A curious incident

In his The RSPB View (February Birds, the RSPB’s Quarterly) Graham Wynne, the charity’s Chief Executive, returns to the story of a pair of hen harriers being shot on the Sandringham Estate. He writes, “The shooting of two hen harriers at Sandringham last October and the poisoning of a golden eagle in southern Scotland last summer were despicable acts and should be sources of shame for those responsible”. I could not agree more; but, Mr Wynne, there is still no evidence that two hen harriers were brought down, no close eye-witness, no dead birds and no charges brought. Although this doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen, is it the job of a responsible charity to repeat this canard? It is not so much the story as the innuendo, that the shooting involved the Royal Family, whether directly or indirectly. On 21 November, a month after the alleged shooting Charles Moore was continuing to draw attention to what he referred to this ‘curious incident’ in his Spectator column, and it seems surprising that two months later the RSPB still maintains that the hen harriers were shot.

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