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Skydancer

Skydancer
Skydancer is an exciting new four-year project aimed at raising awareness and promoting the conservation of hen harriers in the north of England.
Results for ringtail, hen harrier
  • Blog Post: The Dee’s the place to be

    I was only a kid, ten or eleven I think, but I can still picture it now – my first ever hen harrier. My mum used to take me there on Sunday afternoons hoping to catch a glimpse of a bird I’d dreamt about seeing in real life after drooling over the plates of it in my Mitchell Beazley bird...
  • Blog Post: Working with hen harriers - the highs and the lows

    I am pleased to present a guest blog from Mick Demain, the RSPB's seasonal assistant warden in Bowland for the last few years, reflecting on his last few years monitoring harriers Being the seasonal warden for the RSPB in Bowland means I am privileged to be working with raptors every day and undoubtedly...
  • Blog Post: Four more harriers in Bowland!

    So here are the newest additions to the English hen harrier population! © Mick Demain, RSPB. While the five young from the first nest are all flying well now, these little ones in the second nest still have a fair bit of growing before they see the world from above the heather. Given the...
  • Blog Post: Watching and waiting in Northumberland

    Latest update from Stephen Temperley, our Species Protection Coordinator, overseeing hen harrier monitoring and nest protection efforts in Northumberland this year. Across Northumberland these last couple of days, the clement weather has been very welcome indeed – for the farmers, for the muirburners...
  • Blog Post: Hen harriers on show at Geltsdale

    Ghostbird is an exhibition by artist Louise Ann Wilson , exploring the history and decline of hen harriers in England and particularly, the Forest of Bowland. Originally created as a walking theatre perfomance over the Bowland Fells in 2012, the new exhbition features stunning photographs, as well as...
  • Blog Post: My life with hen harriers at Langholm (guest post)

    When it comes to the big conservation issues like hen harriers, it's all too easy to feel powerless. News stories seem unrelentingly negative and it can be hard to see how any one of us can make a difference. But here's the thing, you are not alone. Through Skydancer I've met all kinds of...
  • Blog Post: Hen harriers & heartbreak - the story of a failed nest

    With the appalling news published today that hen harriers have failed to breed successfully in England for the first time since the 1960's, Stephen Temperley, North Tynedale Species Protection Officer, reveals the heartbreak of looking after one of only two known failed nesting attempts this year...
  • Blog Post: What needs to be done?

    As I wrote last week, harriers are on the brink of extinction in England. The RSPB is appealing to the government to step up and do more for harriers. The revised England Biodiversity Strategy includes a commitment by Government to avoid any human induced extinctions of known threatened species by...
  • Blog Post: The Ghost of a Ringtail by Gavin Jones

    In response to my guest post on Martin Harper's blog on Monday, Gavin Jones, who lives near the Forest of Bowland, was inspired to write a beautiful yet haunting poem. Thank you Gavin for sharing it with us. You can read it for yourselves by visiting Martin's blog here . © RSPB...
  • Blog Post: Betty's back!

    I can’t believe that it has just turned a year since I started working in Bowland. Sadly, last year was not a good one for harriers in England to put it mildly, and so it is with nervous excitement that I look forward to this my second season on the United Utilities estate. Despite the recent...
  • Blog Post: 74843

    So as promised here is a bit of a run down of what 74843 has been up to over her first year. As you will see, she’s been pretty hard to keep up with recently! As Stephen Murphy, from the Natural England Hen Harrier Recovery Project, will tell you, satellite tagging these birds has provided some...
  • Blog Post: Bird of prey persecution - make your voice heard

    Crimes against birds of prey are widespread across the UK. The results of the 2010 National Hen harrier survey showed that the harrier is on the brink of extinction as a breeding bird in England. Since 2004, the English breeding population has declined by 20% and remains perilously low with just 12...
  • Blog Post: Update on Martin

    Just to keep you informed of the latest info on Martin, a little worryingly, as of Monday, no transmission has been received from him for 7 days. Whilst this length of gap between transmission isn’t unheard of, it is a little unusual. Weather could be a factor in this, and I for one am very...
  • Blog Post: In search of Sky Dancers

    Suffering from the winter blues? These dark, wet, blustery days getting you down? Why not cheer yourself up by looking forward to the warm, balmy days of spring and summer (well we have to be optimistic!) and get yourself signed up for some of the exciting events lined up as part of Festival Bowland...
  • Blog Post: Seen a harrier? ... Give us a call!

    As spring starts to seep into the uplands of northern England, all of us here at the RSPB would like to make a fresh appeal to those of you who are out and about in the hills over the spring and summer to keep an eye out for hen harriers and to call or email in with your sightings. After a disastrous...
  • Blog Post: Bowland update

    So we’ve reached the beginning of April and what of the birds in Bowland I hear you all asking. Well, to be honest it’s pretty quiet on the harrier front. I reported the skydancing male back on the 19th March but alas, his efforts did not lead to him attracting a female and we have not seen...
  • Blog Post: First exciting news of 2012

    I've just got time for a very quick blog today but I just wanted to let you know that over the weekend we have had our first sighting of a skydancing male harrier in Bowland! It was a pretty poor week last week in terms of the weather - persistent low cloud everyday, but harrier sightings have...
  • Blog Post: Four steps from extinction

    The RSPB has today released the 2011 breeding figures for hen harriers in England, confirming that the four pairs of harriers that fledged young on the United Utilities estate in Bowland were the only four pairs to successfully raise young in the whole country. This is believed to be the lowest population...
  • Blog Post: When they decide to go they go!

    Well as predicted, our juvenile male harrier has finally become curious about the world outside Bowland and spread his wings! Last week, after a brief foray to the west as far as the M6, he passed back over Bowland and then headed directly east, (straight over my house by the looks of things) and...
  • Blog Post: North Tynedale in Suspended Animation

    Across the uplands of Northumberland Spring has not sprung and the land seems locked down. In North Tynedale, only the crossbill and that honorary raptor, the raven, appear impervious to the snow and the ice and the incessant east wind (indeed the crossbills have been seen with juveniles in their loose...
  • Blog Post: What a difference a day makes

    Sitting out on the fells in Bowland these last few weeks has been a strange experience. By now, in all the years that staff and volunteers monitoring hen harriers on the United Utilities estate can remember, we would have been able to head up onto the fell knowing we would be able to watch harriers....
  • Blog Post: Happy new year

    So what fortunes will this new year bring for the English Hen harriers? The first harriers will be starting to return to the uplands to establish territories in less than 8 weeks now. I am keeping everything crossed that they have a good year here in the Forest of Bowland, the stronghold for breeding...
  • Blog Post: Where is she now?

    So 74843 continued her journey back down south, stopping off in the Cairngorms for about 5 days where she ranged both east and west of the A9 around Dalwhinnie. I have to say she’s been picking some cracking spots to hang out, it’s really stunning in that area if you ever get the opportunity...
  • Blog Post: North Tynedale: Glad to be Back

    Stephen Temperley returns to Skydancer this month, reprising his role coordinating the North Tynedale hen harrier nest protection project. As the breeding season gets underway in earnest, he has some positive early news... Greetings from the RSPB Species Protection Coordinator for Northumberland!...
  • Blog Post: Introducing Martin ...

    Thanks for all your name suggestions, we've decided to go with the inspired suggestion of Martin - Hen harrier en français is Busard Saint-Martin! Martin © Stephen Murphy, Natural England. According to the most recent update, Martin is still enjoying northern France, with fixes...