Aalin update

Aalin with satellite tag, July 2016 (Image: Sean Gray ©grayimages)
Aalin with satellite tag, July 2016 (Image: Sean Gray ©grayimages)

Amidst the controversy and obfuscation that taints the UK Government's fatuous approach to Hen Harrier conservation, it's wonderful to be able to report some Christmas cheer.

Manx Hen Harrier Aalin continues to thrive in Wales!

To cut a long and exciting story short, Aalin was tagged in the Isle of Man as a nestling in the summer of 2016. For nearly a year now, she has been resident in the hills of north Wales, having made the sea crossing last year.

The latest satellite tracking data shows Aalin making forays across her adopted homelands, as she feeds and roosts each day.

Aalin appeared to partner with a Welsh male Hen Harrier in the summer of 2017 but did not settle down to nest. Although some young Hen Harriers nest in their first summer (i.e. second calendar year), most start to breed in their second or third summers.

We look forward to bringing you more news of Aalin in due course. The Manx BirdLife office is now taking bets on whether Aalin will stay in Wales to nest next summer or return to the Isle of Man!

If you would like to support Hen Harrier conservation in the Isle of Man please get in touch.

Thank you RSPB

Finally, we should like to thank the Life+ Project and Investigations teams at the RSPB for their fantastic efforts this year - supporting Hen Harrier research here on the Isle of Man and working to save Hen Harriers across the British Isles.

We have said goodbye to Blanaid Denman who is taking up a new role at RSPB and welcomed Cathleen Thomas as RSPB's new Hen Harrier LIFE+ Project Manager. We wish Cathleen every success in her new role.

While we are lucky that there are no recent recorded cases of Hen Harrier persecution in the Isle of Man, the situation is very different in the UK. RSPB personnel are to be congratulated on their determined efforts in the face of often very difficult circumstances.