Rare bird swoops into Fowlmere

09:11 07 April 2012

A Carrion Crow persues the rare Hen Harrier in Fowlmere. Photo by David Hatton (Art16)

A Carrion Crow persues the rare Hen Harrier in Fowlmere. Photo by David Hatton (Art16)


ONE of England’s rarest and most targeted birds of prey was last week spotted in Fowlmere.

The hen harrier roosted in the RSPB site from mid-December up until last week and is believed to have now flown north.

Reserve warden Doug Radford said: “We don’t see them every year. This is an exceptional event. We have never had one roosting for this length of time on the reserve.”

It is believed only four breeding pairs exist in England despite the habitat being capable to accommodate hundreds. Gamekeepers have been known to target the birds as hen harriers hunt grouse.

The bird’s effect on grouse threatens its survival in some parts of the UK, with the RSPB listing the species as a high conservation priority.


More news stories

Image provided by Landmark showing the location of Fontmell Close, overlaying a map from 1878. Crown Copyright and Landmark Information Group Limited 2015. All Rights Reserved.

A large historic clay pit sits beneath the surface of last week’s mammoth sinkhole, as seen in images prepared for this paper.

Yesterday, 21:00
Disabled people cannot cross the accessway over the Abbey Flyer railway in Cottonmill estate. Photo courtesy of Willem Hofland

Network Rail has copped yet more flak over its mishandling of a level crossing footpath in St Albans, with disabled people struggling to cross the re-opened accessway.

Yesterday, 19:00
County Councilor Richard Thake speaks to police in the sinkhole cordon

There was a sense of panic and uncertainty at Batchwood Leisure Centre last week as those evacuated from houses in the proximity of the sinkhole were forced to make unexpected arrangements.

Yesterday, 17:40
Jack and Harry Langford are among families evacuated from Fontmell Close in St Albans after the sinkhole appeared.

The practicality of safely evacuating youngsters from the site of a dangerous sinkhole has resulted in an impressive ‘keep calm and carry on’ attitude among some of those affected, including a family of six.

Most read stories

Digital Edition

Read the The Herts Advertiser e-edition E-edition