that windfarms were probably to blame – a claim that was easily debunked […]
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Richard Evans: obituary

It was with enormous shock and great sadness that we learned of the recent passing of Richard Evans. He was a friend of ours and a strong supporter of this blog. We’ll miss you, mate. His obituary, reproduced below, was published in the Herald a couple of days ago: Obituary – Richard Evans, naturalist and […]
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Petition calling for licensing of gamebird hunting in Scotland closes at midnight

The petition calling for state regulated licensing of all gamebird hunting in Scotland closes at midnight tonight. This petition was launched six weeks ago and currently has 6,601 electronic signatures and a few hundred more have signed a paper version at various events around the country. We’ve blogged about this petition before (see here) but […]
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Young satellite-tagged hen harrier ‘Elwood’ disappears on Monadhliath grouse moor just weeks after fledging

With depressing predictability, news has emerged that one of this year’s young satellite-tagged hen harriers (a male called ‘Elwood’) has ‘disappeared’ on a grouse moor in the Monadhliath mountains just a few weeks after he fledged from his nest in Banffshire. RSPB press release: Another satellite-tagged bird of prey disappears in the Monadhliath Mountains RSPB […]
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Coordinated hunt & shooting of a hen harrier in 2013 – location revealed

A couple of years ago (20 June 2014) we blogged about the alleged coordinated hunt and shooting of a male hen harrier on a grouse moor in Scotland (see here). This alleged crime had actually taken place in May 2013 – it was reported to Police Scotland by the two members of the public who […]
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Buzzard found poisoned in Ayrshire

The SSPCA is appealing for information following the discovery of a young dead buzzard in Ayrshire. A member of the public found the bird on farmland between Maybole and Patna in April. Toxicology results indicate it had been poisoned with a lethal pesticide. The SSPCA believes this was the result of “a deliberate act”. SSPCA […]
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More on the General Licence restriction fiasco at Raeshaw Estate

Regular blog readers will know we’ve been writing about the General Licence (GL) restriction order placed on Raeshaw Estate (Scottish Borders) for some time (see here for a summary). The restriction order was implemented due to alleged raptor persecution incidents reportedly taking place on the Estate (according to evidence provided by Police Scotland), even though […]
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Non existent windfarms blamed for ‘disappearing’ eagles in Monadhliaths

Soon after the recent news broke about the ‘disappearance’ of eight young satellite-tagged golden eagles in the Monadhliath mountains (see here), the following map started doing the rounds on social media. Raptor persecution deniers purported the map showed a landscape littered with eagle-slicing windfarms and suggested that it was turbine strikes, not criminal activity on […]
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100,000 signatures to ban driven grouse shooting!

“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have” (Margaret Mead). Massive, massive kudos to Mark Avery, who started this (3 x petitions ago!) and didn’t give up. Well done, Mark, and thank you. Special mention to Chris Packham, who, like Mark, has endured months of […]
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Game over: Marks & Spencer abandons grouse sales, again

Marks & Spencer has announced it will not stock red grouse this year. Using the same excuse as they did last year (see here), M&S claims there are not enough red grouse available from its (unidentified) source estate. What M&S don’t say is that there is probably considerable nervousness amongst the Board that had they […]
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Ministerial reaction to ‘missing’ golden eagles

Following yesterday’s news that eight young satellite-tagged golden eagles have ‘disappeared’ in the Monadhliaths in the last five years (see here), we were interested to read the response from Roseanna Cunningham MSP, the Cabinet Secretary for the Environment. Here’s the statement that appeared on the Scottish Government’s website: The Scottish Government has ordered a review […]
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Case against gamekeeper Stanley Gordon re: shot hen harrier, part 4

Criminal proceedings continued at Elgin Sheriff Court yesterday against Scottish gamekeeper Stanley Gordon. Mr Gordon, 60, of Cabrach, Moray, is facing charges in connection with the alleged shooting of a hen harrier in June 2013. The case continued without plea and the next hearing will be 1st September 2016. Previous blogs on this case here, here and […]
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40 eagles, 10 years, 0 prosecutions

In April 2012, we wrote an article called ’21 eagles, 6 years, 0 prosecutions’ (see here). In September 2012, we updated it and called it ’26 eagles, 6 years, 0 prosecutions’ (see here). In July 2013 we updated it again. This time, ’27 eagles, 7 years, 0 prosecutions’ (see here). In December 2013 we had […]
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Young golden eagles ‘disappearing’ on grouse moors in Scottish Highlands

RSPB press release: RSPB Scotland has issued an appeal for information following the disappearance of another young golden eagle, the eighth of this species to vanish in the same area in less than five years. The young female golden eagle, named Brodie, hatched two years ago and was fitted with a satellite transmitter shortly before […]
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Police statement on illegal traps found on Invercauld Estate

A few weeks ago we blogged about the discovery of two illegally-set spring traps and a critically injured Common gull found on a grouse moor on Invercauld Estate (Cairngorms National Park) in June 2016 (see here). We later blogged about the Estate’s subsequent denial that illegal activity had taken place and the Estate’s ‘understanding that […]
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Hen Harrier Day 2016 – round up

Hen Harrier Day 2016 was fantastic! Now in its third year, there were more events and more people out in support than ever before. For a flavour of what went on, here are some links to blogs and videos created by some of the participants (we’ll add more as they become available). VIDEOS Hen Harrier […]
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Hen Harrier Day 2016

This weekend marks the third annual Hen Harrier Day – although such is the growth of this movement that it’s turned in to Hen Harrier Weekend – a time for all of us to stand up against the persecution of this species and send a clear message to the grouse-shooting community that we’re on to […]
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Intimidation

Late on Sunday night the following post appeared on Facebook: The same individual sent two threatening text messages in the early hours of Monday morning, one of which stated, “We now have your address….” We (yes, Mr Richardson, there are a number of us who contribute to this blog) have taken legal advice and if […]
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Vicarious liability prosecution: Andrew Duncan (Newlands Estate) part 9

Criminal proceedings continued on 2 August 2016 against landowner Andrew Walter Bryce Duncan, who is alleged to be vicariously liable for the crimes committed by gamekeeper William (Billy) Dick in April 2014. Gamekeeper Dick was convicted in August 2015 of killing a buzzard on the Newlands Estate, Dumfriesshire by striking it with rocks and repeatedly […]
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Animal Aid launches week of action against grouse shooting

Animal Aid has launched a week of action against grouse shooting (running 5-12 August). As part of their campaign, they’ve produced a video called ‘Grouse shooting: unnatural, uncontrolled, unkind’. They’ve published some accompanying material, including interviews with some of those who feature in the film. They’re also encouraging their supporters to sign the e-petition to […]
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The real price of grouse: episode 3

In the run up to the Inglorious 12th (the opening of the grouse-shooting season on 12 August), you’ll be able to watch a series of videos hosted by Chris Packham about the #NotSoGlorious damaging management practices associated with the driven grouse shooting industry. Episode one (an introduction to driven grouse shooting) can be watched here. […]
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