Tag Archives: Scottish Wildlife

Red Kite Reintroduction Flying High At Argaty

Spent yesterday afternoon at the Argaty Red Kite hide and would highly recommend a visit to Central Scotland’s only feeding station for these impressive raptors. Situated on a working farm, it’s a great example of wildlife conservation and farming coexisting and providing a valuable source of tourism revenue to the local economy.  Between 1989 and 2009, RSPB Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage conducted an ambitious reintroduction project for this severely persecuted species, having become extinct in Scotland as a breeding bird during the late 19th Century following their once widespread population becoming decimated by sporting estates, egg collectors and taxidermy. With their help, Lerrocks Farm continues to play a vital role in their revival, through supplementary feeding and education. Continue reading Red Kite Reintroduction Flying High At Argaty


Scotland: The Big Picture

I was recently asked to join the SCOTLAND: THE BIG PICTURE team as a Contributing Writer and subsequently appeared in their introductory film above. As Scotland begins its rewilding journey, STBP exists as a multimedia hub combining ecological science with compelling narratives and the finest imagery to tell inspiring stories that amplify the case for a wilder Scotland.

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Shining A Light On The Red Squirrel

Image courtesy of SCOTLAND: THE BIG PICTURE.Image courtesy of SCOTLAND: THE BIG PICTURE.

Every now and again, you come across a book that is more than just a book.  Something that transcends its primary purpose.  A real labour of love.  The Red Squirrel: A future in the forest is such a book, and much like its subject matter, it needs your help.  A crowdfunding campaign is currently underway to secure the funds required to get the photo book into publication, with just 25 days remaining.  You can find out more about the project and how to contribute to it here.      Continue reading Shining A Light On The Red Squirrel

The South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project

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

Bumper Year For Basking Sharks In Scotland

Over 700 sightings of the world’s second largest fish were recorded by the wildlife tour operator, Basking Shark Scotland and members of the public, between April and October this year.  The majority of the encounters took place near the islands of Mull, Tiree and Coll; all being established hotspots for sightings of these mysterious creatures, along with a variety of cetaceans.  Just 172 Basking Sharks were spotted in 2013, with 250 documented last year.  According to Basking Shark Scotland, 2015 has been their most plentiful year for sightings.

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Tayside Beavers Being Shot By Farmers

Disappointed to read in the latest copy of BBC Wildlife Magazine that a thriving colony of 200 wild beavers in the Tayside region of Scotland are being killed, due to the perceived risk they pose to crops and farmland.  My immediate reaction: this situation could have been avoided.  The first sightings of their return to the region were recorded as far back as fifteen years ago – allowing plenty time for a plan to be put in place to minimise any conflicts.  Yes, farmers have a right to protect their livelihood and a compensation scheme should have been set up to reimburse farmers, gamekeepers and landowners for any damage to their produce and land.  No such scheme was implemented, as this colony is an unlicensed population, unofficially reintroduced either deliberately or accidentally from private collections.  The Beaver is after all a native species and should not be culled for simply following its natural instincts.

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Wildlife Sightings in Scotland 2014/15

Almost a year has passed since I posted the results of my Scottish wildlife sightings between 2011 and 2014, so I thought it was about time I provided you with some fresh data.  As you would expect, there have been no seismic shifts in the general fauna seen, however, the composition has certainly altered.  The sightings recorded are of wildlife that I’ve deemed to be noteworthy and does not include common garden birds or any other ubiquitous animals.  It’s by no means scientific, and merely serves to reflect the uncommon wildlife profile of my local area in the Scottish Borders.  Here’s the top 10….

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