Thursday, 30 October 2014

Heather has her very own island! Halloween Winter Roost Weekend!

The South Kerry island that Heather has made home
 Heather, the intrepid young female Hen Harrier is still in the Kingdom of Kerry and surely fit for the Queen of the Kingdom is her very own island! The above island has been home for Heather for the past while. It probably makes good sense too - especially from a safety point of view - no predators or disturbance.

Continue to follow Heather and other Hen Harrier news on this blog and on and on Twitter @HarrierIreland

This weekend sees the annual Halloween Hen Harrier Roost Watch. It is a real experience to be at a reedbed or bog on Halloween, with a half moon overhead as you finish your watch. Friday and Saturday currently look to be the best bets weather-wise. For details contact

Winter Roost Scene

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Heather is a Kerry girl at heart!

Heather is a Kerry girl at heart!

Heather has now returned to Kerry after another stay at her 'home range' in Cork. She has been deciding between the two counties for some time now, switching from Cork to Kerry, Kerry to Cork and so on. This is very interesting behaviour, which would not be known only for Heather and her satellite tag. These movements are not insignificant either - Heather's latest move from South Cork to South Kerry is 150km in a straight line and surely lots of ground travelled and encounters along the way for Heather. Why has Heather made this move?? For now, see Heather's latest movements and an excellent photo of her latest view - of the Skelligs (Skelligs image copyright Eoin Kavanagh).

Skelligs (c) Eoin Kavanagh - Heather's current view

Heather's most recent movements, now in South Kerry

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Notes from the first week of the Irish Hen Harrier Winter Survey 2014-15

Volunteers throughout the country from Cork to Donegal, Galway to Wicklow, have been out looking for Hen Harriers for the first week of the Irish Hen Harrier Winter Survey. This is the tenth year of the survey and it is important that as much coverage as possible is achieved so that the Hen Harrier population and range over the past decade can be fully reviewed.

If you see a Hen Harrier - please report it to

If you want to do roost watches, contact

So far, the first week has seen harrier sightings reported across the country and a number of roost watches completed, including last night in Cork, when Heather, the satellite tracked female from Kerry, was seen at roost with a friend. She has returned to her favoured spot by the coast, where she spent last winter and again this autumn until she moved to Kerry for a couple of weeks - no doubt to celebrate Kerry's success in the All-Ireland!!

Also, we are close to finding a new roost in County Louth. Finding roosts is especially important for the direct conservation of Hen Harriers.