Police investigate death of six buzzards in Aberdeenshire

BBC-Breaking-News1Breaking news….

Police are investigating the death of six buzzards found in a field near Fordoun, Aberdeenshire, yesterday afternoon.

No other details available.

We’ll have to await the cause of death but this does look v suspicious.

News article here

UPDATE: 9 October 2014: It turns out the police can’t tell the difference between raptors & chickens. Seriously, we’re not making this up – see here.


27 Responses to “Police investigate death of six buzzards in Aberdeenshire”

  1. 1 nirofo
    October 2, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    Here we go again, is there no end to this malicious Raptor persecution, it’s high time the law got really serious about bringing these wildlife murdering criminals to justice !!!

    • 2 Marco McGinty
      October 2, 2014 at 10:23 pm

      Come on nirofo, you’re jumping to conclusions here. This could easily have been a suicide pact.

      • 3 nirofo
        October 3, 2014 at 12:42 am

        You’re probably right Marco, what with the influx of extra Pheasants and the overpopulation of Red Grouse crowding in on the estates these days, it’s easy to see how any self respecting Raptor would feel despondent enough to do itself in !!!

  2. October 2, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    Let’s hope that they are not sent off to the airport for x-ray as has been common practice for raptors found dead in this area for many years. If shooting is suspected then they should be professionally examined for evidence of gun shot by a qualified vet.

  3. October 2, 2014 at 11:12 pm

    Particularly easy to poison multiple buzzards with one bait at this time of year, you often see groups together..of course this doesnt have to be a poisoning, maybe they all died of shock on hearing of the successful conviction of the Stody gamekeeper?

  4. 6 Dougie
    October 3, 2014 at 9:24 am

    Be interesting to see whether the police action turns out to be a re-run of the Conon Bridge fiasco.

  5. 7 Shaun Woodcock
    October 3, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    Just had 17 Buzzard & 8 Red Kite on a 6 mile drive from Avebury to Calne, Witshire, where the resident Peregrine was sunning himself on the town church…fortunately non looked suicidal, long may it stay that way!

  6. 8 Chris Roberts
    October 3, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    Unlike Shaun in Wiltshire, you are unlikely to see those many raptors on a 60 mile drive in North Scotland. Scotland should hang its head in shame with regard to raptor persecution.

    • 9 Robert McSporran
      October 6, 2014 at 9:12 am


      You obviously haven’t been out much have you? Last time I looked up during the summer IN Aberdeen (Dantestone) there were 5 flying overhead. Much more round the countryside than I’ve seen in town.

  7. 10 Shaun Woodcock
    October 3, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    I was just trying to keep your heads’ up until we beat the ‘bastards’

  8. 11 Circus maxima
    October 3, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    Time to start lobbying wee Nicola…cut from different cloth than wee eck,

  9. 12 George Murdoch
    October 4, 2014 at 9:18 am

    I had a look at the area where the dead birds were found. I know the area well and might be able to understand the situation a little better if the police were to give us the cause of death. They were in a place where they were guaranteed to be found and .. if they were poisoned the location is only a short walk from a caravan park where quite a few folk walk their dogs. If they were killed in another location then the spot lies adjacent to an unclassified road which leads from pheasant shoots on Forrestry Commission ground to the village of Fourdon. I’ve been visiting areas that I know to check the amount of birds still in the air. If anyone knows the cause of death please post his information. TY.

    • 13 Robert McSporran
      October 6, 2014 at 9:16 am


      If you are correct, then I think we can assume it didn’t have anything to do with the shooting folk, because to leave them in open view would be too stupid for words. I’m not 100% sure where they were, but my money would be on those daft wind turbines. I’ve seen seagulls fly into them at night, so have no reason to suspect other ebirds are any more ‘turbine proof’.

      There is of course one other option nobody considers: What would be one way for someone who is an animals rights extremist to cancel a shoot? Try and pin a few raptor deaths on them, some of the truly ‘extreme’ extremists would see this as a few dead for the greater good as it were.

  10. 14 bend and drive
    October 4, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    Hopefully there will be a proper investigation this time and the errors of Connon Bridge won’t be replicated.

    My worry is the birds appear to have been found on Wednesday and a press release is issued on Thursday.
    As much as we need transparency a press release is not an alternative to a proper investigation

    How wise is it to issue a press release and potentially alert the person responsible prior to any future search as happened at Connon Bridge.

    If this is a poisoning then I am sure that any evidence is being got rid of as we speak.

    Can someone remind me of the definition of madness.

  11. 15 George Murdoch
    October 5, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    I couldn’t help but notice that the birds were found on October 1st … the opening of the pheasant shooting season. Was it some sort of message someone was sending, leaving the birds where they had to be found .. or just a strange coincidence? If they had been poisoned wouldn’t the police have had to have made it public at the time, given the location was only a short distance from a caravan park where members of the public walk their dogs? I am also informed tat no police enquiries have been made to the people in the houses which can see the location from their home

  12. 16 damian woodgate
    October 6, 2014 at 2:37 am

    Absolutely disgraceful, had a chat with xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx [Ed: name and organisation removed to protect the individual concerned] at the Birdfair earlier this year and he was adamant they will stop it but he admitted that under this government its more or less impossible to get the laws/powers needed, boils my blood, i myself have had to report a Kingfisher nest site i was watching, dug out with spades and terriers. Apologies for the language but what sick bastard would want to kill a kingfisher, any animal, some seriously fooked up people out there.


    Sent from my Windows Phone ________________________________

  13. 17 George Murdoch
    October 6, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Well Robert, like most other areas there is friction between those who shoot an those who don’t, which can often descend into the personal. Extremists exist on either side but I have seen no evidence of any Animal Rights activity anywhere in this area, nor have I heard of any. I do not know, nor have I spoken to anyone who would make the trade off between killing a few birds for possibly, but most likely improbably, for “the greater good.” The people I know would find something like that totally reprehensible, and rightly so. It is not beyond my comprehension however to believe that shooting extremists exist here, given my close ties to those who are or were involved in the sport and having been privy to a few conversations some years back. Just a couple of years ago I was while walking my dog in an area where I had walked it for years I was told that a clay pigeon shot was starting up and the gentleman running it told me to watch where I was walking as he now had the right to shoot rabbits and he wouldn’t want to injure me by mistake. Now whether this was a veiled threat or something less sinister such as trying to pass his responsibility on to me I have no idea. However, I tend to avoid the area now most of the time as I didn’t want to make a fuss over it. I might add that I have found no evidence of persecution of any creature there when I have walked down in that area. It might be possible to understand this a bit better when the police make public the cause of the birds death. One would wonder why anyone would shift 6 carcasses of buzzards if they were killed by wind turbines and .. indeed .. maybe you could point me in the direction of any study which has shown more than one buzzard killed at any wind farm in Scotland to illustrate that what you suggest might be possible, if improbable.
    The police were in the area yesterday making enquiries.

    • 18 Robert McSporran
      October 6, 2014 at 7:56 pm

      Hi George,

      I merely mentioned wind turbines as there is evidence of bird collisions (a local college used to shut their turbine down during darkness because of this) and the well known sites in Spain and California and i can see turbines in tgat direction driving up the A90. Like you I shall await the police report into the incident but still think any estate owner/worker would need to be insane to do that. Where exactly were they found?

  14. 19 George Murdoch
    October 6, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    Yes, I’ve seen those reports .. but Spain and California are a far cry from here, and the circumstances very different .. not least the fact that someone would have to have transported them a few miles from the nearest turbine .. and for 6 to be killed in one location at one time on top of that seems very far fetched. Or even for them to have been collected over a period of time without anyone else finding them is an assumption too far for me. I wasn’t thinking estate owner or worker .. but insanity is relative to many things. I know lots of folk who acted on what appeared to be good ideas, sometimes drunk and sometimes not, who came to regret their impulsiveness at their leisure. They were in a field found just over a mile to the NW of the village of Fourdon on an unclassified road between that there and Auchenblae. I, too, look forward to hearing the cause of death and exactly where the examinations were done.

    • 20 Robert McSporran
      October 7, 2014 at 11:12 am

      Hi George,

      I just had a look at the OS map (via Bing) and I’m guessing that must be somewheer around the crossroads with the B966? Not where I thought the report originally meant (next to Auchenblae where there is a giant turbine). I obviously have no idea how far into said field they were, but it could even be they were tossed from a vehicle.



      • 21 George M
        October 9, 2014 at 7:25 am

        No, Robert, they could not be tossed from a vehicle from the road, given where they were found. A vehicle strange to the area would be in danger of immediately being identified and challenged as the location is overlooked by some local residents. Which tends to imply that any vehicle in that particular area would be one which would not arouse suspicion, in that location. Sometimes when I see a bird that quacks it is simply a duck.


  15. 23 Finlay McCulloch
    October 10, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    I hope all you people on here that have jumped the gun on this one will be issuing apologies.

    • October 10, 2014 at 3:41 pm

      You can hardly blame them, Finlay, when they’ve been told by the supposedly reliable police that six dead buzzards have been in suspicious circumstances.

      If the police had found six dead buzzards, the probability that their deaths were caused by someone within the game shooting industry would be pretty high. Not a certainty, granted, but a very high probability.

      • 25 Finlay McCulloch
        October 10, 2014 at 4:10 pm

        I agree with you but not all Gamekeepers are bad and this minority needs stamping out but I would bet the local Keeper’s were getting some unneeded grief.

    • 27 George M
      October 11, 2014 at 9:40 am

      Well, Finlay, I would have attached more gravitas to your request for apologies had you cautioned earlier about the dangers of speculation. However, it appeared that by not taking that route that you, too, had your suspicions as to who was responsible and have simply taken the opportunity of political point scoring when it turns out the police were factually mistaken in their press release. I, personally, at no time accused anyone of any crime, preferring to simply speculate on what I thought were the circumstances surrounding the available facts in the hope that it might jog the memories of others and lead to the apprehension of those responsible for what turns out to be a “non crime.”

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