Wasted

“The world’s most widely used insecticide may cause migrating songbirds to lose their sense of direction and suffer drastic weight loss, according to new research.” https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/29/common-pesticide-can-make-migrating-birds-lose-their-way-research-shows

Scientists are close to linking this effect to recent behaviour in the UK government cabinet.

Dietary Fibre

“How microplastics end up in drinking water is for now a mystery, but the atmosphere is one obvious source, with fibres shed by the everyday wear and tear of clothes and carpets. … This research only scratches the surface, but it seems to be a very itchy one.” https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/06/plastic-fibres-found-tap-water-around-world-study-reveals

And each scratch releases another 50,000 plastic microfibres for us to inhale.

Calluna Calling

“‘Calluna’, a female harrier, was tagged this summer at a nest on the National Trust for Scotland’s Mar Lodge estate, near Braemar. We were monitoring her transmitter’s data which showed that she fledged from the nest in July. She left the area in early August, and gradually headed east over the Deeside moors. However, while the tag data showed it to be working perfectly, transmissions abruptly ended on 12th August, with no further data transmitted. Calluna’s last recorded position was on a grouse moor a few miles north of Ballater, in the Cairngorms National Park.” http://www.rspb.org.uk/community/ourwork/skydancer/b/skydancer/archive/2017/09/01/calluna-has-disappeared.aspx

Representatives of the shooting lobby have already stated the ridiculous. My work is done.

Response of Scottish Land & Estates – “Estates in the area have welcomed a number of hen harriers to the area during August and only today one moor reported three harriers. Local land managers reject the inference that the loss of signal from this tag is connected to grouse moor management and are now offering every assistance in searching the area where the last transmission was recorded.“

Response of Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association – “The SGA would urge anyone who saw the bird or knows anything about it to contact Police Scotland. This is the first we have heard of this. Obviously any news like this is very disappointing. The SGA condemns raptor persecution and if any of our members are convicted of a wildlife crime they are removed from our organisation. We have learned from those monitoring tags that birds can move some distance away from where they were last recorded so it is important that, if people know anything, they alert the Police immediately.”

Response of Scottish Association for Country Sports – “We would remind the RSPB that tag technology can fail for a number of reasons, and that raptors are susceptible to natural causes of death as well as to illegal persecution.“

From https://raptorpersecutionscotland.wordpress.com/2017/09/01/satellite-tagged-hen-harrier-disappears-on-grouse-moor-in-cairngorms-national-park/

Canny

“AG Barr, the maker of Irn Bru, warned that “the scope for fraud in a Scottish DRS [deposit return scheme] is huge. On a small scale we could see people scavenging in bins for containers, as is the US experience. On a medium scale there is the potential for local authority amenity centre looting. And on a larger scale there is the very real possibility of cross-border trafficking of deposit-bearing containers. It costs around £400 to move a lorry load of cans from England to Scotland. A single lorry could carry 160,000 crushed cans or £32,000 worth of deposits.”” https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/05/scotland-planning-deposit-return-scheme-for-bottles-and-cans

And on a massive scale, there’s combining the health hazards of refined sugar, carbonic and citric acids, artificial flavourings, preservatives and colours, and rust into a multimillion pound business.

Cooking the Chinooks

“The fish farm’s owner, Cooke Aquaculture, said on Wednesday that several thousand Atlantic salmon may have ended up in the [Pacific] waters around the San Juan Islands after part of a net suffered a ‘structural failure’ [and] blamed Saturday’s incident on ‘exceptionally high tides and currents coinciding with this week’s solar eclipse’.” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/24/thousands-of-atlantic-salmon-escape-from-fish-farm-into-pacific

Tides and eclipses are notoriously difficult to predict.

Waspmail

“Volunteers to build homemade bottle traps before posting the dead wasps to entomologists to produce a clearer picture of the much-maligned insect’s decline.” https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/aug/23/conservationists-slam-hateful-survey-promoting-wasp-killing

‘Lethal Sampling’: not so much bird watching as word botching.