Sunday, 20 April 2014

This week's movers...

All four females 20 April 2014

The big news from the satellite tracked birds this week was undoubtedly that of Miranda's movements towards Scotland...or at least so it seemed midweek when she was right on the north coast of Antrim and even Rathlin Island - literally looking across at Scotland on a fine day during this present spell of lovely weather. However, she has stuck on in Ireland and is currently around the very same area as she spent some time in October (click here for information). She is around 200km from her sister GrĂ¡inne and neighbour Hattie in Langholm, Scotland, but this as we know is a journey that a young harrier would be well capable of. However, do the "Irish" males have one last opportunity to persuade her to stay in Ireland?! It is interesting that apart from the Isle of Man, Antrim is the only established and extant breeding area that Miranda would have passed through on her epic journey from home so far.

Heather may not  yet be as fully settled as things appear from the satellite data. She has still to be seen in the flesh in the Ballyhouras and so it is not possible to say if she is with a male. During the week she flew to Limerick City and back to the Ballyhouras again, in the process coming very close to where her sister Sally died in August (see here).

Interestingly, Miranda visited the same part of Lough Neagh during the week as Heather visited in late August. The mixing of individuals across a shared landscape is being revealed by this pioneering research using satellite technology in both Ireland and Britain. There is no doubt that there is a metapopulation, whereby what happens to Hen Harriers and their habitat or welfare in Ireland can impact on "British" birds and vice versa.

Miranda's current view in Antrim

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