Sunday, 11 May 2014

Females settle down to nesting - what of Heather and Miranda?

When last updated, Heather had made her way back to her native Kingdom of Kerry. Well quite a lot has happened since and quite a lot of ground has been covered by Heather (the story of her life so far). Just one day was spent in Kerry before she returned east to rest between the Ballyhoura and Galtee Mountains. She spent the best part of the last two weeks at one site in particular, but as a visual on Heather has not been gained, it is not possible to say whether she has been hanging around with a settled pair (as was the case in the Ballyhouras) or whether she has found a boyfriend all of her own. The latest location data for Heather showed she had travelled all the way west again to the Abbeyfeale/Mountcollins area of West Limerick, before switching back east again. It is safe to assume at this stage that Heather is not settled and is not nesting, unlike other females. With limited habitat available to Hen Harrier pairs, it appears very difficult for a young female Hen Harrier to find a place of her own - unlike Scotland where Grainne and Hattie now seem well settled, and only a couple of kilometres from each other.

Miranda is still in Northern Ireland, but as with Heather there has been no visual so it is not possible to say whether she is paired up. She does however appear more settled than Heather and is remaining faithful to the one spot. Fingers crossed that she is breeding and may hopefully add to the population here yet!

Heather's movements of the past 10 days

1 comment: