two more buzzards poisoned in Scotland

Two dead buzzards found next to a poisoned rabbit bait were poisoned by carbofuran. The buzzards and the bait were discovered in a farm field near Boat of Garten on October 15 this year, by staff from the Strathspey Estate. They called the police and the birds were sent off for toxicology tests. A spokesman from Strathspey Estate said they were shocked by the poisoning. He added, “Considering the efforts made to enhance the wildlife conservation and biodiversity on the estate, it is inconceivable that any of our staff had any part whatsoever in the laying of poisoned bait“.

Northern Constabulary and Strathspey Estate are “working closely” to find those responsible. I’m not sure how delaying the news of these deaths for 7 weeks will have helped the investigation but still, at least Northern Constabulary appear to be involved this time. Shame we can’t report the same for the two poisoned eagles found dead on Northern Constabulary’s patch back in June. Six months have now elapsed and still no news…

BBC news for the buzzard poisoning:

Strathspey Estate is owned by the Earl of Seafield, who also owns the Seafield Estate. A buzzard was found poisoned by chloralose on Seafield Estate back in 1991, but no further public records of alleged raptor persecution have appeared since then. Strathspey Estate is actively involved in projects on capercaillie and Scottish wildcat, and is also helping with the satellite-tracking of two golden eagles born on the Estate in summer 2010. The Earl of Seafield signed the SRBPA/SEBG letter to Roseanna Cunningham in May 2010, on behalf of the Seafield & Strathspey Estates, condemning the illegal poisoning of raptors in Scotland. Sandy Lewis, the Chief Executive of Seafield Estate was previously the Chair of the SEBG (Scottish Estates Business Groups), and is, according to the SEBG website, currently their regional rep for North and West Scotland. He was involved in a fascinating legal case earlier this year, involving a grouse-shooting lease in Strathspey. The case also involved land agents Mark Osborne and Nick Baikie, familiar names to readers of this blog. Here are two links to that story:


2 thoughts on “two more buzzards poisoned in Scotland”

  1. If an announcement had been made at the time that 2 buzzards had been found in suspicious circumstances and would be subject to forensic examination I see no reason why the public could not have been asked to report having seen anyone in the vicinty.

    No need to point a finger at anyone at that time, but equally no good reason not to gather intelligence.

    In allowing almost two months to elapse before requesting public help is of no earthly use. Anyone who happened to notice people in the vicinity of where the birds were found will not now be able to recall seeing anything of note and linking it to 15th October.


    Viscount Reidhaven and the “cult”

    It was reported last April that James Ogilvie-Grant, Viscount Reidhaven, the heir of the Earl of Seafield, had been freed from the control of an Islamic cult by “cult-busting experts” from America after he had been kidnapped by former SAS personnel on the instructions of his father (see BMMS for April 1994). Mr Ogilvie-Grant issued a statement to the press on 25th September to “clear innocent people who have been insulted and whose names have been blackened”. The statement was covered by the Scottish Sunday Mail (25.09.94), the Daily Mail and Scottish Daily Express (26.09.94) and was the subject of an authoritative article in Q News (30.09.94) written by David Rosser-Owen who obviously had access to a great deal of background information.

    It transpires that Viscount Reidhaven embraced Islam in June 1990 and joined the six-hundred year-old and widely respected Naqshbandi Order under the tutelage of Muhammad Iqbal Ali, a brother-in-law of Yusuf Islam of the Islamia Schools Trust. It was this Order and Mr Ali who were referred to in the press as an “Islamic cult” and a “guru” respectively. The fears that the Viscount had been “brainwashed” were apparently founded on discussions at the home of his father between himself and Mr Ali in which “matters were discussed which the Naqshbandi Order does not normally deal with outside meetings of adepts” (Q News 30.09.94). This was compounded by expensive gifts given to Mr Ali by Mr Ogilvie-Grant and the impression that he was not free to make any decision without referring it to the former’s advice.

    In addition to obvious concerns about his son’s health and freedom of action, the Earl of Seafield was concerned about the administration of the Reidhaven Estate as well as the Strathspey Estates to which the Viscount is heir. Currently the Reidhaven Estate is being administered by a curator but the Viscount is applying for control to be passed back into his own hands. He has emphasised that he is and has always been a Muslim since the time of his conversion and has never been brainwashed by Mr Ali or anyone else connected with the Naqshbandi Order. Serious questions have been raised about the legality of the kidnapping of Mr Ogilvie-Grant and his detention in a secret Highland location.

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