Karen Couper of the Cairngorms National Park Authority, one of the partners in the project, put out a request for information on a suitable hen harrier’s nest with young, which we could satellite tag for the raptor tracking project. She received a reply from Glentanar Estate on Deeside. I drove over on Tuesday, 29 June, which was a beautiful sunny day, and met Colin McLean, the wildlife manager, at the estate office. After driving through a glen, we walked up onto the moors, where Colin showed me the nest containing 3 young in the long heather. I ringed all 3 chicks, and fitted solar powered satellite transmitters on two of them. A 12gm Microwave Telemetry solar PTT- 100 on the female and a lighter 9.5gm Microwave Telemetry solar PTT- 100 on the male. We did not see the parents but there were fresh meadow pipit feathers in the nest, and the chicks were well fed. Colin checked on 11th July and saw that the young harriers were flying near the nest area.
I decided to name the male (tag number 28660) Glen and the female (tag number 51894) Tanar.
Sincere thanks to Michael Bruce of Glentanar, and Colin McLean, Wildlife Manager.
The tracking data is given under their individual pages. Note that these smaller radio transmitters do not give GPS accuracy but rely on the older technology which calculates locations with accuracies from 150 metres to well over 1 km.
Additional Information on the species
Check out the BTO bird facts page for the hen harrier at http://blx1.bto.org/birdfacts/results/bob2610.htm