Langholm Project – Hen Harrier Distribution Details 2010/11

Many questions have been asked by our readers recently regarding the where-a-bouts of the three hen harrier chicks which were each satellite tagged at Langholm this summer. We have at last established that one of the three chicks tagged (58941)  is still alive and has managed to cross the English Cannel and is now wintering in Normandy. Curiously so far we have been unable to find detail of which route from Scotland via England this harrier followed into France. Is the bird still in Normandy or has it now moved on by now? Follow the limited detail here. 

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It is very interesting to note that within the last few weeks many additional hen harriers have migrated across the North Sea into Eastern England from Continental Europe. The $24,000 question on our minds, what will happen to many of these birds should they have the misfortune to reach the uplands of England?

Some of the harrier dispersal movements from Langholme have been truly remarkable. One male chick, (tag code 58872) over-wintered as far away as the north coast of Spain in 2010-11, returning to SW Scotland in May 2011. Click here to see the path taken by this wanderer. Unfortunately the Google map that is displayed does not include any additional movement detail for this harrier after the 27th May this year. We would like to know what the total number of harriers radio tagged in 2010 was and how many apart from (58872) above are still on the radar?

Limited information relating to one additional hen harrier tagged (95133) is shown on the Google map static in the Borders perhaps still alive, perhaps not. However it is disappointing no additional information has been provided detailing which year this harrier was tagged, or whether this tagged bird has also now gone off the radar.

Significantly, there is no Google tracking information shown at all relating to the three 2011 tagged hen harrier chick from Langholm apart from the single tagged bird (58941) which is currently shown in Normandy. What has happened to a second tagged bird (58943) and the third tagged harrier this years? Perhaps (58943) is the same bird which was tracked to the Croglin estate perhaps not.

We know that one of the three tagged birds (tag number not published) crossed the Scottish/English border into the Northern Pennines after fledging; so far all that has been published  confirming this is a statement by Langholm’s head keeper Simon Lester admitting one of the 2011 three harriers tagged went off the radar somewhere south-east of Carlisle, its fate not known.

This harrier was tracked  to the infamous Croglin estate in the Northern Pennines where the satellite signal, not surprisingly then terminated. We are sure many of our readers, like ourselves, would like to have seen a tracking record which showed not only the route from Langolme this birds followed, but importantly the last tracked location upon the Croglin estate where the satellite transmission terminated. Why has this detail been conveniently omitted from the Google tracking information maps, and why has there been no information or tracking detail published relating the the tagged harrier 58943 and the third tagged harrier?      

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