It's wonderful to be able to bring you some good news this evening!
After nearly a year, it was a huge pleasure to see Maye again. She is the last surviving of 2019's four tagged Isle of Man Hen Harriers.
We first saw Maye today at about 7.30pm as she silently drifted into sight from across the fields. Having rested on a fence post for a few moments checking her surroundings, she started quartering the fields then eventually dropped into roost at 7.50pm on a sheltered Manx hillside.
Maye's sibling, Mary, and the two other youngsters that were tagged last year (with the help of the brilliant folks from RSPB's former Life+ Hen Harrier project and RSPB's Investigations Unit) have sadly perished. Despicably, Mary was killed by an illegal poison in County Meath, Ireland. We are still waiting to hear the outcome of the investigation into Mary's unlawful killing.
After the elation of seeing Maye tonight, we must now wait to see if she can survive the rigours of another winter; and, if she decides to leave the Island this autumn (as her sibling Mary so fatefully did last year), whether she can avoid the persecution that haunts birds of prey across so many parts of the British Isles.
For her sake, we hope Maye will continue her residence in her natal Isle of Man.
We wish you well, Maye. And we look forward to bumping into you on a future occasion. We sincerely hope you buck the trend and live long enough to raise your own family one day.
Thank you to our partners at RSPB and the Manx Ringing Group for all your efforts to provide a better world for wild birds such as Maye.