Continental Hen Harriers staying late in England this year.

[singlepic id=84 w=335 h=515 float= left] In a month [25th march – 24th April] over 60 records have been made by UK bird watchers of Hen Harriers observed over low ground when most British birds should already have been on their upland breeding grounds. This must point to the fact that these harriers are continental birds before they try and take off across the North Sea. Given how few Hen Harriers have actually been found on their breeding territory this year a question must be asked how many continental birds have been killed in this country by shooting estates this season

Most of these records come from the east coast and south coast with Norfolk and Suffolk making up most of the records but even one female bird was seen on the Scilly Isles on 15th April. Closer to a breeding site a single ringtail was seen on the Dee at Burton Wetlands on 24th April. As seen in the autumn with the invasion of Short eared Owls from the continent even these Owls are hanging around with 155 reports but much more widely spread on the low ground. Some of these birds may possible go on to breed in new areas of the lowlands where hopefully they will be much safer than up on the Red Grouse Moors.

Given the amount of money spent in especially Malta to try and protect birds of prey, it seems amazing that little is done to protect continental birds of prey after they migrate to Britain. Like our residential Hen Harriers is it time for European courts to take action against Britain and its policies as everyone knows [even the cat!] that shooting estates are to blame for these massacres. All you have to do is look at distribution maps to see where birds can breed and where they can not. It is not rocket science!!

1 comment to Continental Hen Harriers staying late in England this year.

  • paul williams

    I see there is a warrant out for the arrest of convicted Egg Thief Matthew Simon Gonshaw. He failed to turn up for a court hearing in Inverness. On the face of it it would appear the court may have been justified in seeking a warrant for his arrest, after all failing to turn up in court is a serious matter. However, we must not forget Gonshaw has been banned by the Scottish court from setting foot in Scotland because of his egg collecting activities within that country.