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Bird bonanza line up revealed

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By Donald Turvill
Moffat
Bird bonanza line up revealed

THE LINE-UP has been announced for Moffat’s inaugural Golden Eagle festival this autumn.

Top ornithologists, bird watchers and environmentalists feature in the programme, which is packed with a range of events suited to all ages.

They include courses on raptor identification, guided nature walks, a wildlife photography workshop and talks led by bird of prey experts.

Furthermore, there will be an opportunity to meet an eagle, take-part in an eagle fell race and do some tree-climbing.

The week-long bird bonanza has been devised by the South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project, a cohort of conservationists who recently earned Moffat the title of Scotland’s first ‘Eagle Town’ as a result of a successful initiative to restore the region’s raptor population.

Running from 19 to 26 September, it will be the first celebration of its kind ever in the UK.

Attendees will also get the chance to learn about the new ways in which landowners, residents and tourists can help Golden Eagles to thrive locally.

Appearing at the festival will be representatives from RSPB Scotland, NatureScot, Scottish Forestry, Scottish Land and Estates, Scottish Wildlife Trust, Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels, Wild Eskdale and the Scottish Raptor Study Group.

A talk from international falconer Lauren McGough will be livestreamed to an audience at Moffat’s Old Well Theatre, which is also hosting Peter Robson from Scottish Power Renewables and screening 2016 documentary, The Eagle Huntress.

Furthermore, renowned wildlife filmmaker Gordon Buchanan will give a virtual keynote speech on Golden Eagles and other Scottish wildlife.

He said: “I’m delighted to be part of the South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project’s first ever Golden Eagle Festival and to support their important conservation work to ensure golden eagles once again flourish in southern skies.

“The thrill of seeing a golden eagle soaring over a Scottish hillside is an unbeatable experience.

“Each glimpse of this magical bird is special, but they should and could be more common in the south of Scotland.”

Cat Barlow, project manager for the South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project, said: “Support from forestry and land managers, local communities, funders, volunteers, raptor specialists and other participants is absolutely vital in helping us to ensure golden eagles continue to grow in numbers and thrive in the area.”

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