Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Displaying Hen Harriers, May.

I spent the best part of 5 days watching Hen Harriers displaying and as always was left speechless by the spectacle. If this incredible sight is to be marvelled over in the future then I'm afraid a completely different thinking to raptors on moorland is needed. It just Isn't feasible to have hundreds of pairs of HH, Buzzards, Ravens etc on the moors and still have viable grouse shooting, despite what raptor enthusiasts think. You can't disguise the fact that all these predators do take grouse/chicks at some point. Banning grouse shooting is not the answer either as this would mean no moorland management is carried out with the end product being over-grazing by sheep, lots of ground predators and very few breeding waders. I think the shooting fraternity and the conservationists have to meet in the middle but quite where that middle is I just don't know.  

Upside down

Immature female Marsh Harrier migrated north over the moors, passing right past a pair of displaying Hen Harriers.