East Scotland sea eagle chick fledges: what fate awaits this one?

For the second consecutive year, a young white-tailed eagle has successfully fledged from a nest in east Scotland.

His sibling, who hatched in 2013, un-mysteriously ‘disappeared’ earlier this year in a notorious raptor persecution blackspot in the Cairngorms National Park (see here and here). He was the first sea eagle to fledge in east Scotland in over 200 years but he didn’t even survive to see his first birthday. His satellite transmitter went silent after he’d visited a driven grouse moor where previously a head gamekeeper had been convicted of poisoning offences (2006), a poisoned golden eagle had been found in 2011 (no prosecution), a poisoned buzzard had been found in 2011 (no prosecution), poisoned bait had been discovered in 2011 (no prosecution) and a short-eared owl had been found in 2011 that had been shot and shoved underneath a rock (no prosecution). The police raided the estate in April this year but found no trace of the eagle.

He might not have been the first sea eagle to fledge in Scotland in over 200 years if another east Scotland pair had not had their nest tree felled by someone with a chainsaw (see here – no prosecution).

The BBC is running an article on this year’s fledgling (see here) and includes a telling remark from RSPB Scotland saying they hoped the young bird would avoid areas where birds of prey have been poisoned or trapped. In other words, steer clear of driven grouse moors.

He’s got at least five years in which to run the gauntlet before he becomes mature enough to breed – we don’t rate his chances much.

Go west, kid, go west.

wtse fife 2014 ian francis

10 Responses to “East Scotland sea eagle chick fledges: what fate awaits this one?”

  1. 1 aly
    August 7, 2014 at 10:50 pm

    Go west, please

  2. 2 Chris Roberts
    August 7, 2014 at 11:31 pm

    He wont last long with all those gamekeeper killers in our countryside. They can just keep on killing, because the law wont do anything to stop them.

  3. 3 Jimmy
    August 7, 2014 at 11:54 pm

    He’ll be leaving a charmed life if he strays inland along the East coast

  4. 4 nirofo
    August 8, 2014 at 2:33 am

    You’re right, you could almost be forgiven for believing there’s some sort of collusion going on between the grouse shooting estates and the law, but then that could never happen in this country in this day and age; could it ???

  5. 5 Mr Greer Hart, senior
    August 8, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    When I click on this site, gone is any joy in my life for the rest of the day! When you look at the record for our Scottish politicians on matters relating to animal welfare, conservation of species and protecting the environment, one is shocked to see how few have really taken the minute time to endorse some petition or sign an Early Day Motion. O! They send out their letters of concern over such issues of abuse to those appealing for action, but there is no real action. On this issue of the slaughter of birds of prey, there has to be a realisation by all concerned in their welfare, that there has to be a great coming together to mount a massive action, the aim of which would be to force changes in the management of shooting estates, and other areas, where such birds have been persecuted. The action would be to call for a grand investigation into all the organisations and individuals that should be involved in protecting these creatures, by ensuring that the law is upheld. Another part of the action would be the Great Petition aiming for over a million signatures, and would involve it being circulated world wide, as have many other petitions relating to saving wildlife under threat. Demonstrations by trained stalwart groups, and efforts made to inform all of the public about the poor way Scotland’s landscape is being managed on shooting estates and certain farms. I am surprised that our Scottish character has not risen at some point, and removed the anomaly of the anachronism of shooting estates doing as they please, from Scotland. The landscape would be turned over to a more humane system of management, with the public having a greater say. A reformed SNH would be installed to ensure that effective policies were being enforced, with no vested interests breathing over its shoulder,

    What we do have is a “constipated” body of politicians who do not take such matters seriously enough, and are at the beck and call of powerful interests, who are only interested in status quo. It is not just with the conservation of our wildlife and protection of the environment in the British Isles, that we see such obfuscation and servility to people with power and influence. The Press is redolent each day of cover-ups of historical vice, whose participants were protected by the Police and Special Services at the time. The indignation generated by this impotence of the public to make any headway on many ethical issues, should have lead to outcry, that would have removed such blockages to justice in the UK. Remember, only 50% voted in the 2011 General Election in Scotland, hardly a mandate for “winning” party and feel it is representing the people of Scotland. People have become bemused and cynical about politics and ineffectiveness of our institutions to match up to what was promised. We should be using part of that latent energy to bring about change, and remove the old and useless faces gazing out at us from the benches of politics.

  6. August 8, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    Reblogged this on Mark Goodwin Photography and commented:
    I tend to reblog these posts from Raptor Persecution Scotland, mainly because I feel as many people as possible should have some idea of what is going on in Scotland as far as Birds of Prey are concerned. When will this Government ever do something for the people?…..No NOT the people who own the Grouse moors and who donate to the Government coffers. I mean the ordinary person, people like me who just love wildlife and want to enjoy the countryside, and probably more importantly, ensure that there is something for my grandchildren to enjoy.
    We must call for stiffer penalties for those convicted of crimes against nature. Especially those who are employed in the countryside and are supposed to love it, not poison Eagles and buzzards and the like. Take their licenses off them, both trading and shotgun/firearm licenses. Stop them working in the industry. And the Gamekeepers I have met in my time would never resort to the kind of tactics that these Scottish types are up to.

  7. 7 Bimbliing
    August 8, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    Aw c’mon folks, this is supposed to be a good news story.

    Great work Rhian! Congrats to you and all your team of volunteers.

  8. 8 Me
    August 8, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    It wasn’t so long ago they were ” evicting ” native Scots families from their ” homes ” to be replaced by Sheep.Sheep were worth more than a human being.If they could get away with it then ,to kept them and their seed out of the company of the rat race,do you expect them to give a monkeys about wild life being illegally killed on their Estates by what ever means possible.Why do you think they want to keep the public of “their”land ,because they don’t care about the media or public response of wildlife death,but if a human being accidentally died as a result of coming into contacted with banned poisons, that would attract to much media attention and the local Fiscals office would be forced into some action to convict ( or would they ) by Mr Mcaskill.
    Being in the pocket or condoning the actions of these people will always come before wings that are worth nothing to them to the wings that will continue to provide their wealth( oh and of course with a little help by the way of “grants” from Westminster)

  9. 9 Fiona Cameron
    August 10, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    did you see the drivel in Alastair Robertson’s Scotsman column yesterday? The gist of it is that, although not all gamekeepers are angels, the “Raptor Taleban” (sic) are the much worse threat, and Joe Public (he actually appears to be invoking Josephine Public rather than Joe) doesn’t give a damn about raptors anyway. God knows what they pay him to spout his drivel every week – whatever it is, it’s too much! He’s the guy who thinks it’s a fine sport to shoot deer through the open window of his Range Rover. Lovely chap.

    Best regards Fiona

  10. 10 Een Historicus
    August 11, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    I agree with ´Bimbliing´: It´s good news! Think positive, never lose faith and hope or else everything is meaningless.

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