Forest of Bowland the flight of a Pallid Harrier during a setting sun.


Here we see England’s only migrant Pallid Harrier quartering moorland in the Dunsop Valley filmed from the official Harrier viewpoint in the Forest of Bowland last night at 7.30pm, 10/05/2017. Just as the evening sun was setting over Bowland’s moorland landscape our camera captured the beauty and dexterity of a Pallid Harriers hypnotic and choreographed flight.

Thanks to the RSPB’s wise decision to announce to the world the Harriers presence and precise location on moorland in the Forest of Bowland probably saved this bird’s life. We are confident that as long as the Pallid Harrier remains on moorland owned by United Utilities, and under the protection of the RSPB, his security is reasonably assured, at least for the time being.

However once the Harrier crosses the moorland boundary moving onto an adjoining estate, which eventually will certainly happen, he will not be safe at all, and may suddenly disappear, mirroring the demise of the four missing male Hen Harrier which all vanished in 2015 from the Forest of Bowland never to be seen again.

Of course no one can ensure the survival of this magnificent raptor once he migrates away from his present location on the United Utilities estate along the Dunsop Valley, as he will certainly do. But for now, I urge as many people as possible to go and see the magnificent Pallid Harrier in the Whitendal Valley whilst it is still around.


Pallid Harrier View Point installed by RSPB

The sight of such a rare raptor in Bowland brought enjoyment and a great deal of pleasure to the many hundreds, if not thousands, of delighted people who decided to visit the Dunsop Valley to marvel at such a rare avian spectacle in Lancashire’s sky.

Many will no doubt recall their observation of this single Pallid Harrier for the rest of our lives. We must not forget however the numerous additional protected raptors that once thrived throughout Bowland’s heather moorland which have now become a figment of our imagination, wiped out, possibly gone for ever which our children and grandchildren will never now get the chance to see.

We can only hope that this Pallid Harrier does not and must not be allowed to follow in the footsteps of the Hen Harrier, Peregrine and Short-eared owl which have mysteriously gone from the Forest of Bowland landscape as a result of their persecution.Unfortunately the chances of this bird surviving are very slim I fear should he decide to over winter in the Forest of Bowland.

7 comments to Forest of Bowland the flight of a Pallid Harrier during a setting sun.

  • Adam

    Has he had any female Hen Harriers to pay attention to? I plan to come and see him soon, cracking bird,great video.

    Editor’s Comment. Adam, we understand the only Hen Harrier showing any interest in the three weeks the Pallid Harrier was displaying was a second immature male. The fact that only a single Hen Harrier was seen responding to the male Pallid Harriers skydancing shows the serious nature of the current situation; there are no other Hen Harrier about this year in Bowland, nor have we heard of any additional pairs on any English grouse moor so far.

  • Albert Ross

    Beautiful video of a beautiful bird. Thank you for sharing it with us Terry.

  • Adam

    This is very sad to hear. All of the gamekeepers in Bowland should be jailed for what they have done to the wildlife of Bowland. Sadly many gamekeepers are paid wildlife terrorists. Paid to kill many species so that one or two species can be killed in mass unnatural numbers, is totally unethical and immoral.

    Editor’s Comment. Adam, thats a bit harsh, not all gamekeepers kill birds of prey in Bowland.

  • Peter Woodruff

    Editor….The harsh bit came from you picking straws in reply to Adams ‘All of the gamekeepers in Bowland should be jailed for what they have done to the wildlife of Bowland’.

    By ‘all’ he probably meant those who have committed a wildlife crime should go to jail, whilst you have come to the defence of the gamekeeper who doesn’t kill birds of prey. You actually don’t know ‘not all gamekeepers kill birds of prey in Bowland’….I prefer to think you might be wrong on that one, and that they probably all do.

    By the way, you do know that gamekeepers in their little green Land Rovers have been driving up and down the area where the Pallid Harrier is in Bowland whilst making gestures with one hand and a gun in the other to people enjoying this stunning bird….don’t you?

    Editor’s Comment. Peter if you have proof about what you have said about the gamekeeper in a little green landrover you should make an official complaint about this direct to United Utilities as soon as possible. Making gestures as you have described is totally unacceptable and would require investigation. From a legal aspect we think anyone who claims all gamekeepers in Bowland should be jailed ect., may be on a very dodgy wicket, so we advise in the future be careful with your equations unless you can prove what you are claiming.

  • joe bloggs

    lovely bird but not as rare as you my think. I’ve seen one lately near Moosdale estate near to hawes. saw him 3 days running.

  • Darren

    The bird has left the site apparently ! Is this correct or has it found a female?

  • Nick Moss

    Joe Bloggs, the bird yo have seen, is this an adult male Pallid Harrier?
    Must be same bird?