Bird watchers urged to record raptor sightings

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Wildlife researchers are asking bird watchers to send in sightings of raptors as they update records.

The local Wildlife Information Centre (TWIC) last week launched their latest public survey focusing on buzzards, kestrels and red kites across the Borders and Lothians.

TWIC’s records ecologist, Natalie Harmsworth, said: “The Wildlife Information Centre holds a comprehensive database of species and habitats found in the Lothians and Scottish Borders.

“However, we feel that a survey of buzzards, kestrel and red kites is needed to gather information on the distribution of these birds, and to raise awareness of their importance.

“We hope to develop a clear picture of the status of the birds of prey in this region (and)... develop a baseline to monitor what is happening to our raptor populations in the future.”

To take part, fill in and return a survey postcard or go to the ‘Record a Raptor’ page of TWIC’s website at www.wildlifeinformation.co.uk/raptor_sightings.php to submit details of the sighting, including the date the bird was seen, where it was, how many there were, and whether it was dead or alive.

The biological records centre is based at Gorebridge and the charity aims to provide “an objective, independent wildlife information service for people and organisations from all sectors”, supplying data to the likes of councils for screening planning applications, consultants preparing environmental assessments and conservation bodies writing management plans.