Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Heather - A day in the life. Irish Hen Harrier Winter Survey February Watch

Heather started out this morning in Glengarriff and continued east until back in more familiar territory 
Heather left her North Cork roost over the weekend - she returned to her South Cork coast roost where she had been from September to mid December. This morning (21 January), Heather gets up from roost in Glengarriff, right on the west Coast of Cork, the best part of 100km from where she was on Sunday! When she gets up and starts travelling east, she does not stop. She keeps going. Clocking up 145km in straight line distance in just a few hours, to go where? Right back to where she started in the first place - North Cork. Without the satellite tag data we would have had no idea of the extraordinary movements of this single extraordinary young female Hen Harrier, even in the space of a day.
This goes to show the importance of conducting roost watches in a co-ordinated way, on the day if possible, so that we do not double count the same bird in different locations and so that we can determine if there are movements of birds between roosts.
So, lets all give it one big effort on the 1st of February for next month's coordinated roost watch date!
That is a Saturday. Try your best to get out to your nearest roost on the Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
February has traditionally seen a peak of activity at roosts and is of course one of the last opportunities many of us will get to see Hen Harriers in our locality before they return to their territories for the breeding season.

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