Spring is here...
well technically it's here! Driving a 4x4 through the flooded roads around the Burren this evening was great fun as I winded my way towards a roost site. The roost site, naturally, was almost completely flooded also. However, there was a patch of reeds that were slightly elevated and this is where I watched a male and a female Hen Harrier return to spend the night, surrounded by Mallard, Grey Herons, Swans and Water Rail. A sparrowhawk hunting small birds added some further spark to the evening at this wonderful wetland site.
So many people turned out across the country over the weekend for the co-ordinated winter roost watch date (IHHWS) and had their own similar experiences, making the most of what this time of the year has to offer before it all changes again. Of course if you were unable to get to your local roost or to check for new roosts, you still have time to do so for this month and for next month.
Heather and Miranda, our satellite tracked stars are still in Cork and Mayo respectively. Heather was today hunting a new area 6km SE of her roost. She typically uses a 10km radius of an area for hunting and this information is vitally important to learn about the habitat use of a young Hen Harrier.
Come this time next month please God we'll be still following Heather and Miranda but who knows by then where they will be!
Spring will be well and truly here by then!
See http://www.clare.fm/flood for what a Hen Harrier's eye view of the Burren today