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.
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  • Blog Post: Hen harrier-inspired music

    This week we’ve got a guest blog from Laurence Rose, former RSPB Northern England Director and a composer, who talks about his hen harrier-inspired composition, Skydancer. I first saw hen harriers skydancing in the late seventies. It was in the Forest of Bowland and the memory of the birds,...
  • Blog Post: Sky and Hope: A plea for information

    Regular readers of this blog will be aware that we have been trying to find out what happened to Sky and Hope, two young hen harriers that fledged from nests in Bowland this year. We were tracking the movements of these birds by satellite but their tags suddenly stopped transmitting last month, within...
  • Blog Post: Missing: Sky and Hope

    � Last week we were in high spirits, celebrating our National Lottery Award for Best Education project. This week though, we received some news that has left us devastated. It has emerged that two of the hen harrier chicks that fledged this year on the United Utilities Bowland Estate have vanished...
  • Blog Post: Skydancer Glams It Up

    Skydancer has won Best Education Project in the National Lottery Awards 2014. We were shortlisted from over 750 projects across the UK. Last Friday representatives of the Skydancer team, including past project officer Blánaid Denman, and a gamekeeping student Ryan Mort, and lecturer Brian Sweeney...
  • Blog Post: The private life of hen harriers

    Now is the time of year when hen harrier chicks have fledged the nest. Adults and juveniles may stay close by for the winter, while others can move to communal winter roosts in coastal areas, wetland or reed beds. Some have been known to go as far as France or Spain. This video “ The private...
  • Blog Post: Tracking harriers - introducing Bowland's Burt, Hope, Highlander and Sky

    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...
  • Blog Post: Hen Harrier Day in Pictures

    In case you weren't able to make it along to one of the three incredibly inspiring Hen Harrier Day events on Sunday (or even if you were!), I thought I'd share with you an overview of the Peak district event in pictures. For a fuller account of the day, see our Investigations blog here . All...
  • 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: Birders Against Wildlife Crime hen harrier podcasts

    I was recently delighted to be invited to record a podcast about hen harriers with campaign group, Birders Against Wildlife Crime (BAWC) , as part of their series of podcasts leading up to Hen Harrier Day. If you've not come across them before, BAWC are a group definitely worth checking out -...
  • Blog Post: Five healthy chicks

    Another photo of our ever-growing first brood of hen harrier chicks! These feisty five now have BTO rings and will be given satellite tags this week. Can you spot the one male chick looking somewhat harried by his four big sisters? Photo (c) Mick Demain, Bowland, 2014 Skydancer has been nominated...
  • Blog Post: Presenting the first Bowland Hen Harrier chicks!

    Our staff on the ground will be blogging soon about what it's like manning a 24/7 nestwatch, but I just couldn't wait to share this first photograph with you of the first hen harrier chicks to have hatched in Bowland since 2011! Can you spot all five? Bowland hen harrier chicks, 2014 (c...
  • Blog Post: Launch of the Skydancer computer game

    Laptops, iPads, smart phones, TVs – you can’t get away from them these days! With the increasing amount of screen-time in their lives, children are spending less and less time outdoors, and the resulting disconnect from nature is not only well documented but intensely worrying. As a conservation...
  • 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: Kicking off 2014 with enthusiasm and pragmatism

    Spring is suddenly upon us and as the breeding season gets underway in earnest, so too do our efforts to identify, monitor and protect any hen harrier nesting attempts in England. I'm delighted to welcome back Stephen Temperley as our Species Protection Coordinatior for Northumberland, and I bring...
  • 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: Birdcrime 2012

    Birdcrime 2012 was published today, setting out the statistics for all recorded offences against wild bird legislation in that year. If this seems a little late just three weeks from the start of 2014, it's because meticulous care is taken to collate the data and ensure that it's accurately represented...
  • Blog Post: Shooting & Conservation - meeting in the middle

    Lesson 101 of nature conservation - whatever the issue, there will always be a range of people with vested interests, who will always have widely differing opinions about it. Hen harrier conservation is no different. We all know the proverb about walking a mile in another man's shoes but the reality...
  • Blog Post: Actions speak louder than words (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: 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, social media & me (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: Skydancer - the halfway point

    If you close your eyes, Does it almost feel like nothing changed at all? And if you close your eyes, Does it almost feel like you've been here before? How am I gonna be an optimist about this? How am I gonna be an optimist about this? - Pompeii, by Bastille Cycling into work this morning...
  • Blog Post: We're not giving up

    If you haven't come across it yet, see Martin Harper's blog here for a guest post by Jude Lane on our determination to bring hen harriers back from the brink. We are down but not out. We're not giving up.
  • 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: Speaking out for Skydancers

    So what bird is your job about again? Is it the hen hawk? The majority of people, whether they have an active interest in birds or not, have heard of buzzards and kestrels. They might get them confused when asked to identify them, but they are aware that they exist. Many also know about peregrines...
  • 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...