Some of you may have gone to see the male Pallid Harrier in Bowland this spring but now it has been confirmed that there was a second one in Cumbria! Due to nesting Hen Harriers in the same area of Yorkshire/Cumbria border the bird was not put out to the general public.
The Hen Harriers failed due to the eggs going missing. Sadly with no proof foxes were blamed not man as the nests were by a Red Grouse moor and of course foxes are protected on Red Grouse moors![not] This PR line is what conservation bodies have been doing for 35 years and how many Hen Harriers has it saved? None
So what happened to these Hen Harriers after they failed and the 2 Pallid Harrier males? It is worth noting that a Hen Harrier on Langholm this year lost its eggs to a predator [They said Fox!] and a second clutch was laid and those young took flight the first week in August so why did these 2 Hen Harriers not try again? With communication with other bird watchers these birdscould have been monitored as they traveled to other areas but both species of harriers just vanished into thin air! Pallid Harriers bred for the first time in Holland this year where they do not have Red Grouse moors or keepers.
Pallid Harrier in the autumn is becoming quite common migrant with singles over wintering as I watched for 3 days the bird in East Yorkshire and this is creating another factor. Harriers are drawn to game cropping where at least 1 satellite tagged Hen Harrier has been shot near Alnwick. So how many harriers [and other birds of prey] each winter are shot hunting around this game cropping often paid for by us through Environmental Stewardship?
These rare Pallid Harrier hopefully will stay clear of Britain as this country is not safe for them to come here!