15 December 2012

Musing about Giraffes

I had a lovely morning at the Kragga Kama Game Park near Port Elizabeth in South Africa and spent some time with a group of Giraffes. They must be one of the strangest animals on the planet. This one had a fly that was irritating it around the eyes and what is an animal supposed to do when the face is some 16 feet away from your feet? It takes a lot of effort to reach the face with the feet and it probably cannot be done. The giraffe’s tail can be useful for a job like this (that is a reason why it is there) but unfortunately it is not 12 feet long and also cannot reach the face. In any case if you move your head to within reach of the tail the fly will probably take off and you won’t have the satisfaction of killing it. Well if your tongue is up to 18 inches long you whack the fly with that! (I know very little about giraffes, Google did not help and this is a pure guesswork!)

5 November 2012

Wine Cultivation in Single Bushes

Wine cultivation doesn't have to be in row upon row of terraces that cover a hillside. On the volcanic island of Fogo in the Cape Verde Islands vines are grown individually as bushes in the lava soil mixed with animal dung. They produce a very good white and red too!
No chemicals or sprays here, just purely natural wine.

10 September 2012

A Cultural Practice and Blue Flag Beaches

Cultural practices in Africa are often not understood and we often do not know what is going on. Sometimes though it all comes together and works. I often photograph things that don’t make me smile but these flying plastic water containers on a Blue Flag beach amused me. There is a tradition in Africa that sea water is drunk and it functions as a purgative. You often see people on the beach collecting sea water in plastic containers. It is particularly prevalent amongst those living inland and when they come to the sea collecting some sea water in a container, with a bit of sand thrown in, is important to them. They then transport it back to their homes in the hinterland and it is consumed when it is needed. South Africa is proud of its Blue Flag beaches and it is great swimming there because you know the water is clean and free from industrial and sewerage discharges that may affect the quality of water and that you won’t get sick if you accidentally swallow a mouthful of sea water. Blue Flag beaches are also great for those who use sea water for medicinal purposes as at least there is some guarantee that the water is free of pollutants. Blue Flag beaches also have lifesavers on duty and this is important for those who collect sea water as medicine as many of them cannot swim. A while ago I had to rinse out my sinuses with salt water and without thinking I obtained a pressurised container of seawater from a pharmacy. It was guaranteed to be pure seawater from the North Atlantic. Thinking about it I would rather have had a guarantee that it came from a Blue Flag beach as part of the criteria for Blue Flag status is of course regular water purity checks. Why did I buy sea water - it is stupid as I live 50 meters from the sea. I am not sure why but surely the Indian Ocean is cleaner than the North Atlantic Ocean? In any case it is ridiculous that North Atlantic seawater is available for sale in Africa. The one thing a Blue Flag Beach cannot guarantee of course is that there won’t be any wind on the day that you collect sea water – that is why these gentlemen are chasing empty containers along the Blue Flag Beach at Hobie Beach in Port Elizabeth South Africa.

29 August 2012

The Problem with Rock and Surf Anglers

I have been walking along beaches most of my life and enjoy what I find and see. Last week I had to think for a while before I could work out what the dead thing was.

Fishing with bait on a line has several disadvantages. In the first place you don’t really know what you are going to catch. If you are an ethical angler and you catch something you do not want you simply unhook the fish or shark and release it back in the sea. If the creature was not too injured or stressed it should survive.

If you are an idiot angler and are scared of what you catch or just lazy you simply cut the line and leave the creature to its own devices and you do not care whether it lives or dies. It is difficult to work out what happened to this large stingray. The hook and bait were still down its throat but the wings were removed. I guess the lazy angler hacked off the wings and threw the body back into the sea. I hope the skate was dead as this is sounding more and more like shark finning where the fins are hacked off the shark and the shark is thrown overboard to drown slowly.

There are many aspects of this that irritate me but I always come back to the hazards of fishing line and fish hooks. If you look to the sides of the cadaver you will see many footprints of the seagulls that were scavenging off the skate. There is a good chance that one will reach the baited hook and impale itself trying to get at the bait. If it does not do that it can entangle itself in the fishing line – this also normally has fatal consequences.

Another possibility is that you come along the beach walking on your bare feet enjoying the texture of the sand when you suddenly encounter the sharpness of the hook in your foot. The consequences are painful and sometimes it is really difficult to remove the hook. Sometimes you have to draw the hook backwards to get it out. Trying to cut off the shank of a hook stuck in your foot with a pair of pliers (if you are luckily enough to have pliers with you) is very painful. Another exciting way for this to improve your day is that your dog will find the baited hook and swallow it. It is never easy to remove a hook from a dog’s mouth and if it goes any further into the dog’s digestive system you will have massive veterinarian bills to pay.

Perhaps the most disruptive way of finding a hook like this is if I child walks on it. Apart from the trauma, pain and possible infection you have to get the crying child to a general practitioner. There are many wonderful ways to ruin an outing to the beach and finding a discarded fish hook really irritates me. But the person who caught the skate has also allowed another painful end to a day at the beach come into play – by discarding the ray in this way you have to bonus of being able to step onto the venomous spines. While I have not experienced this myself I have seen what pain it causes. Interestingly the best way to alleviate the pain is by placing the wound in hot water as this breaks down the toxins.

Funny how fishing and its equipment remains primitive and that the behaviour of the fishermen with the disposal of fish hooks, fishing line and their catch has remained despicable.

23 August 2012

Climate change affecting survival rate of Columbian ground squirrels

Columbian ground squirrels are now surfacing from their winter hibernation in the foothills of Canada’s Rocky Mountains 10 days later than they did 20 years ago. These findings by a group of international researchers were published in the online edition of the journal Nature earlier this month. The delay is considered significant and is having an impact on how many female squirrels and their babies survive to the next spring. In newspaper interviews this month, Jeffrey Lane, lead author of the new study, puts the squirrels’ delayed surfacing down to the increased frequency of late-spring snowstorms. Lane says that after studying a colony of Columbian ground squirrels for 20 years in Kananaskis Country’s Sheep River Park, the survival rate for female squirrels has dropped by one percent every year. Twenty years ago, 87 percent of the rodents survived the winter. Last spring, 67 percent survived. According to the study, Columbian ground squirrels spend as much as three-quarters of the year sleeping in their burrows. Their three to four months of activity is highly regimented. Waking up 10 days later means that much less time to fatten up before hibernating again. And if food is less than ideal because dumps of late-spring snowfall have affected the vegetation, survival is harder.

6 August 2012

Burn Pollution?

Our village burn in Belford, Northumberland has turned a turquoise colour this afternoon. Some residents described it as the colour of Vosene shampoo. Our picture shows Eric Gassner our local trout fisherman testing the PH value of the water and you can clearly see the uncoloured natural water coming into the burn from the right.

2 August 2012

The Ghost Forest

The Ghost Forest consists of 10 giant hardwood rainforest tree stumps from the Suhuma forest reserve in Ghana and is an environmental art installation by artist Angela Palmer highlighting deforestation & the depletion of natural resources. Artist Angela Palmer says that the trees are intended to represent rainforest trees worldwide:"Today, a tropical forest the size of a rugby pitch is destroyed every four seconds, impacting on climate, biodiversity and the livelihoods of indigenous people" and that the absence of the trees' trunks in the installation is "a metaphor for the removal of the world's 'lungs' through deforestation". Most of the trees in the Ghost Forest fell naturally in adverse weather conditions, those that didn't were part of a sustainable controlled logging programme.

After leaving Ghana, the Ghost Forest was installed in Trafalgar Square, London, then outside the Parliament Building in Copenhagen during the Cop15 UN Climate Change Conference and, most recently in Oxford. Now it has come to the National Botanic Garden of Wales at Llanarthne, Carmarthenshire, for its final, permanent resting place.

The installation has been jointly secured by the National Botanic Garden of Wales in partnership with the Wales-based rainforest charity, Size of Wales. The phrase  'an area the size of Wales’ is frequently used to measure the rate of forest destruction. Size of Wales is a unique Welsh initiative aiming to turn the negative use of Wales' size around by aiming to protect an area of rainforest the size of the Welsh nation - that is 2 million hectares of rainforest. Director of Size of Wales, Hannah Scrase, said: “Wales is stepping up to the challenge of stopping tropical forest destruction and having Ghost Forest here in Wales to remind us will really strengthen our resolve and will help us all to get closer to the issue of tropical deforestation."
Garden director Dr Rosie Plummer said: “No one can fail to be awed by the sight of these huge botanic leviathans and we are planning to inspire all our visitors, young and old, to create poetry, art, photography, music and theatre out of their experiences.”

On Sunday, the 29th of July, the Ghost Forest arrived at the National Botanic Garden in a major logistical operation, involving 6 huge low-loader lorries, a massive crane, a team of engineers, garden staff, charity representatives, volunteers and much tea, coffee, sandwiches and Welsh cakes.

Here are a few pictures of the day:

The 20-ton trunk of a Denya (Cylicodiscus gabunensis, naturally fallen) arrives on low-loader
Preparing the Denya and then hoisting it into position

Left to right: Rosie Plummer (Director of National Botanic Garden of Wales), Lowri Jenkins ('Size of Wales' charity), Angela Palmer (artist) posing with cut-out Wales shape

Hoisting another buttress-rooted trunk into position - it look so surreal against the backdrop of native British woodland

Beautiful shapes reminiscent of so many things

And even before the installation is officialy open, a Garden volunteer explores the inside of an 8.8 ton Dahoma (Piptadeniastrum africanum)
...and the view from the inside

Yes, no doubt, the Ghost Forest is going to be very popular

Go and visit !!

And if you want to know even more about this project, here are some links:


5 July 2012

New Oil Boom Changing Canadian Landscape

Just when most of us thought the last drops of fossil fuel were being squeezed from Planet Earth, we learn that a new oil boom has just begun. In fact, George Monbiot, writing in The Guardian this week says there’s still enough oil around to fry us all! And much of that lies below ground in North America, mainly in the United States. That large deposits of oil and gas lie below North Dakota in the Bakken Formation has been known since the early 1950s. Estimates of recoverable oil there now range from 4 – 24 billion barrels. However, up to quite recently, it has been difficult and uneconomical to extract. What’s new is “fracking” or hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. Fracking involves injecting vast quantities of water, sand and toxic chemicals down a well under great pressure. This fractures the shale rock and the grains of sand hold the cracks open so that the oil or gas can be extracted. Horizontal drilling means that much fewer wells need to be drilled and there is little chance of drilling a dry well. The drilling rig pictured above is in the hamlet of Del Bonita on the Alberta/Montana border close to the Rocky Mountains. The Bakken Formation, while centred below North Dakota and Montana, extends into the southern part of the Canadian provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Although Alberta is notorious for the oil it produces from tar sands in the northern part of the province, southern Alberta has been a haven for conservationist ranchers and wildlife in and around Waterton-Glacier National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Last year drilling for oil and gas started in earnest in southern Alberta and the prairie landscapes is now dotted with drilling rigs and pump-jacks. Canada’s image as a land of great natural beauty and champion of the environment is changing. Economic considerations are now trumping environmental concerns in some parts of the country.

27 June 2012

Sneaky sleepers snatch snoozing seals

Researchers were confused when they found the remains of seals in the stomachs of  sleeper sharks, aka the  Greenland shark . This shark is incredibly slow moving, in fact it leads a very slow life, so there is no way that it could catch a swimming seal. The researchers think that the only way the sharks could catch the seals is if they were sleeping in the water. Many Arctic seals sleep in the water rather than on the ice where they can be caught by polar bears. Now the researchers are working out how they can get evidence to prove their theory is correct. 

Greenland sharks have an interesting biology. Not only do they live in icy water and move very slowly, but their flesh is poisonous! No animal eats the body of a Greenland shark, even when it is dead, but many Arctic people eat the meat. The meat has to be boiled several times before it is safe to eat. The poison makes people feel very drunk.

Another interesting fact. Most Greenland sharks have a parasite living on their eye. The parasite is a small animal called a copepod and it latches onto the outside of the eye and starts feeding on it. In time the parasite causes the shark to be partly blind.

image  Ecoscene / Andy Murch VWPics

26 June 2012

The accidental killing of Sharks

I suppose the battlefront between humans and the sea is actually concentrated in the harbours scattered around the globe and if the fish and marine life wanted revenge they would bomb the harbours – it would stop almost all of the human predation on marine life.

I am not sure what the situation is in your part of the world but here in South Africa photographers are not allowed in harbours unless the apply for a permit for a specific day and time. It is supposedly a conforming to international regulations to prevent terrorism in harbours. An unfortunate side-effect is that you have no conservation conscious photographers around who might see and photograph anything interesting happening in the harbours like these two giant Mako Sharks that I spotted in the back of a bakkie (utility vehicle in the rest of the world).

Their story is both interesting, ridiculous and unfortunate. They are apparently legally caught as accidental by-catch by trawlers which is quite ridiculous as the trawlers are targeting sardines and other small fish. How can catching a 7 foot long shark be an accident? Anyway that is how it is. The sharks die accidentally and get cut up and sold in local fish and chip shops and also get made into pickled fish and fish balls. You might notice that the jaws are cut out of the carcass. These are cleaned and either made into a lamp fitting (gory and ugly) or the teeth are used separately as decorative items (what exactly I am not sure).

I seldom go into the harbour nowadays as the schlep for getting a permit is about as fun as going to the dentist and have no idea what is going on. Hope the fisheries inspectors are doing their job.

19 June 2012

The Earth Summit - 20 years on and has anything changed?

The Earth Summit takes place in Rio on 20-22 June 2012, 20 years since that first ground-breaking summit in Rio. The 1992 summit grabbed the world's attention. It was attended by 108 world leaders and other senior officials, plus thousands of representatives of NGOs and the world's press.  There was some tough talking and out of the conference came agreements and directives that have influenced the world ever since:
  • the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development,
  • Statement of Forest Principles
  • The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, from which sprung the Kyoto Protocol
  • The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity
  • Agenda 21 
But have they made any difference?

In 1992 there was widespread water pollution, both fresh and salt water,  raw sewage was regularly dumped  into our rivers and seas, fisheries were being overfished and tropical rainforest deforestation was happening at an ever increasing pace. CFCs and ozone depletion was being tackled and scientists were getting worried about climate change.Things were looking a bit brighter for biodiversity. Governments had signed up to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity which declared that biological resources were to be shared and managed sustainably (this was at a time when people were concerned that large companies would grab the genetic resources of less developed countries).  In 1990, CITES had put a ban on ivory in place and elephant numbers were beginning to creep up.

Agenda 21 probably had the greatest impact on our daily lives. Many governments endorsed this whole-heartedly, and local governments and NGOs appointed their Agenda 21 officers. Agenda 21 was about sustainable development, beating poverty, helping developing countries, protecting natural resources through the reduction in deforestation and pollution control, and, importantly,  thinking local.

Here are some of our images from the early 1990s.

 Trees killed by acid rain from the burning of lignite were a common sight, like these in the former East  Germany (Ecoscene / Sally Morgan)

In Brazil, deforestation of the tropical rainforest was happening at a great pace, especially the Atlantic Forest behind Rio itself (Joel Creed / Ecoscene)
Deforestation was happening in Malaysia and Indonesia too, here in Malaysia the forest was cleared for new rubber plantations (Erik Schaffer / Ecoscene).

Water pollution was another problem in developing countries. The white foam on this river in East Germany was a result of detergent, now less of a problem as most detergents are biodegradable. (Chinch Gryniewicz / Ecoscene)

Another of the topics discussed in 1992 was the improvement of air quality in cities through the use of unleaded petrol  and use of catalytic converters on engines (Chinch Gryniewicz / Ecoscene)

And who could forget the iconic shroud of smog lying over LA, created by millions of cars pumping out fumes combined with the local atmospheric conditions. (Andrew Brown / Ecoscene)

So, 20 years on. The leaders of more than 130 countries are expected to turn up, along with their teams of advisors, and thousands of NGO representatives. What has been achieved in the last 20 years?

Deforestation continued to get worse during the 1990s reaching a rate of loss of about 16 million hectares a year. Since 2000 the rate has slowed down, with the loss of 13 million hectares of forest being lost a year.  There is a lot of forest planting going on, especially in China and Vietnam but when losses and gains are taken into account, there is still an annual decrease in forest area the size of Costa Rica. Its not good news for biodiversity, as the losses are mostly virgin forests with a high biodiversity and they are replaced by plantations that support far fewer species.

Most people agree that Climate Change is really happening and that levels of greenhouse gases need to be reduced. Kyoto has been and gone and there has been a lot of talk and not a huge amount of action. However, with rising costs of fossil fuels, there has been an uptake of renewal energy sources, especially in the more remote places of the world where a traditional electricity grid is not economic, such as this school in India which relies on solar energy. (Chinch Gryniewicz / Ecoscene)

Biodiversity is now a common word and 2010 saw the launch of the UN Decade of  Biodiversity (2011-2020). The aim is to achieve the 5 goals of the Aichi Target, namely
  • to address the underlying cause of biodiversity loss
  • reduce the pressures on biodiversity and promote sustainable use
  • improve biodiversity status by protecting ecosystems, species and genetic diversity
  • enhance the benefits to all from biodiversity
  • enhance implementation through planning and management
In North America and Europe, water quality is much improved  and ecologists report seeing species that are sensitive to pollution, returning the rivers. However water pollution remains an issue in many other parts of the world, where there are fewer controls. Take the Yamuna River in India, for example, This river flows  beside the iconic Taj Mahal and very few visitors are aware that just a few hundred metres from this World Heritage Site, is the most polluted river in India, a product of uncontrolled industrial development along its banks combined with the waste from millions of people. 

In a world with a growing human population and an ever increasing demand for clean water, water resources will continue to be an issue, especially against the backdrop of climate change, disrupted weather patterns and extreme weather events.

Having heard the press release from Tusk this morning about the transport of a couple of rhinos from Aspinalls in Kent to Tanzania, I can't finish without mentioning the plight of the rhino. Twenty-odd years ago the future looked quite bright for the rhino with poaching under control and numbers increasing. Sadly, a few idiots believe that rhino horn is a miracle cure, and the value of powered rhino horn has been pushed sky-high, threatening the very survival of all the rhinos. This gory image of a dead rhino was taken by Karl Amman many years ago.

Now rhinos have to be protected 24/7 or have their rhinos removed so they are not the target of poachers. Here a female rhino in South Africa is drugged so that her horn can be remove. (Luc Hosten / Ecoscene)

13 June 2012


I suppose all you can see in the picture is a darker dot with lighter stuff around it. I am told by an expert that the black bit in the middle is the growth point.  Well I suppose it is basically a giant finger nail consisting of keratin. You could make your own one if you saved all your fingernail and toenail clippings and found a way to compress them into a solid piece. If you chose to do this you can ask your family and friends to save their clippings as the end product, if made correctly, could be valuable.

It was interesting to sniff the thing. The dark outside bit smells strongly of animal with a bovine cow like aroma and the inner bit reminded me of oil or diesel, probably from the chainsaw that was used to amputate it.

So what is it good for? Not much really.

In the Middle East it is very fashionable among men to have it fashioned as a handle for a curved dagger – apparently it ages well and turns black.

Medicinally there is a lot of myth and mystique but fortunately there is no scientific foundation for any use. I suppose I most mention that some research found it was able to reduce fever in rats. It would be better to give your rats willow leaf to chew as that contains the ingredients of aspirin which does have scientific backing.

As a cure for cancer I am afraid I can find no proof. If you are given some the person treating you is a quack and the only thing that is being cured is his or her bank balance – it is amazing how false beliefs can drive up the value of a useless object.

Lots of people believe that it is regarded as an aphrodisiac in the East but this is not so – it is used to treat fevers and convulsions and, as I have said before, there is no scientific backing for this. If you suffer from impotence do look in your inbox as there is bound to be a mail that offers you Viagra at a discount rate. It is guaranteed to work better than shavings from this thing.

There is an interesting historical use from Africa – always something new and exciting from the Dark Continent! Yes, in the early days they were used as door-stops. The weight is about right and the shape quite suitable for picking up when closing the door. Of course this use has stopped as this useless thing has become too valuable. Because the trade is not legal there is a lot of stealing of them from many places and sadly many have died trying to steal them or while trying to protect them.

Interesting too that some people have accumulated hundreds of these things and they stand to become millionaires should trade in it become legalized. Luckily trade is illegal for the moment. Obviously those who have many want the trade legalized while those who worry about the original owner want the current status quo to remain.

This is such a useless thing except to the real owner. Sadly it had to be removed to protect him from poachers although ironically it is the only thing he has to protect himself. It is rather useless for self-defence against automatic rifle fire or a tranquilizing dart if you are large, lumbering and myopic White Rhino Cerototherium simum.  

This White Rhino was bought to the Kragga Kamma Game Park near Port Elizabeth in South Africa and his task will be to ensure that there is a next generation that comes from the three other female Rhinos who stay in the park.

(I would like to thank the Cantor family (especially Mike and Ayesha Cantor) for inviting me to see the new rhino arrive, the stay in the boma and being allowed to watch his release into the park. Let’s hope we hear the pitter-patter of baby feet rhino feet soon!)

7 June 2012

World Oceans Day

World Oceans Day

Friday 8 June 2012, A celebration of the world's oceanic wildlife featuring the work of many of our photographers  including Reinhard Dirscherl, Phillip Colla, Luc Hosten, Steve Kazlowski,  and photographers from VWPics.

5 June 2012

World Environment Day - 5 June

There is plenty going on today. For those of us in the UK, the Diamond Jubilee has dominated the media, but it's World Environment Day too.

WED was established 40 years ago and this year the theme is the Green Economy.So what is a Green Economy? According to UNEP it is one that results in improved human well-being and social equality, while signiticantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. The three keywords are: low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive. WED focuses on 10 main sectors for  greener planet and outlines some of things you can do.

1. Buildings - reduce your impact by looking to low-carbon construction and landscaping firms, make your home and office as resource-efficient as possible.

2. Fisheries - overfishing is depleting world fish stocks to look for fish caught using sustainable fishing practices
3. Forestry - deforestation accounts for more than one-fifth of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, so look for sustainably managed forests  (e.g. FSC) when buying timber products, reduce your use of paper products and recycle your paper waste.

4. Transport  - car sharing to reduce your personal carbon footprint, walk or ride a bike instead, use public transport.

5. Water - billions of people have no access to clean water or sanitation and as the world's population grows it is going to become in even shorter supply, so use it wisely. Don't waste clean water by running the tap, or having a long shower, make sure the washing machine and dishwasher have full loads, don't clean the car and save rainwater to water your garden.

6. Agriculture - there are more mouths to feed, so support sustainable farming systems, grow your own fruit and veg, buy local, don't buy more food than you need, compost all the waste.

7. Energy - our modern lifestyle is energy-hungry and we use fossil fuels to produce most of our energy needs which contributes to global warming, so save energy. Turn off lights, appliances, turn down the heating and air conditioning, install PV and other renewable energy system.

8. Tourism - tourists can have a large footprint so think carefully when choosing a holiday. Support local business and local people, try to limit your impact on fragile environments,  question resorts and hotels about the green policies (where does the waste go, what about clean water, recycling, source of food etc)

9. Waste - everything our buy, eventually becomes waste so where will it go? So recycle, re-use and recycle. Think before you buy - do you really need it, can you re-use something rather than throw away, and if you have to throw away make sure you recycle as much as possible.

10. Manufacturing and industry -  this part of the economy produces much of the world's pollution, so be a wise consumer - buy green wherever possible, support green industries, ask questions of those that pollute.

Coming soon  Earth Summit Rio+20 - the 20th anniversary of the very first Earth Summit.

24 May 2012

Buzzards - to be persecuted again?

I could hardly believe what I heard on the radio this morning - DEFRA to  spend hundreds of thousands of pounds to research ways of controlling the number of buzzards to protect pheasants. Under consideration, making it legal to destroy buzzard nests and trapping birds to keep in captivity. All this despite the fact that the buzzard is protected native species while the pheasant is introduced and is farmed for shooting.

The population of buzzards in the UK has only just recovered from the lows of  50 years ago, when they were persecuted by gamekeepers and suffered the effects of DDT. Now it appears that the shooting lobby has convinced DEFRA that once again the buzzard has to be controlled so that fewer pheasants are taken.

Given that commercial shoots put down more than 40 million pheasant poults of birds each summer, a few thousand lost to the buzzard is hardly going to have that much of an impact.  And what about the other predators - foxes, badgers, kites, sparrowhawks - are they to be controlled too? No wonder the RSPB and other wildlife charities are up in arms.

Chris Packham Quote: "In these times do we want to be spending £400,000 battering buzzards? The money would be better spent helping the remnants of English hen harriers I'd say." Hear hear
Photos - top buzzard on post (Pete Cairns), buzzard on deer carcass (Pete Cairns), close up of head (Chinch Gryniewicz), buzzard nest (Frank Blackburn)