Meet Harry the hen harrier. He is currently on the decking outside our reception building.
Harry is the wonderful creation of Findlay Wilde, aged 12 from Cheshire, and his father for their village scarecrow festival earlier this year. He is made from a variety of materials including insulation boards and roofing felt.
Findlay is a keen birder and a big supporter of the RSPB's Skydancer project, which is helping to raise awareness and conservation of hen harriers in Northern England, and Findlay wanted his scarecrow to reflect this. He also writes a regular blog about his birding called Wilde About Birds.
In mid-August, the inaugural Hen Harrier Day was established by BAWC (Birders Against Wildlife Crime), Findlay and his family attended the event in the Peak District, and took Harry along as a mascot which served to attract lots of attention.
The following weekend, Harry was used on the RSPB stand at the annual Birdfair event at Rutland Water in Leicestershire. After that, Harry ended up at The Lodge and it was Findlay's idea for it to be brought to the Dee Estuary reserve as this is his closest reserve and one of the hotspots for hen harriers in the Winter months. Harry arrived on Monday 13 October and is set to stay until spring, apart from a brief flight to Leighton Moss for an appearance on BBC Autumnwatch later this month.
Come along to Parkgate and join us for our Skydancers on the Dee events, there will be staff and volunteers on hand to show you these beautiful birds hunting over the marsh. We will be there on one Sunday each month until March 15, follow the link to see the full list of dates.
Latest sightings here on the Dee Estuary have included a male hen harrier and 2 ringtails.
Next time you visit Burton Mere Wetlands why not take a "selfie" photo with Harry? You can upload your selfie to twitter and share it with @WildeAboutBirds and #HenHarriers. We look forward to seeing them.