The sun brings out the Skydancer in the Forest of Bowland.

Just a few weeks ago we published details about the single Hen Harrier observed Skydancing  in the Derbyshire Peak district. Disappointingly it now appears the female was playing fast and loose eventually leaving the displaying male all alone without a mate. Then we highlighted the high incidence of Hen Harriers at Langholm moor this spring, great news of course especially as we are told at least 6 females were incubating clutches of eggs. Will any or all of these nests prove successful, we must wait a see. As luck would have it today marked the return of the two Hen Harriers into the Forest of Bowland, each observed at separate locations, a ringtail this morning and a mature male later in the afternoon. Well the sun was shinning after all, but it just goes to show if you are in the right place at the right time with a little good luck a Hen Harrier or two may turn up surprising everyone.

Hen Harrier web01

Early this morning (15 th May), 3  members of the North West Raptor Protection Group were sitting at a high elevation over looking a  Forest of Bowland grouse moor when a female Hen Harrier was seen chasing away a Buzzard. The incident lasted only a minute at the most and then both birds just vanished over the rise of a nearby hill. This Hen Harrier was not seen again, nor did the raptor workers make any effort to locate a nest ensuring no disturbance was unduly caused just in case one might have existed. The sight of the Harrier was enough for everyone. Earlier in the spring and almost in the same area of moorland a second female Harrier was seen flying low quartering as she flew over the moor.

The best part of the day came just after the raptor workers had finished a quick lunch. Looking up towards the top of the moor a male Hen Harrier was observed Skydancing  half a mile away in the blue sky only a few hundred feet above the heather, and what a spectacular dance he performed for all to see. Up and down and then around and then up and down again and again. The Skydancer’s aerial  acrobatics lasted no more than three or four minutes, but what a tremendous joy to have seen and so unexpectedly, out of the blue you might say. Although the trio waited for at least thirty minutes with much anticipation the male Harrier did not show again after flying off and out of sight to the far side of the moor. We do not know at this stage if the male Harrier observed today was one of a pair, if we receive more news in the next week or so we will publish this information. Watch this space.

3 comments to The sun brings out the Skydancer in the Forest of Bowland.

  • skydancer

    I have been watching 2 occupied Hen Harrier territories in bowland over the last few weeks, both nests are on the United Utilities estate, the RSPB have a hide set up at one of them for public viewing. Nice to see one of the occupied peregrine nests on the UU estate now contains chicks.

  • paul williams

    I am of an optimistic belief, that at last, the North West Raptor Protection Groups findings of persecution regarding Birds of Prey in the Forest of Bowland is getting through to the powers that be. We have kicked and screamed at you all for a long time now…enough is enough…do something to redress the balance.There may well be a slight upturn at the end of this 2014 season on a single estate in Bowland…but by god you have a long way to go to prove you’re worth!

  • paul williams

    Paul Che Williams shared a link.
    5 hours ago
    UN-Natural England!!!

    Call for killing of birds deemed health hazard splits conservationists
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/may/18/bird-killing-call-robin-starling-mallard-splits-conservationists