So we’ve had a few technical IT issues here but we are now up and running and I’m extremely pleased to be able to bring you the first update from some of the young harriers satellite tagged this year on the United Utilities Bowland estate.

So far so good for the two young from the first nest, Sky and Highlander, who have been flying for about 7 weeks now. You can see they are still very active in Bowland but are starting to branch out and explore right across the AONB.

(c) RSPB. Sky and Highlander 19th Aug 2014 

I also have the pleasure of introducing Hope and Burt, two of the tagged harriers from the second nest. They were named by children from the local RSPB Wildlife Explorer groups and were fitted with their tags on the 28th July.

    

 (c) Jude Lane, RSPB. Burt (top) and Hope (bottom) having their satellite tags fitted by Stephen Murphy, Natural England.

Burt and Hope have been flying for less than 3 weeks but are already become adept at the technique of food passing. Their parents are still dilagently practicing with them after almost three months of complete dedication to their brood of four, little known to them, incredibly important young hen harriers. As the weeks pass they too will start to explore further and further afield and who knows, in a few weeks some may even have got as far as France.

   

(c) RSPB. Burt and Hope 18th Aug 2014 

Over the following weeks, months and hopefully years you will be able to follow the progress of these four birds here on this blog.

I was privileged enough to be present when they were all satellite tagged by Stephen Murphy from Natural England. It’s hard not to form a bond with such superb birds especially when you have held them in your hands. I hope that you will also come to know them from these blogs. You never know, maybe you’ll even be lucky enough to actually see one of them (if you do give us a call on the hen harrier hotline). Either way, enjoy learning about their travels and please pass on the link to this blog to friends, family, schools and any one else who you think will enjoy getting to know these iconic birds.

What I think we are all hoping is that like Grainne and Hettie from Langholm, Sky, Highlander, Burt and Hope will all be back in the English uplands raising broods of their own next summer. Fingers crossed.