Skydancer……….Wings Across The Mersey
During Liverpool Heritage Week I took myself on a walk around Speke Hall and down to the river estuary and was amazed at the abundance of water fowl, seabirds and even majestic swans dabbling on the mudflats.
Just above the mudflats I noticed the black sillouette of a bird flying low with outstretched wings, with the occasional flap as it quartered the ground in search of prey.
This bird, I am sure, was indeed a Hen Harrier.
The Dee and Mersey Estuary the RSPB tell me, are a vital wintering ground for these amazing birds and it is the best place to see them from October through to March.
Most people have never seen a Hen Harrier, but once seen it is rarely forgotten.
I’ll always remember the pale grey, with white rump; wing tips black; underparts white….but it was the conspicuous white rump above the long barred tail that gave it away.
A few years ago while travelling near Northampton, I saw several Red Kites…. and I’ve never forgotten that image and acobatic display let alone the distinctive shaped tail and long fingered wing tips of that bird.
The Hen Harrier is a beautiful agile hunter, and its aerobatic sky dances are among the most awesome spectacles in nature.
Unfortunately, there are only a handful of pairs still breeding creating a species on the brink unless we help to save it.
Happily there are a few places we can see the Harrier.
Come along to Parkgate to find out more about the Hen Harrier story and meet the rangers.
The RSPB Love nature marquee will be on the promenade at Parkgate where staff will be with telescopes and binoculars plus family activities to make it a fun afternoon.
The “Donkey Stand” opposite Nicholls Ice-cream shop on The Parade (B5135), Cheshire.
Make sure you have these dates in your diary….
Saturday 6th October
Sunday 7th October
Sunday 4th November
Sunday 2nd December
Sunday 6th January
Sunday 3rd February
Sunday 3rd March