Scottish Raptor Study Group

Monitoring and conserving Scotland's birds of prey

News June - September 2014

Buzzard poisoned in Fife
25th June 2014
Police in Fife are investigating the discovery of a poisoned buzzard that was found in woods to the north of Ballingry in April. Toxicology results have shown it was poisoned by a banned pesticide. News report here.Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse said he was "hugely angered" (see here). The SRSG is exasperated that these criminal acts continue with little sign that they will stop any time soon.

Two hen harrier chicks rescued after mother shot dead in the Muirkirk area of East Ayrshire
21st June 2014
Two hen harrier chicks have been taken in to care by the SSPCA after their mother was found shot dead close to the nest in the Muirkirk area of East Ayrshire. The dead female was found by a Raptor Study Group member in a routine monitoring visit. Efforts are being made to find a suitable foster nest for the two chicks. The police have launched an investigation into the killing. There has long been concern about hen harrier persecution in Muirkirk, an area designated with special protection status due to its importance for breeding hen harriers. The Scottish Raptor Study Group remains deeply concerned about the failure of successive governments to protect these and other upland raptor species across large swathes of the country.

Coordinated 'hunt' and subsequent shooting of a hen harrier in Cairngorms National Park
20th June 2014
A male hen harrier was shot on moorland in the Cairngorms National Park last year, after a three-hour coordinated 'hunt' by men with shotguns, according to the RSPB. Two witnesses reported the incident to the police and an investigation was launched. Unfortunately, the investigation failed to find sufficient evidence to bring a prosecution. Full story here.

Gamekeeper accused of shooting, bludgeoning and stamping on a buzzard in Dumfries
16th June 2014
A 24-year old gamekeeper from Dumfries is facing trial after accusations that he shot a buzzard, hit it with a rock and then stamped on it. The alleged offences are thought to have taken place in Sunnybrae, Dumfries in April. William Dick of Whitehill Cottages, Kirkmahoe, Dumfries has denied the charges. Full story here.

Long-eared owl chick rescued in Perthshire
12th June 2014
A long-eared owl chick found with an injured wing has been rescued in Perthshire. The five-week old owlet is now recovering at the SSPCA's National Wildlife Rescue Centre and it is hoped he can be released back to the wild after a period of veterinary rehabilitation. Full story here.

Tweed Valley osprey chicks 'succumb to cold'
9th June 2014
The Tweed Valley Osprey Project has suffered a setback after all three chicks in a monitored nest site died. It is thought they succumbed to the cold after the adult female disappeared for three days. Full story here.

Police confirm Ross-shire poisoning was result of "illegally-held poisonous substance"
5th June 2014
The following statement has been issued by Police Scotland:

Police Scotland Highland and Islands Division are seeking to reassure the public that enquiries are still ongoing into a wildlife crime investigation regarding the death of birds of prey in the Ross-shire area.
The 22 birds (sixteen red kites and six buzzards) were located in the Conon Bridge area and following analysis of the birds’ remains, fifteen have been confirmed as having digested an illegally-held poisonous substance (twelve red kites and three buzzards). Post mortem examinations and toxicology work continues into all the birds seized.
Police Scotland is continuing to work in close collaboration with partner agencies. Landowners and farmers in the local area are also continuing to assist police with their ongoing enquiries.
Police are keen to speak to anyone who has any information about the incident and would encourage them to contact Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.


2014: January, February, March, April, May,
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.