More on the harriers of Glen Tanar Estate

Following yesterday’s story of the sad loss of the young hen harrier ‘Tanar’, satellite-tracked from her natal site on the Glen Tanar Estate last year, it looks like more young harrier chicks have been recently tagged from this progressive estate.

Wildlife photographer Mark Hamblin has written on his blog about his recent adventures photographing hen harriers at Glen Tanar. As well as taking some spectacular photographs, he also reports that Roy Dennis was back in June to tag some more chicks. Working under a special photography licence, Hamblin has been allowed access to this year’s hen harrier nest, thanks to Glen Tanar Estate owner Michael Bruce. Hamblin reports that this particular hen harrier pair is the only known breeding pair in north-east Scotland. That’s a pretty startling statement when you consider the amount of potentially suitable hen harrier habitat in this part of the world.  What about the land managed by Glen Tanar Estate’s near-neighbours on Deeside? Invercauld Estate, Balmoral Estate, Glenmuick Estate, Dinnet & Kinord Estate? All these estates operate high-profile grouse moors, providing excellent habitat for hen harriers and other upland raptors. Is Hamblin’s assessment correct, that there aren’t any known breeding hen harriers on this vast expanse of land? I guess we’ll find out when all the records have been submitted at the end of the year.

We have reported before about the laudable raptor conservation efforts of Michael Bruce and his staff at Glen Tanar Estate (see here). It is becoming apparent that he deserves even more credit, as he’s seemingly working in isolation in an area where raptors are rarely tolerated. Well done Sir, you are putting your peers to shame.

For more information about Glen Tanar Estate, visit their website here

2 Responses to “More on the harriers of Glen Tanar Estate”

  1. 1 john miles
    July 5, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    I think you have missed off Marr lodge!! The head warden there claims that no harriers breed there due to other estates. But like Glen Tanar the area has the potential to hold several pairs but may be estate workers for the national Trust of Scotland do not want them in case they get complaints from other estates like xxxxxxx [name removed]. In my view, the only reason the National Trust was given this estate was so that RSPB could not get it and fill it with harriers.

  2. July 5, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    I can only begin to contemplate what Michael Bruce must himself be the brunt of given his sympathies towards birds of prey. For anybody keeping a Blog or contributing to the media, it’s important we pay every recognition to his efforts and to place on the public record, as Raptor Persecution Scotland has done, our gratitude at someone taking a stand and proving that a sporting estate can operate without any tarnish arising on its reputation. Thanks, Michael, but be aware, there’s a hell of a lot of people out there both thankful and in awe of your efforts!

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