In the last few years Griffon vultures have been turning up in northern Europe in increasing numbers and frequency, and almost every year there are reports from atypical places. This weekend a group of 34 griffon cultures, including a colour-ringed individual from Spain (see photo), was seen in the northern area of Jutland, Denmark (Års, Nordjylland). With the closest known breeding site more than 1500 kilometers away, the species remains a rare vagrant in the country.
Continue reading Griffons Vultures in northern Denmark – including a Spanish one!
Mark Avery’s guest blog today is “Bowland and its lack of raptors” by Terry Pickford. Terry tells it how it is in Bowland today:
Banning driven grouse shooting in England is in my opinion the best platform from which to engage with the wider public, who so far know very little or nothing about the Hen Harrier or their continued persecution on grouse moors by gamekeepers. This position must change soon if we are to win this war, because unless you haven’t noticed we are losing the battle. The Hen Harrier and Peregrine are two raptors which are conspicuous on grouse moors in northern England by their almost total absence from these managed areas, a situation I regard as an unacceptable outrage and embarrassment to our country.
Read the full article on Mark’s blog.
North Yorkshire Police have described the persecution of red kites as “totally unacceptable”, after the 10th Red Kite in North Yorkshire was found shot. On Monday, a member of the public found a dead adult red kite at Timble Ings, between Harrogate and Skipton. It was taken to a vet to be examined and x-rayed. A number of shotgun pellets were found in it, and this appears to have been the cause of its death.
Continue reading The tenth Red Kite found shot in North Yorkshire Nr Harrogate
Image by Jon Brain. When planning consent was granted for Edinbane and Ben Aketil wind farms environmental impact assessments recognised that a collision risk did exist for Golden Eagles. However, no such risk existed for White-tailed Eagles, apparently based on the lack of observations, and despite predictions that the population was expanding.
Continue reading Turbine Strike on White-tailed Eagle
The Proposed cull of up 300 Golden Eagles in Norway, supported by the Norwegian Parliament
Please sign this petition to prevent this happening below.
Read more about this here: http://www.birdlife.no/internasjonalt/nyheter/?id=1713 (Killing of Golden Eagles adopted by the Norwegian parliament)
And sign a petition to support the Golden Eagles here: https://www.causes.com/campaigns/101784-ikke-drep-kongeorna-don-t-kill-golden-eagles-in-norway
You can see all comments on this post here:
In February this year, a man armed with a shotgun, was captured on video by birdwatchers in the Derbyshire Peak District on moorland owned by the National Trust lying full length amongst the heather 30 metres from what appeared to be a decoy hen harrier attached to a short stick. Decoy birds such as a stuffed eagle owl have been used used by gamekeepers and conservationists to trap a variety of birds of prey to either kill them, or for scientific purposes such as ringing. Because the individual observed on National Trust Property in February was armed with a shotgun and not a ringing license, we believe it would be safe to assume this individual was intending to shoot any passing hen harrier he saw.
We are please that after the information regarding this incident and video capture was brought to the attention of the National Trust, followed up by pressure from the RSPB, the Trust management have said it had taken the decision to exercise a break clause in the shooting lease to end the relationship four years early in 2018. We have attached below the Press Statement issued by the National Trust.
Continue reading National Trust give notice to rescind grouse shooting lease after gamekeeper deployed decoy Hen Harrier in Peak District.
Contained in the rewilding article listed in the link below, read what our Prime Minister said about protecting birds and the biodiversity of our countryside if there is a vote to remain in the EU: Can anyone believe what any politician tells us?
“EU membership” the Prime Minister said, “underpins many crucial environmental protections in the UK. Of course a vote to Remain doesn’t mean the job is done. I will use our seat at the table to ensure the natural environment, biodiversity and a living, working countryside are at the heart of agricultural policy through continued reform of the CAP.”
The Prime Minister went on to say that, in the event of a win for Remain, the UK would seek to ensure that “the birds and habitats directives are maintained and better implemented, both in the UK and across Europe, to ensure the diversity of our countryside and wildlife.”
What about the Hen Harrier and Peregrines on Red Grouse moors Mr Cameron, you conveniently appear to have overlooked what has been taking place on English Grouse moors right under your nose and despite what is written in the “the birds and habitats directives ” .
One of a number of dead Black-backed gulls found and dumped in piles on a Forest of Bowland shooting estate last Saturday 4 June 2016
Now that the two apex avian predators, Hen Harriers and Peregrines, have vanished from the Forest of Bowland presumed destroyed to protect red grouse stocks, estates are attempting to destroy more unwanted biodiversity within this important moorland ecosystem to ensure there are even more grouse to shoot come the glorious 12 August.
Continue reading Got rid of all the Bowland raptors no more to kill, now let’s kill something else.
Having read Mark Avery’s review of Martin Harper’s (RSPB) mid-season Hen Harrier update for England, the RSPB speaking softly and left the stick at home, you may may begin to understand why there are few Hen Harriers left to protect on England’s uplands; they continue to be persecuted with impunity. As always Mark’s words are carefully chosen and intelligently written. He begins by highlighting the fact that the “RSPB continues to talk up the hopeless Defra Hen Harrier Action Plan even though most of us realise the plan has not a hope in hell of returning Hen Harriers onto English grouse moors. The longstanding evidence shows these birds will never be welcomed by the estate owners or their gamekeepers. Dr Derek Ratcliffe was saying these words over thirty years ago, so what has changed nothing and it never will unless the stick referred to by Mark Avery is used by the RSPB and the government. We strongly recommend everyone to read what Mark published yesterday by following the link above, and in particular read all the very illuminating comments to gauge the feeling of discontent with Martin Harper’s lack of transparency and his unwillingness to provide information now.
A male Hen Harrier photographed in the Forest of Bowland before it disappeared in 2015 along with 3 additional male birds.
Continue reading Hen Harrier update: no excuses for lack of Harriers as shown by Langholm