Skinnydippers are caught out when red kites steal their underpants and socks to build their nests while they are swimming

A Scottish gamekeeper working on an estate in Glen Esk in Angus solved the mystery of missing underwear left on the bank of a river by skinny dippers. A pair of red kites had stolen the swimmers’ underpants and socks to help make their nest .  The gamekeeper took photographs of the nest, which had been built with a selection of socks and a pair of navy underpants.

[airesizeimg src=”” alt=”CASCADE NEWS PIX – PIC shows the nests of red kite birds at Glen Esk that have been discovered to be the culprits behind the theft of clothes from people at a nearby lake. The birds are using the clothes for their nests.” class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-17835″ ]


‘Our trainee gamekeeper discovered the nest and we rang the RSPB to have them ringed and tagged,’ said Dave Clement, head keeper at the Gannochy Estate.   We trust the gamekeeper who found the nest had the appropriate licence to disturb and then photograph the nest and chicks?

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3 comments to Skinnydippers are caught out when red kites steal their underpants and socks to build their nests while they are swimming

  • Albert Ross

    Mr Ed. The article clearly states the asst Keeper ‘chanced upon the nest’. There’s no law against that! At the very least you should be giving credit that both the asst Keeper and his ‘Boss’ had the courtesy and sense to contact RSPB and ring the chicks and not their necks.
    Be grateful that some Keepers and Estates show a more enlightened attitude to the Raptors on their land.
    In true Mail fashion the rest of the article is c**p. Why not comment on that?

    Editor’s Comment. Albert in theory your assertion that the assistant keeper came upon the nest by chance may be correct. However we are aware that unlicensed rator workers are told that if they disturb any schedule 1 nest by accident, unless they walk away immediately they could be liable to being prosecution. Even taking this advice into consideration there have been too many incidents where well meaning individuals have encountered occupied raptor nests which they did not know existed, ending up either in court or facing a police caution. Natural England have stated that experienced individuals, we suppose this includes gamekeepers and birdwatchers alike, should not stumble across a nest by accident because of their knowledge. We know that most gamekeepers going about their moorland beats each day regularly come across occupied raptor nests causing these nests disturbance. There is no doubt that in the instance of the red kite those involved may have done the sensible and honourable thing and should be commended. However where nesting raptors are concerned the enforcement of the law normally depends upon who you are not what you have done.

    We have published a story on this site where a trespassing gamekeeper armed with a loaded shot-gun was observed by two witnesses below an active peregrine nest on a red grouse moor. Even though the keeper admitted when spoken to by the two witnesses, that he had committed armed trespass and that he had been too close to the nest. Because of who the keepers was and the embarrassment he had caused to his employer and the landowner, no further action was taken after the police said no further action would be taken as the landowner had provided retrospective access permission. No mention by the police about the offence of disturbing nesting peregrines. It’s a funny old world, but if the boot had been on the other foot and a bird watcher had been caught in similar circumstances so close to a peregrine nest he would not have been so fortunate.

    We do agree the article was pure sensationalism.

  • Albert Ross

    Mr.Ed. It is not MY assertion. It is stated clearly in the article you linked to.
    And Natural England’s view is unrealistic and ingenuous. It is perfectly possible for the most experienced amongst us to stumble on wildlife including nesting schedule 1 birds. Despite having over 60 years in the field it still happens to me.
    I say hats off to the Gannochy Estate and be grateful.

    Editors Comment. Albert we both know that experienced raptor workers often stumble upon or locate nests by accident. However Natural England in a letter to the North West Raptor Group clearly stated they did not expect experienced members of the North West Raptor Group to find nests by accident. The letter was sent by NE after two members stumbled upon a hen harrier nest that no one knew about. They reported their find to NE but then had their licenses removed for being truthful. The rest is history, most peregrines and it seems all hen harrier have now been eliminated throughout the Forest of Bowland, no longer enough experienced licensed raptor workers to counter what has taken place. All very sad but perhaps could have been avoided.

  • Ed I’m sorry but I thought your comment on the gamekeeper regarding a licence wad unnecessary.