Tuesday, 2 June 2015

The Hen Harrier's tale

Sad news today covered by both the Guardian and BBC that a fourth Hen Harrier has gone missing in the Northern Pennines;

'Fourth Hen Harrier's disappearance sparks fears of extinction by persecution

The mysterious disappearance of a fourth hen harrier from a nest in the Pennines this spring has renewed fears that England's most endangered bird of prey is being persecuted towards extinction.

The RSPB and Cumbria Police have launched an appeal for information after the male bird vanished on 23 May from the RSPB's Geltsdale reserve, where it had established a nest with a female. Without the male providing food for the incubating female her clutch of five eggs was abandoned.'

Guardian 02.06.15

Towards the backend of the winter a superb male Hen Harrier made several visits to Beeley Moor and was also recorded on at least four separate occasions at the DWT Avenue Washlands.

I was lucky enough to get some photos of the bird but for obvious reasons the presence of the harrier was not publicised. 
The last successful nesting in Derbyshire was in 2006 although there have been several attempts since.

Hen Harrier - male


  1. Saw a Ringtail Hen harrier coursing on Beeley Moor yesterday 8-12-15. Surely they don't overwinter here, - rather on its way south...perhaps to where we live in East Anglia?? Information on this please.
    Peter Heath Bury St Edmunds Suffolk

  2. Thanks for the comment Gino, as noted above we do occasionally get birds wintering in the area. Interestingly a ringtail was also seen on Monday 7th so looks like we may have a bird favouring the Beeley Moor area.


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