Terry Pickford introduces Nick Miles (Jimmy King) from Emmerdale to Hen Harriers in the Forest of Bowland.


It may have been just a coincidence, but our glorious summer has seen Hen Harriers in one part of the Forest of Bowland, and in several northern regions of Scotland, having had one of the most productive breeding seasons witnessed in many years.

Hen Harriers 2018 Forest of Bowland
Hen Harrier isle of man

Hen Harriers breeding on the United Utilities Bowland estate this summer have produced a bumper crop fledgling 13 chicks in total from 3 nests, ( broods of 5, 4.and 4 males) . This remarkable outcome has resulted in one of the most successful breeding seasons for Hen Harriers inside the Forest of Bowland  for possibly a decade. At least 9 of these chicks have been fitted with satellite tags. The next 2 months will be crucial for the long term survival of all these fledged chicks. As many of these young Harriers migrate from their safe natal territories on the UU estate settling onto adjacent shooting estates in private ownership, their security based on the 2014 and 2015 seasons could be under threat. As witnessed in those two seasons the disappearance of 7 birds, which included two recently fledged chicks (Sky and Hope 2014)  both fitted with satellite tags on the UU estate, followed in 2015 by the loss of 5 adult breeding male Hen Harriers, 4 from Bowland and a single male from Geltsdale. All these 5 Harriers failed to return to their nests after flying off to forage and find food to feed their incubating female partners. The disappearances of each male then resulted in the failure of at least 25 eggs contained in the five nests which went cold after each nest was then deserted by the 5 females.

We are sure the scientists who fitted the satellite tags to Harriers in Bowland will be keeping a close eye on the movements of all recently fledged Harriers from this years nests. It will be critical to ensure the movements of each of the 13 chicks onto hostile moorland habitats, both inside the Forest of Bowland and elsewhere, are kept under close scrutiny to ensure their continued wellbeing into and beyond the winter.
National Trust Property in the Peak District.
A single Hen Harrier nest reported as successful by the National Trust in Derbyshire,  no further information at this time.
Scottish Highlands and Islands 

Information from the parts of the Scottish Highlands are telling us many pairs of Hen Harriers this year were made up of immature birds, both male and female. If this detail is correct this could point to the fact that adult mature birds of both sexes were very thin on the ground.

On the other hand information from Bob McMillan from Skye Birds reports more successful Hen Harrier nests this year on the inland than in previous seasons, with few if any failures after nest visits to examine and ring were curtailed.

Peregrines Forest of Bowland
Urban Peregrine

The North West Raptor Protection Group are aware of two Peregrine nesting attempts made in the Forest of Bowland this year, both of which were established on moorland owned by United Utilities PLC. One of the two nests was successful fledging 4 young. Unfortunately the second nest contained an unknown number of eggs failed in early April after the clutch of eggs disappeared within just 14 days of being laid.

Eagle Owl Forest of Bowland.

It is being reported there were two EO nesting attempts made on the United Utilities estates by different pairs located several miles apart. The first nest may have been abandoned after being visited and disturbed when containing eggs by two unidentified males at 06.30 in early April (eye witness report). We have not heard of a second breeding attempt for this pair, so perhaps we should be prepared to accept the worst.

EAGLE OWL 580x415

The second pair where more successful managing to hatch and fledge at least 2 owlets.







3 comments to Terry Pickford introduces Nick Miles (Jimmy King) from Emmerdale to Hen Harriers in the Forest of Bowland.

  • Sort it out how can you expect any one to listen when all can heat is the wind ? Terry unless you take avasius action i e get in the way of the bastards your not going to stop them …

    Editors Comment. Julian. You are correct, but we could not prevent the wind on the day of filming, that was the only slot we had, that is why we added the captions below the video. Sorry

  • Thanks are due to Mr Phil Gunning, tenant of United Utilities in Bowland.
    He has long stated he would welcome Hen Harriers on his Grouse moor,but
    until this season has been denied this pleasure by the actions of other
    landowners, and their employees.

  • Albert Ross

    Great news about the breeding successes of 2018 both in Bowland and elsewhere.
    Eagle Owls too.
    Pity about the wind noise but I got no subtitles on my screen so much of what Terry was saying was lost..

    Editor’s Comment. Albert if you were viewing on a mobile the captions would not show, to see and read the captions you must follow the video on a PC.