Mark ♦ May 1, 2017 ♦ 19 Comments
Many thanks to Tim Sarney for these images.
What a turn-up eh?
If the harrier was proved shot on the United Utilities estate, there would be a hell of a lot of explaining to do, because the preferable s.h.i.t would hit the pan
You mean the proverbial shit would hit the fan. Would it though? I wouldn't hold my breath. Let's hope it stays alive.
Watched this bird yesterday as it kept control of its territory chasing away any thing that came too close even a young male Hen Harrier and a Cuckoo at one time! The day before it even chased away a young White tailed Eagle that was roosting close by.What a show it put on for the birders. Remember in 1995 a second year male mated with a female Hen Harrier and produced eggs. These eggs disappeared with no egg shell being found in the cup!This present territory sits in a territory of an Eagle Owl which raised 3 young last year. Game keepers were busy showing their guns to the public riding by on their quad bikes smirking at the birders if to say 'Wait till you have gone'!
Can believe it about smirking keepers. A red footed falcon, little bustard - conspicuous birds that were delighting bird watchers plus one of the cranes from the Somerset reintroduction project have been shot and killed - hard to believe that it was just a bog standard thug with gun just passing by rather then people deliberately trying to give the two finger salute to conservationists.
The vested interest brigade will kill it. Should never have been broadcast. At least the baddies would not have been given the heads up.
As the bird appears to be very visible and in an area where gamekeepers operate then it seems to me that releasing the information so that many more eyes would be around was a sensible decision.
It is being seen very close to a keepers house if they didn't know about it they were blind. It may be birders are helping to keep it alive, read what John Miles has written this is also the area with EEO nesting.
Michael, how wrong you are, gamekeepers miss nothing I can vouch for that. The fact that this Raptor is now under the spotlight on the United Utilities estate where raptors are protected by the RSPB may, just may be enough to save its life for now. However once it moves from the United Utilities Estate then it will most certainly become a target. I just hope many many more birders, photographers and the general public continue to come to Bowland to help raise the profile of this truly spectacular Raptor.
Indeed Terry but then most of the harrier persecution has taken place over boundaries on the private estates. Killing of hunting paired males seems to have been the modus operandi. Plus winter killing elsewhere reducing the population to return to breed. Then the killing of any protected bird is to be deplored and would need explaining, the men in tweed have a great deal to answer for yet, so little of it is proved or ever in court. Peregrines in Bowland has been in some ways more insidious, things could and should be better. Even though you and I do not often agree you have shown things that should be investigated by UU if not the police, not all illegal but nonetheless not as it should be.
Away at the moment or I would have been to see this harrier, seen them before in the UK but the only adult males I've seen were in Bulgaria.
Let's hope that the Pallid Harrier and the White-tailed Sea Eagle remain safe.
That poor bastard, couldn't have picked a worse place for it.
Is this for real ?! It is May 1st not April ! The poor deluded bird must be mad to come to Bowland when there are the vast & no doubt much safer steppes of the Ukraine - or maybe this is backdoor brood meddling ?
Just said a prayer for him.
A grey ghost of a bird I have only seen once, central Turkey 1992.
While searching for nesting Greater sand plover, a bird passed very close from behind as if I did not exist. It dropped into dead ground, hurrying over I had the brief experience of watching it from thirty yards,a great privilege.
The bird seemed to fit the barren,sun bleached landscape.
Saw one last year - in North East India (Assam). Never thought I would see one in UK. Difficult enough to find a Hen Harrier.
An eastern European bird that's never seen a grouse moor gravitates to one and decides it's a good place to stake a territory.
Augurs well for any Hen Harriers brood meddled in the south-west...
I think you will find it is a male Hen Harrier. When it realised where it had gravitated to its colour immediately drained away!
Best bird I have had the pleasure to watch. Well done to the RSPB for putting the info out there initially, or it could have been kept fairly quiet and without all the birders there to see it, it could already be permanently quiet. Fingers crossed it'll stick around for a little while longer and most who can, will have seen it, before it flies away free.
If this gets shot, and I am not naïve enough to realise it might do, there will be a hell of a lot of bad press and publicity.
It will certainly be a calculated risk or gamble on the behalf of the game-keepers.
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