This week I got a visit from Henry. For those of you who don’t know who Henry is, he is a male Hen Harrier who is on a mission to find a mate, and he is currently touring the country in his quest. He arrived on Sunday and soon settled in to life in the Wilde household.
Since he was up north with me we decided to visit some hot spots on the lookout for a nice ringtail and to show him some well known areas of the Northwest.
Our first stop was Granada Studios in Manchester, where Henry really wanted to visit Coronation Street and have a look in the Rovers Return. I’m not too sure who he was hoping to find there, but we took him along to cheer him up.
Before he could visit the Rovers, he had to go round the full tour of the Coronation Street set. The tour guides were not overly happy about having a huge male Hen Harrier on the tour and Henry did suffer a little bit of persecution which stopped him from dancing for a while.
This did deeply upset Henry, but he is a very determined Hen Harrier and when their backs were turned, well he got up to a bit of mischief! He liked the look of the sign on Roy’s cafe and tried to get a snack, but it was all locked up so Henry moved on.
So we tried our luck at the Rovers, but it was locked as well, so no hot pot for Henry today either.
So instead, Henry just got a paper and some bah humbugs from the Kabin.
But we did manage to do some birding together. There were a pair of Kestrels mating on the roof of Audrey’s salon, raptors galore on The Street! Henry met lots of really nice people on the tour and even tried to make friends with the tour guide.
Henry was glad he managed to get a couple of pictures to share with his supporters, however he was quite disappointed with his first part of the tour of the Northwest. Surely Hen Harriers are not unwelcome in some parts of the country are they?
Always trying to be positive, Henry looked on the bright side as he realised his next stop was Parkgate, where he knew that I’d been doing some volunteering for the RSPB Skydancers on the Dee project over the Winter. Henry knew that I’d regularly spotted ringtails here and he was quite excited on the drive over. We shared the humbugs and chatted about where he’s been and all the places he still plans to visit.
Henry was glad to be welcomed with open arms by everyone he met on Parkgate. He loved meeting all the younger children, and raising awareness about what amazing birds Hen Harriers are. He also managed to give out some “Have you seen Henry?” badges.
In between engaging with people, Henry loved gazing out over the marshland and was glad to see that he was on a protected RSPB reserve as it made him feel a bit safer. He had a dance all ready prepared, but sadly there were no ladies to impress.
Of course Henry was pleased that Parkgate went well, however he could barely contain himself, when his next stop was Burton Mere Wetlands, where he could finally get to meet Harry, my male Hen Harrier who has been enjoying his winter roost at Burton Mere.
Henry also met lots of lovely families and many of the staff at RSPB Burton Mere who have looked after Harry so well.
I left Henry to chat to Harry whilst I gave out some badges, which all the smaller children loved. It was also great to catch up with Dan Trotman who is the Development Officer for RSPB Burton Mere, and was also the one who let me to do the volunteering at Parkgate. I managed to listen in on the conversations Harry and Henry were having and of course it was rather interesting.
They started off by talking about female Hen Harriers, girls of course, and if they had found a mate yet, of course the reply was “I've not found one yet and that beautiful Annie has disappeared now as well”. They then moved on to talking about why everyone should vote for the Hen Harriers in the National Bird Vote and how they hoped that more people would understand and be worried about how close they have come to being extinct in England. Of course chat between two male Hen Harriers is very serious and so they then moved on to talking about what dance moves they had planned for this year!!!!
Henry had a brilliant time over here with me, and was glad to finally meet Harry. Henry will carry on his tour around the UK, trying to keep safe and of course trying and find a mate.
The question is, where will Henry turn up next? And, have you seen Henry?