This week brought the news that the final proceeds of £263,000 from last year's British Birdwatching Fair had again been donated to the BirdLife International Preventing Extinctions Programme. This is the final donation of a three year commitment by the organizers which, in total, will have reached £754,000 and provided support to a diverse series of programmes across the globe. It also marks a 21 year history of the Fair within which time a mind boggling £2.5 million pounds has been raised for global bird conservation. To Martin and Tim, well done indeed!!
By comparison,confirmed news that another Red Kite has been poisoned in Dumfries, SW Scotland. A bird found west of Dumfries on the 8th January has been analysed and found to be the target of local persecution. The carcase had even had the identification marking tags removed from the wings, which very much confirms the intent behind the action. This is the 15th bird to be found poisoned in the overall area and points to a very deliberate policy of non-acceptance of the birds arising from the otherwise successful release scheme. Given the birds are active scavengers, as opposed to "hunters", the incident smacks of uneducated prejudice of the worst kind!
And finally, for any Chinese readers, may I wish you all the best for the Chinese Spring festival and a Happy New Year!