Blog Post: Calluna has disappeared!

Posted on - In Sky Dancer
I’m very sad to have to report that one of the hen harrier’s satellite tagged as part of the LIFE project this year, has already disappeared. “Calluna”, a female harrier, was tagged this summer at a nest on the National Trust for Scotland’s Mar Lodge estate, near Braemar. We were monitoring her transmitter’s data which showed that she fledged from the nest in July. She left the area in early August, and gradually headed east over the Deeside moors. However, while the tag data showed it to be working perfectly, transmissions abruptly ended on 12 th August, with no further data transmitted. Calluna’s last recorded position was on a grouse moor a few miles north of Ballater, in the Cairngorms National Park. For regular followers of our hen harriers, this will be a depressingly familiar story. I’m sure some will focus on the da...

Blog Post: The ordinary 12th

Posted on - In Sky Dancer
Today is the traditional start of the grouse shooting season – the ‘Glorious 12 th ’ to some; the Inglorious 12 th to others. To be honest, it’s just another day to me – I’ve never been grouse shooting and I doubt I ever will. It’s a Friday so I guess that’s good. I suppose for me it’s just the ordinary 12 th . If someone brings cake in it might stretch to the pretty decent 12 th . But behind that slightly flippant introduction is a serious question – does grouse shooting matter and perhaps most pertinently of all, does it have a future? In 100 years’ time, will there still be a Glorious 12 th , or will it be looked back on as an odd quirky footnote in the history of our countryside? I’m sure we’ll hear lots of perspectives on that today from all angles, but from my perspective the only answer to the question “s...

Comment on Leaving the Hen Harrier Action Plan: a personal perspective

Posted on - In Sky Dancer
Keith As a member and volunteer, thank you for your ongoing support and for your thoughts here. We were supportive of the action plan, but only on condition it deliver immediate progress. Having so patently failed to do so, continued support was untenable. On southern reintroduction, as I no longer sit on the group, you'd have to ask those on the group where it has now got to. And as you'll have noticed, I wasn't at Ragley. Maybe we'll bump into each other at Birdfair. If we do, you can kick me in the balls in person, rather than asking my colleagues to do it on your behalf ;-) Jeff ...