Here we are in 2014! May it be a good year for you.
Looking back over last year, this little blog was viewed 6,000 times by people not just from Fearnan but also from all over the world. About a third of our regular readers come from overseas, mainly Canada, the US, Europe and, interestingly, Iceland. The gallery of photographs of Fearnan proved particularly popular last year, and continues to be viewed on a regular basis.
In 2012, one of the most popular postings on the blog was the article on Fearnan the Eagle. You may remember that we reported how Keith and Hazel Brockie helped to ring and satellite-tag a golden eagle chick, and they named him ‘Fearnan’.
We are sad to report that the golden eagle found dead in the hills above Glen Lethnot in Angus in December was, in fact, Fearnan. It was reported in the media at the time that RSPB Scotland was alerted to the eagle’s death when its satellite tracking signal remained static for several days, and tests on the bird revealed it had been poisoned.
The RSPB said that, in the past five-and-a-half years, another four eagles, a red kite and seven buzzards have been shot, poisoned or trapped on sporting estates in the Angus glens. However, as Keith has pointed out, it is only the birds that have been tagged that can be readily found and identified, so the numbers quoted could be just the tip of the iceberg.
There is a lot more information about Fearnan the eagle and his untimely death on Keith Brockie’s Facebook page, where he also reports that the Scottish Parliament is taking note of the killing, and the following parliamentary motion has been lodged by James Dornan MSP for Glasgow Cathcart:
“That the Parliament notes the poisoning of the golden eagle named Fearnan and believes that the killing of birds of prey has no place in modern Scotland; believes that the golden eagle population is of national interest, as demonstrated by a recent poll in which the species was voted the country’s favourite animal; supports efforts by Police Scotland to bring wildlife criminals to justice, and commends the Scottish Government’s commitment to end raptor persecution.”
Keith had seen Fearnan as recently as June 2013, when he was on the Dunmaglass Estate near Inverness, and Fearnan flew past only 50 meters away.
There is a copy of an interview that Keith did with the Daily Record, “Perthshire artist hits out at eagle’s poisoning” here.