Some surprising news emerged this morning….an announcement has been made that the RSPB’s Scottish Birdfair will probably take place again next year (ironically 2013 is ‘The Year of Natural Scotland’) at the same venue: Hopetoun House (see here for announcement).
Why is this surprising? Well, for a start this choice of venue for the inaugural Scottish Birdfair 2012 raised plenty of eyebrows, and for very good reason (see here). If that wasn’t reason enough for RSPB management to reconsider their options (and it clearly wasn’t), then how about this:
Scottish Land & Estates (Andrew Hopetoun is a Director, remember?) issued a press release a couple of weeks ago that implied their support for buzzard ‘control’ (for control read ‘licences to kill buzzards’), basing their argument on the ‘evidence’ from that now infamous ‘buzzard snatches osprey chick’ video. The Chief Exec of SLE (Douglas McAdam) said:
“This video provides the sad but clear and conclusive evidence of the serious impact that this growing population of Buzzards is now having“. [See here for SLE’s press release].
Actually Douglas, it provided no such thing. What it showed was an example of intraguild predation – a common and perfectly natural ecological phenomenon where a competitor kills and eats another competitor.
Come on, RSPB. Surely you can find a more suitable venue and partner for the next Scottish Birdfair? Sure, there are advantages to holding it at Hopetoun, e.g. the geographic location can catch punters from both sides of the border, then there’s……well actually it’s hard to think of another advantage. But maybe things like venues and partners don’t matter to the public? Another surprise this morning was to learn that this year’s Birdfair at Hopetoun House attracted almost 4,500 visitors. Were those visitors unaware of the Hopetoun/Leadhills connection, or was it just a case of knowing but not caring? You’d have to guess that if they were attending a Birdfair then they were probably into birds, in which case it’s probably likely that they were unaware of the connection, rather than not caring. You’d hope so anyway.