This was the headline finding from the Scottish Natural Heritage [SNH] report published today, following dedicated long-term data collection primarily by volunteers with the British Trust for Ornithology [BTO] and Joint Nature Conservation Committee [JNCC] Breeding Bird Survey. Farmland bird numbers were also found to have risen substantially, whereas upland and wader species have seen considerable declines. Woodland birds with the greatest proliferations include the Great Spotted Woodpecker – up 530% – and the Chiffchaff, up an incredible 752%.
Southern Scotland could once again become a stronghold for this majestic raptor, following over £1 million of funding having now been secured by the initiative from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The project seeks to substantially boost their numbers in the Scottish Borders and Dumfries and Galloway, with just three breeding pairs believed to exist in the regions currently. If the plans come to fruition, a further sixteen breeding pairs could be released, reinforcing what is a most precarious population. Continue reading The South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project
The RSPB Scotland report highlights the plight of 779 birds of prey illegally killed in Scotland between 1994 and 2014. Of this, 468 were found to be poisoned, 173 were shot and 76 perished in illegal traps. The deaths included 104 Red Kites, 37 Golden Eagles, 30 Hen Harriers, 16 Goshawks and 10 White-tailed Eagles. These figures reflect only verified cases involving a criminal element and so the true figure of birds of prey affected during this period will be considerably higher, with a further 305 credible incidents reported involving similiar methods of trapping; or the presence of toxic bait. Continue reading Twenty Years Of Raptor Persecution Detailed In New RSPB Report
This region of western Scotland is arguably the most bio-diverse location for mammals in the United Kingdom. The main aim of the trip was simple: to photograph and film wild pine martens at close quarters; but the chances of getting the opportunity to do this are usually remote. However, I’d heard of a cottage that was featured on the BBC Wildlife series, Hebrides – Islands on the Edge, showing someone feeding wild pine martens. This was too good an opportunity to miss. So a few clicks of a mouse later and I’d found the charming bed and breakfast accommodation of Camus na Choirk. The website promised daily evening visits at the window from these elusive mustelids- sounded too good to be true.