“We can confirm that the remaining HOT satellite tagged Hen Harrier (Sorrel) is alive and mobile, and in a recognised roost / hunting ground in Scotland. As Natural England has no jurisdiction north of the border, Stephen Murphy, who tagged Sorrel on behalf of HOT and is Natural England’s member of our team, arranged for his colleagues in Scotland to seek Sorrel out on the ground. On our behalf, initially using recent satellite location data we provided, they have been following her movements by tracking her satellite tag from ground level. The information they have provided has allowed us to demonstrate that there is good correlation between their highly accurate ground based readings and what we are seeing by way of tag fixes via the satellite. This provides confirmation that the satellite tracking data is viable information upon which we can rely throughout this project. Clearly we have no information on Sorrel’s actual physical condition and wellbeing, and are hoping she will find sufficient prey to make it through the current storms and the rest of the winter.
HOT and Natural England are in agreement that because Sorrel is staying pretty much in one area we cannot divulge her location, so unfortunately we will not be publishing satellite tag traces at this time. It is a sad reflection that by necessity we must not expose the location of these birds in an attempt to ensure they are not persecuted. However, whenever we can we will update you on Sorrel’s progress”.
The Hen Harrier Monitoring Team