Further to yesterday’s blog about a pathetically vague ‘appeal’ for information from Northumberland Police (here), the RSPB has now confirmed that yet another satellite-tagged hen harrier has disappeared in suspicious circumstances, next to a grouse moor.
According to the RSPB blog (here), this bird was called ‘Tarras’ and was tagged on Langholm Moor in 2020 (not be confused with a previously tagged hen harrier also called Tarras, also tagged on Langholm Moor but in 2016, and who vanished in the Peak District National Park the same year here). So much for hen harriers not being able to breed on Langholm once the gamekeepers had left, eh? Another rural myth busted.
Tarras had explored the North Pennines AONB before settling in south Northumberland in the late autumn.
[Hen harrier Tarras. Photo by RSPB]
From the RSPB blog:
For the 90 days prior to disappearing, we could see that Tarras had settled into a routine of hunting on grouse moor and roosting either on it or just off of it. However, after getting regular transmissions each day, since 24 February 2021 we have had nothing at all. The tag’s last fix showed that Tarras was roosting with other birds just off a grouse moor near Haltwhistle, just outside the North Pennines AONB boundary.
RSPB Investigations Officers searched the area but found no sign of tag or body. The matter was passed on to Northumbria Police, who have recently issued an appeal for information.
So, here we are, careering towards yet another year of insane hen harrier brood meddling where we’ll be told by the grouse-shooting industry that they love hen harriers to bits (there’ll be no mention of the harriers being shot to bits once the industry has pushed its propaganda around the newsrooms) and the country’s statutory conservation agency will clap its hands, pat the grouse moor owners on the back for their ‘conservation’ efforts and try to convince the rest of us, with prominent press coverage, that this is the way forward for the UK’s declining population of hen harriers.
Will the same media prominence be given to the ongoing never-bloody-ending illegal killing? I’ve discussed this before (here) but judging by Northumberland Police’s crap PR yesterday about this latest missing harrier, it looks like we’re set for another year of the same.
Well done to the RSPB for getting detailed information out.