Read a text book on any wildlife species and it invariably deals in general terms. At this time of year they do such and such.... at another time of the year they do such and such.
Well one of the beauties of nature is how intriguing it actually is and you can be certain that wildlife species don't have to stick to any script if they don't want to or if conditions aren't right.
And who said there aren't individuals in wildlife? Who said there aren't different characters, with their own outlook on life?
Satellite tagging is providing amazing insights as o the individual lives of the young Hen Harriers, Heather and Miranda.
After thousands of kilometres flying from Scotland over the Isle of Man to Dublin to Offaly, Roscommon, Longford, Donegal, Derry, Antrim, back again via Malin Head and then to Leitrim, Sligo and finally Mayo, Miranda has happily stayed on in the same territory since Mid November. She shows no signs of moving on to a breeding ground, at least not yet.
Heather has of course done her own epic journey from the south of the country to the north and back again, but has set up a number of territories in the process, getting to know an area well before moving on again (for various reasons). Recently, she has been prospecting around breeding grounds and now seems like she is establishing a new territory in the Ballyhouras. Whether she is with a male or will attempt to breed in her first year remains to be seen, though it is hopefully only a matter of time before she is seen in the flesh again for some ground truthing of what she is up to.
Just look at the movements of Heather and Miranda in the last 10 days. Very different. Are all individuals the same? Have these two read any scripts?