It’s been a real rollercoaster in early August with many projects on the go, but sadly it started off badly with the news about the illegal killing of the young eagle, named Alma, which we had been tracking for two years. On 3rd August, this involved me doing a live interview to the evening BBC programme The One Show, from a satellite truck parked at Loch Morlich linking to the studio. It followed on from a story that they had filmed earlier in the summer at Glenfeshie on the satellite tracking of Tom and Alma, which also included the schoolchildren at Alvie primary school. Fortunately the weather held that evening which gave a beautiful backdrop of the Cairngorms. There’s been lots of contact about this disgraceful affair. The owner and manager of Glenfeshie are very annoyed that this bird has been killed. It demonstrates that there are hunting estates, like Glenfeshie, which carry out excellent ecological and ethical management, but there are also places where everything is killed which might be thought to interfere with red grouse. People have asked what they can do about it. Well you can express your concern and anger, by writing to the Minister of the Environment in the Scottish Government, your MSP or MP, and the chairman of Scottish Natural Heritage.

Then things got better, and I was absolutely delighted to get an email from John Lycett telling me he had seen a young red squirrel in his garden near Ullapool, which is the first evidence that our red squirrel project to translocate and restore red squirrels to Wester Ross is proving successful. I’ll try to find time to put up a web page on the squirrel project . It was then exciting to find this year’s nest of the pair of honey buzzards we studied last year, and to find two big chicks in the nest along with a good supply of wasp comb and grubs. We ringed and tagged them as part of the honey buzzard migration project, and will paste up details of their migrations when they start to move in the autumn. And then today, I ringed the latest young ospreys I’ve ever ringed, a brood of three in excellent condition, which will still be with us in September.