Extensive criticism forces RSPB to reconsider their relationship with Hopetoun House estate linked to birds of prey persecution.

 The RSPB is expected to stop using  Lord Hopetoun’s stately home near Edinburgh as the venue for the annual Birdfair in the wake of fierce controversy over the estates’s links with the illegal persecution of birds of prey.
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Golden Eagle Chick rescues by Romanian conservation organisation after high winds damage nest.

The Milvus Group is a Romanian conservation organisation made up of activities which are organized within 11 Working Groups, each group deals with different facets of nature conservation as follows:

Each year, raptor specialists and scientists from Milvus Group examine many nests throughout the breeding period. The primary aims are to establish the breeding status of the birds, to ring the chicks and to determine the threats to successful breeding.

Continue reading Golden Eagle Chick rescues by Romanian conservation organisation after high winds damage nest.

Red squirrels in Scotland are facing a threat from leprosy. Has this something to do with a lack of natural predators?

An infected red squirrel
Scotland’s red squirrels, already in decline are now facing a new threat from a form of leprosy, according to scientists in Edinburgh.

Red squirrels in Scotland are being killed by a form of leprosy that makes them lose their fur and die after causing painful swelling to their noses, ears and feet. The new infection is the latest threat to the rare animals that have been in decline for years due to competition from invasive grey squirrels and the deadly “squirrelpox” virus.

Continue reading Red squirrels in Scotland are facing a threat from leprosy. Has this something to do with a lack of natural predators?

Bring back the big cats: is it time to start rewilding Britain?

Rewilding means the mass restoration of damaged ecosystems. It involves letting trees return and allowing parts of the seabed to recover. Above all, it means bringing back missing species.
lynx
The lynx may be brought back to Britain and areas of damaged landscape could be repaired. 
One of the few surviving accounts by the Britons of what the Anglo-Saxons did to them is Y Gododdin. It tells the story of what may have been the last stand in England of the Gododdin – the tribes of the Hen Ogledd, or Old North – in 598AD. A force of 300 warriors – the British version of the defenders of Thermopylae – took on a far greater army of Angles at a town named in Brittonic as Catraeth, which was probably Catterick in North Yorkshire. Like the Spartan 300, they fought for three days, during which all but four were killed.

Rare ‘golden eagle’ caught on camera by Ricky Shaw on way to work in Cheeseman’s Green Lane in Ashford

Video:  The large bird spotted taking off from a hedge in Ashford

This video clip has emerged that appears to show a golden eagle or steppe eagle taking off from a hedge along a country lane.

The bird of prey – not rare, but not native to Kent – was spotted in Cheeseman’s Green Lane, Ashford, by Ricky Shaw.

He said: “It’s not something I normally come across on my way to work.”

This massive bird was spotted in Cheeseman’s Green Lane, Ashford by Ricky Shaw

His dashboard video camera had captured the bird taking off from the hedge.

Experts at Eagle Heights, a bird of prey centre in Eynsford, have identified it as either a golden eagle or a steppe eagle.

The golden eagle is the second largest flying eagle in Britain.

It lives in the wild, open moorlands and mountains of Scotland, favouring islands and remote glens. It is best looked for soaring high over hillsides in the Scottish Highlands.

Its wing span averages six to eight feet, eating a carnivorous diet and is expected to live 30 years in the wild.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moorland wildlife will only recover once the cause of the problem and main moorland predator, the gamekeeper, is removed.

The only way the moorland environment and it’s once numerous wildlife is ever going to return to the way it should be is to remove the main cause of the problem and the main moorland predator, that is the grouse moor gamekeeper.

Remove the gamekeeper and the moors will start their own regeneration and the wildlife will eventually return! This would also start a rapid reduction in the unnaturally large numbers of red grouse on the moor to a naturally sustainable level. It would lead to a moorland habitat where the heather is allowed to grow rank if it desires to do so, without the threat of unnecessary burning destroying all manner of wildlife and nesting habitat, a habitat which is capable of providing cover for various forms of wildlife including birds of prey such as Hen Harrier, Peregrine, Merlin and Short-eared Owls.

Badger in Snare

Snared Badger left in agony for several days before it eventually died on red grouse moor

Continue reading Moorland wildlife will only recover once the cause of the problem and main moorland predator, the gamekeeper, is removed.

A tale of two gamekeepers, lots of grouse and big coveys

The call of the moors while the heather is in bloom and there was a chance of hearing a grouse, curlew, snipe or lapwing calling was irresistible. Don’t tell my wife, but I declined an invitation to join a family party in Paris this week because the moors will always be No 1 at this time of year.

Continue reading A tale of two gamekeepers, lots of grouse and big coveys

A new book called ‘H’ is for Goshawk-Review by John Miles

‘H’ is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald

Published by Jonathan Cape August 2014

Hardback Price £14.99
ISBN 9780224097000

A friend put me onto this book and at first glance you have not to be put off by the cover which is a hawk of sorts but does not reflect the writing inside. May be not a normal birders read but Helen Macdonald pours her heart out on a Goshawk which she trains to catch rabbits and pheasants. Even I was moved by this story which gives you a big insight into the understanding of how this hawk ticks. Every wood I see now I am looking for this elusive bird in our countryside. Sadly more Goshawks are killed in this country than Hen Harriers.

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This image of this immature female goshawk with her 4 chicks is not the cover of this book

Continue reading A new book called ‘H’ is for Goshawk-Review by John Miles

Golden Eagle captured by static camera in Russian forest killing Sika deer

Something about the dead deer didn’t seem right to biologist Linda Kerley. The carcass, splayed out in the snow of Russia’s Lazovskii State Nature Reserve, was picked clean save for hide and bone. But Kerley saw no signs that a large predator—such as the Amur tigers that she had come to study—had brought the animal down. Based upon the tracks still visible in the snow, it looked as if the deer had been running and suddenly keeled over.

Kerley only discovered what had really happened after she returned to her camp to check on a remote camera that had been placed in the forest. In photos taken a couple of weeks before, she watched as the deer lurched across the snow. On its back, wings splayed, bill and talons slashing, was a golden eagle.

Radioactive Lynx returns to Chernobyl, view the short video.