Scottish Raptor Study Group

Monitoring and conserving Scotland's birds of prey

News for August 2015

Two more red kites found illegally killed in North Scotland
28th August 2015
Two more red kites have been confirmed by Scottish Government testing to have been illegally killed in north Scotland. Both of these incidents took place in 2014 and are now being made public as the Police have concluded their enquiries.

The first victim was found last June near Beauly, and was subsequently confirmed by post-mortem, at the SAC Veterinary laboratory in Inverness, to have been shot.

The second red kite was found in September 2014, some 5 kilometres south-east of Cawdor village in Nairnshire. It was confirmed by Scottish Government testing to have been illegally poisoned with a banned pesticide. This female bird was part of a successful breeding pair which bred at Cawdor Castle in Nairnshire in 2014, representing the first breeding record of red kites in the county for over 100 years. Further details available here

Vicarious liability prosecution: Andrew Duncan, Newlands Estate, Dumfriesshire
20th August 2015
Proceedings have begun against Andrew Duncan of the Newlands Estate, Dumfriesshire, who is alleged to be vicariously liable for the criminal actions of gamekeeper William Dick, recently convicted for killing a buzzard on the estate. This is the second vicarious liability prosecution since the new legislation was introduced in 2012. Further information here

Success again for breeding white-tailed eagles in Fife
19th August 2015
A six-year-old pair of breeding white-tailed eagles has successfully fledged their third chick in three years. The breeding pair (known as Turquoise 1 and Z) have been nesting in Forestry Commission woodland in Fife and their offspring is one of five to fledge in East Scotland this year. Further info from the RSPB's East Scotland White-tailed Eagle Reintroduction Project here

SSPCA appeal for information after discovery of shot buzzard in the Borders
17th August 2015
The SSPCA has launched an appeal for information following the discovery of an injured buzzard in the Borders. The wounded bird was found at the side of the road between Heriot and Innerleithan on 24th July. It had been shot. Unfortunately its injuries were so severe it had to be put to sleep. Further information here

Police Scotland to train more officers to tackle wildlife crime
14th August 2015
Police Scotland is planning to increase the number of officers to tackle wildlife crime. A new advanced training course will see it have a network of more than 100 extra wildlife crime liaison officers across its 14 divisions. The course will take place next month. A specialist wildlife crime co-ordinator has also been appointed to a new post created in the Highland and Islands division, with the officer due to take up role at the end of August. More information here

Golden eagles from the Highlands may be released in southern Scotland
14th August 2015
Young golden eagles collected from nests in the Highlands and Islands may be released in southern Scotland to boost the population in the southern part of the range. The first releases could take place as early as 2016, subject to approval. More information here and a link to the Project website here

Buzzard found shot dead in Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park
13th August 2015
Police are appealing for information after the discovery of a shot buzzard in the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park. The dead bird was found by a member of the public near Gartocharn on 5th August. Anyone with information relating to this crime is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101.

Young hen harrier 'Annie' found shot dead on grouse moor
11th August 2015
A young hen harrier which had fledged at Langholm in 2014 has been found shot dead on the Queensberry Estate (part of the Buccleuch Group)in south west Scotland. Named 'Annie', she had been fitted with a satellite tag so her movements could be monitored. Her tag indicated she had stopped moving in mid-March and a search was launched. Her body was found in April and a post-mortem has now revealed she had been shot. Further information here.

Gamekeeper William Dick convicted of killing buzzard on Newlands Estate, Dumfriesshire
4th August 2015
Gamekeeper William Dick, 25, of Whitehill Cottages, Kirkmahoe, Dumfries has been convicted of killing a buzzard on the Newlands Estate, Dumfriesshire in April 2014. Dumfries Sheriff Court heard how two witnesses saw Dick bludgeoning the buzzard with rocks before repeatedly stamping on it. He will be sentenced in September.

Borders farmer fined £600 for shooting buzzard then standing on it
2nd August 2015
A poultry farmer from Peebleshire has been fined £600 after admitting he had shot a buzzard and then stood on its wing. The bird didn't survive. Michael Harrison, 70, of West Linton, claimed he had mistaken the buzzard for a carrion crow. Further information here

Tweed Valley osprey chick satellite-tagged
1st August 2015
One of the young ospreys from the Tweed Valley Osprey Project has been fitted with a satellite transmitter so his movements can be monitored for the next few years, including his migration to and from Africa. Further information here


2015: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September,
2014: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December,
2013: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December,
2012: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December.