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 hen harrier, bowland
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  • Blog Post: Update from Bowland

    I really wish I had been able to talk about harriers as much as I seem have been talking about the bad weather this year. Too much of one and really not enough of the other is how I feel about this season! That rain at the end of last week really did hit us hard in Bowland. As you’ll see from...
  • Blog Post: Hen harrier forensics

    Science and technology play an integral part these days in allowing us to learn more about our native wildlife and in the fight against wildlife crime. The satellite transmitter fitted to ‘our Betty’ as a young chick, is a fantastic example of this. In the first instance we learnt a huge...
  • Blog Post: Emotional roller coaster!

    The excitement was palpable 10 days ago when I took a call from Mick (the RSPB’s Assistant warden) to say that a food pass had been seen between a male and female harrier on the United Utilities estate. I could almost feel my pulse quicken with excitement, the first food pass in two years, this...
  • Blog Post: Bowland Betty - final update

    Those of you who followed the Skydancer blog over the spring/summer this year will have been familiar with hearing about the exploits of the female hen harrier 74843 or Bowland Betty as she was known to us locally. The reason I've been unable to provide you with regular updates since my last post...
  • Blog Post: Hen Harrier of Peace

    As regular readers of this blog will know, hen harriers have always been an iconic feature of the Bowland landscape. So much so in fact, that as the logo of the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), they have become a literal symbol of the area, appearing on signs and fence posts...
  • Blog Post: Skydancing Schools: Part 1

    Apologies again! I realise it’s gone a bit quiet from me since my last post but that’s only because I’ve been so busy putting together lots of exciting games, crafts and activities as part of our Skydancer outreach programme for local schools. I can’t wait to start putting it...
  • Blog Post: Harriers and hailstones 2

    I saw lots of hailstones on the fell yesterday but not many harriers. No harriers in fact. In fact I’ve not seen a harrier all year. Now I should point out that I am not on the hill every day like Mick (Bowland Assistant Warden) but even Mick hasn't seen many. If this were a typical year...
  • Blog Post: The continuing adventures of 74843

    Following my last blog on the travels of 74843, she has continued to prove a constant talking point ... After we left her in southern Scotland, she continued northwards for a second time, only on this occasion she bypassed Dornoch (breaking her own record for distance north travelled by a satellite...
  • 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: Skydancer – a new way forward for hen harriers and grouse shooting?

    The Skydancer project may just be getting started but as many of us know, the need to conserve and protect hen harriers in England is nothing new. Though their diet mainly comprises meadow pipits and field voles, hen harriers will occasionally take red grouse and it is recognised that in certain situations...
  • Blog Post: Not so flaming June

    Somehow we have reached June. It certainly doesn’t feel that way sitting out on the hill, last week I was out there fully waterproofed up with fleece and woolly hat and it felt like March ... the lack of harriers just added to that feeling. The only thing making it feel like it really was June...
  • Blog Post: Still hoping

    At the beginning of this year I was fully expecting to be blogging to you all about the joys of sitting on the hill watching hen harriers skydancing, nesting building, hunting, food passing and eventually the first tentative flights of the next generation of English hen harriers. However, since my...
  • Blog Post: Ghost Bird, 15-16th September

    I must apologise - August is clearly a difficult month for blogging as everyone and his dog seems to be on holiday! Not to worry though, normal service will resume shortly...! In the meantime, I have what promises to be a very interesting piece of independent hen harrier based theatre to share with...
  • 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: Betty's Story - on BBC iPlayer

    If any of you didn't manage to catch it last night or happen to live outside the region, you can now watch Jude Lane talk about the tragedy of Bowland Betty and the issues facing hen harriers in England on Inside Out North East & Cumbria on BBC iPlayer ! It's only 8 minutes long but it does...
  • Blog Post: Introducing the best job title ever...! (if I do say so myself)

    Hello! Please forgive my rudeness - almost six months in post and I’m only just introducing myself now. There’s been so much to do getting things started and it’s amazing how time just slips past but there, I’m getting ahead of myself again – let’s start from the...
  • Blog Post: Skydancing Schools explore the moors!

    It's true what they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. So how many words, or indeed how many pictures, are worth a single first-hand experience? It's a good question and I honestly have no idea what the answer is but I'd hazard a guess that it's a heck of a lot. Anyone with...
  • Blog Post: Harriers and hailstones

    It started out as such a nice day! I could see the storm brewing as I headed up on the fell, but the light created by the contrasting dark storm clouds and patches of sunny blue sky made for perfect harrier spotting conditions – even if it was a little breezy! Alas, the four hours I managed...
  • 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: 2012 - a year in review

    Christmas is just a week away. A further seven days hence, and the world will quietly slip into the New Year, with all the hopes, anticipation and promises of fresh starts that brings. But what of 2012? What lessons can we take with us from this, The Year that Almost Wasn’t for hen harriers in...
  • 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: An invitation to join us in Bowland

    Following on from Dan’s inspiring blog of hen harrier sightings a plenty on the Dee over the last few weeks (what a fantastic picture he included!) I just wanted to let you know about the events RSPB and United Utilities* will be running in the Forest of Bowland again this spring/summer. If...
  • Blog Post: First news from the Forest of Bowland

    It feels like a while since I last put fingers to keyboard to bring you some news from the United Utilities estate in the Forest of Bowland so now we have reached the end of the first week of April it seems like a good time to give you an update on what’s been going on in this part of the country...
  • Blog Post: Join us in Bowland ...

    Looking for something exciting and different to do over the next few months? Why not come and help us look out for hen harriers on the United Utilities estate here in Bowland? I know we haven’t had much harrier activity to report so far but there’s still time for all that to change! Join...
  • 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...