Three birds of prey stolen from visitor centre


Three birds of prey have been stolen during an early-morning break-in at a visitor centre.Police said two Harris hawks and a red-tailed hawk were taken from Loch Lomond Bird of Prey Centre, which is within Loch Lomond Garden Centre, near Balloch, West Dunbartonshire.

The break-in happened between 3.30am and 4.30am on Friday and it was reported to Strathclyde Police at about 9.20am.

The centre, which has more than 30 birds, provides information about birds of prey and offers a falconry experience to visitors. It also operates as a rescue and conservation facility.

Detective Sergeant Martin Penny, from Dumbarton police office, said: “Extensive enquiries are ongoing in the local area to gather more information on this crime, those responsible and the car that they made off in.

“Officers are also currently studying CCTV footage to establish more details on this crime.

“The theft took place between 3.30am and 4.30am and I would urge anyone who may have been in the local area at around that time who may have information to come forward, or anyone who may have information on the whereabouts of these birds to contact police as a matter of urgency.”

Anyone with information should contact Dumbarton police office on 01389 822000 or Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555 111.

Major Landslide on the Old Glen Road, Dunblane to Bridge of Allan

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The landslide occurred on the Dunblane end of the road just behind the bridge that goes over the Wharry burn.

This road is normally open to bikes and pedestrians as it was closed to traffic many years past.


For more info check out the Allan Water News Site Below:

Salmon fishing season gets underway on banks of the River Tay

St Johnstone manager Steve Lomas took the first cast on the river

THE salmon fishing season got under way today with a traditional ceremony on the banks of the River Tay.

A large crowd of anglers, local residents and members of the business community gathered by the famous waters near Dunkeld, Perthshire, to mark the opening of the 2012 season.

The honour of making the first cast of the year fell to football’s Steve Lomas, the St Johnstone manager.

William Jack, chairman of the Tay District Salmon Fisheries Board, said it was a “great day” for all those interested in angling.

He said: “At long last those of us who are really keen on angling are allowed to start fishing again. This is the opening of the 2012 season and anybody involved in angling at all is excited about today.

“It’s been an excellent turnout and so many different facets of the local community have been involved. A lot of that is down to the efforts of all the people who’ve laid on such a terrific facility for us.”

The crowds gathered at the Hilton Dunkeld House Hotel for the landmark occasion.

Bagpipers led the onlookers from the hotel to the banks of the river, where they enjoyed a dram at the water’s edge.

In keeping with tradition, Mr Jack doused the rowing boats on the river with whisky, to wish them and their passengers well for the coming season.

In a further symbolic gesture, a dram was also poured into the river to keep the salmon “in good health”.

In his address to anglers, Mr Jack encouraged people of all ages and from all backgrounds to get involved in the sport.

He said later: “We’ve got something like 3,000 square miles of river here. We hope to attract as many anglers as we possibly can from all corners of the globe to fish.

“In recent years, more and more people from Scandinavia have been coming, but it isn’t just overseas fishermen we want to attract. Obviously it’s as many people as possible in the local area and from all age groups.

“We are concerned that young people see this as something which isn’t available to them. There’s a suggestion that fishing is perhaps a rich man’s past time.

“But we have something like 4,000 rod days available to let just in the next few weeks. Some 50% of them cost less than £30 for a day’s fishing. 95% of them cost less than £65 for a full day’s fishing. So I would suggest that puts salmon fishing in the reach of most people. Come and have a go. The price isn’t going to put you off. The experience will be one I think you’ll enjoy.

“There are lots of ways to get started. In most beats you will find somebody who will be able to give you instruction to get you started.”

Last year, anglers were encouraged to return the salmon they caught in a bid to conserve stocks.

Explaining the thinking behind that decision, Mr Jack said: “We have some serious problems at sea.

“Some 95% of the young salmon that leave this river to feed die before they get back here to spawn, so we’re now down to 5% survival, so there’s really a very serious issue.

“That’s why we asked anglers last year to please return fish to the river when they caught them. Now I’m absolutely thrilled to say that some 95% of all fish caught are safely returned, and we need it.”


For more information on the check out this link.


FURIOUS residents have demanded answers after a dog-walker and her pet were attacked by a harris hawk in Broomridge.

Ethne Brown was exercising her 12-year-old toy poodle Buddy at the corner of Abbot Road and Pike Road when the bird struck on Saturday, January 7.

She said the raptor swooped on the terrified dog several times, taking a chunk from the elderly animal’s tongue and severely injuring its eye.

Nearby residents who keep birds eventually restrained the predator with leather straps before it was calmed and placed inside a police van.

The bird’s owner, who is believed to live in Alloa, has apologised, paid vet bills and sent some flowers to Mrs Brown.

Wallace Park resident Mrs Brown, secretary of Broomridge Community Council, said she and Buddy had been left traumatised by the incident.

She said:

“I’m sure people must be concerned that these birds can be kept as pets, allowed to go hungry and hunt in areas where there are people.

“The bird was used to being handled and had no fear of me. There are lots of elderly people who might have died if they had to experience something terrible like this.

“And that’s not to mention the possible danger posed to young children and babies, many of whom wear wee fluffy hats and coats which could make them look like a rabbit to a bird of prey.

“I think that local farmers should be informed in the run-up to lambing so their animals can be placed under cover and protected.

“Owning these birds is just as bad as having a dangerous dog, if not worse, as birds come out of the sky silently with vicious talons and beaks. It’s possible they could fly into a garden and attack small children or pets.

“I hope people can be stopped from owning such dangerous birds in areas where there are residents living and walking about.”

Mrs Brown’s husband Ian, a local councillor, contacted Stirling MSP Bruce Crawford to investigate what could be done to avoid a repeat of the incident.

Buddy is said to be recovering well from his injuries but remains shaken.

Local PC Matt Williams described the incident as “extremely distressing”.

He said:

“I have contacted the RSPB’s investigations team in Edinburgh and the SSPCA, as well as our own wildlife officer, who have confirmed that no offences took place as a result of this incident.

“But this story serves to illustrate two issues: we are always ready and willing to assist members of our communities when we can and we have contacts with a wide range of other agencies should we need their assistance.

“Harris hawks are quite a large bird of prey – up to 15’’ tall with a large wingspan – but incidents of this type are few and far between.”

Scottish SPCA chief superintendent Mike Flynn said: “The harris hawk is not a native species, therefore a licence is not required to own one.

“However, as they can be used to hunt the owner should always have the landowner’s permission to fly the bird over their land.

“This was a very unfortunate but, thankfully, rare incident and the bird owner took responsible action.

“We would expect the owner to take greater care when flying his bird in future and to select an appropriately remote location away from walkers and their pets.”


Thief: Gonshaw outside court

Mathew Gonshaw a 49 year old man from London was jailed for 6 months he was convicted after police raided his london flat in June of this year and found a massive stash of rare bird eggs.

Trophy hunter: part of Gonshaw’s collection

Amongst the haul of rare eggs was a Golden Eagles egg, one week from being hatched which had been taken fom the eagles nest on the Isle of Lewis in the Upper Herbrides, there also included an ospreys egg taken from a nest in Inverness,

Gonshaw was arrested at his flat in london on 10 charges and appeared at a london cou
rt where he was sentanced to 6 months in prison.
Gonshaw had 3 previous jail terms.


Today is a historic day for Edinburgh Zoo and the whole of Scotland, as Tian Tian and Yang Guang landed at Edinburgh Airport to an Official VIP Welcome which was broadcast worldwide.

The Scottish public turned out despite the cold weather to welcome the two giant pandas to their new home in Scotland.

The pair are the first giant pandas to live in the UK for 17 years.

Everyone at F.&.W.N. wish them all the best in their new home and hope to have some film of them some time in the New Year.

You can read more of their arrival here at the BBC Site


After heavy rain over the past 14 hours, rivers in central scotland are on flood warnings , as predicted by the met office central scotland has been hit by torrential rains overnight and this morning, officials are urging people near riverbanks to take great care , as this is a very dangerous time for the riverbank and paths running alongside them to give way, and if possible they are urging people not to venture near them if possible.

The link below is for the met office with an update on the current weather situation

Pictures are of the river allan which is near bursting its banks at dunblane .

Live Web Cam of the River Forth