Friday, 23 October 2009

A couple of big disoveries......

The first dicovery was the origin of the wing-tagged Hen Harrier that has been with us since October 11th.

She was tagged in West Clare, Ireland on July 6th this year as a youngster. Many thanks to Barry O'Donoghue from the National Parks and Wildlife Service for sending info and this photo of the bird when she was being tagged. Also thanks to Stephen Murphy for helping us track down the birds origins.

She was part of a brood of four and was quite large when tagged (538g and wind length 254mm).
The most exciting part of this discovery is that this is the first proven record of a Hen Harrier leaving Ireland. It has been suspected that some birds were leaving to overwinter elsewhere and young birds have often been found at Hook Head - a headland our bird would have passed over on a direct flight from home to Skomer.

She is now 285 km from home and seems to be doing well, she is seen most days hunting through North or South Valley. We have knick-named her Skomer saith (saith=seven in Welsh).

You can find out more about the Hen Harrier project in Ireland by visiting or take a look at their factsheet,5186,en.pdf . There is also lots of work going on with Hen Harriers in England, visit for more info about their recovery project and the threats facing these birds. If you spot a Hen Harier with a wing tag then please get in touch with either organisation as the information will be very useful.

The second discovery was the existence of a highly secretive tea-command centre hidden somewhere beneath Skomer!

It has often been observed that people drink more tea when they are on-island and now it seems we can explain the phenomena.

Jo Milborrow

She's the Skomer Warden. But she doesn't drink tea. Wierd!

No comments:

Post a Comment