Hen Harrier (Photo: Shay Connolly).
From Barry O'Donoghue, Wildlife Ranger for North Kerry...
"This evening I was informed of a Hen Harrier shot at a winter roost. While it may or may not be related, as at the outset of every year and for every person that joins the Hen Harrier Roost survey, I urge you not to disclose roost locations to anyone, no matter how well meaning they are, because one person tells another and so on. In an ideal world, all the public would all be able to go and watch a harrier roost (providing the watching itself did not disturb the birds) but when roost sites are occupied by the birds for 99% of evenings, there is always the chance of persecution incidents if a place becomes known as a harrier roost.
Please always bear in mind the need for utmost confidentiality with regard to the roosting place of a threatened Annex I species... this goes for publishing details on websites also. If you are inclined to do so, please keep it general (e.g. the nearest town).
Enjoy your roost watches this week/weekend,