Local birdlife gets a helping hand

A golden eaglet on its nest on the Invermark Estate.
A golden eaglet on its nest on the Invermark Estate.

Angus gamekeepers have been working with conservationists recently to learn more about the diverse variety of wildlife living on their estates.

While the Angus area is a popular destination for shooting, stalking and fishing enthusiasts who help to boost the local economy, it is other feathered residents, including golden eagles, which have been attracting interest from conservation groups lately.

A new red kite nest, with two chicks, was discovered on moorland in Glen Esk by a trainee gamekeeper, with the estate contacting the RSPB to visit it. Red kites are a reintroduced species and the juveniles are monitored so ornithologists can learn more about behaviour and movements.

The young kites have been ringed and tagged, as have Merlins, Britain’s smallest birds of prey.

Dave Clement, Gannochy Estate head keeper and member of the Angus Glens Moorland Group, said: “Our trainee gamekeeper discovered the nest and we rang the RSPB to have them ringed and tagged.

“What was really interesting was to see socks and underwear from a popular nearby swimming spot in the nest and in the surrounding trees. It was like the kites were cleaning up the glen!”

An eaglet nesting on Invermark Estate has also recently been ringed by Angus Raptor Study Group officials, the estate being a regular home to two pairs of golden eagles.