Mystery surrounds disappearance of rare bird of prey

Sally Credit: RSPB

A rare bird of prey that breeds in Norfolk has gone missing in mysterious circumstances.

Sally, a Montagu's harrier, is fitted with a satellite tag. However, this stopped transmitting a signal on Sunday 6 August.

The RSPB says this is unusual because satellite tags are highly reliable and will continue transmitting signals even when a bird is dead.

Sally is paired with another Montagu's harrier called Roger. They are the only pair of Montagu’s harriers left in eastern England and one of only four pairs in the UK.

Sally and Roger have successfully bred in Norfolk for the past two seasons. This year they raised three juveniles.

It was shortly after the three young birds started moving away from the nest two weeks ago that Sally went missing. Roger has been at the nest site alone.

The satellite tag has given reliable information into Sally's life, from crossing the Mediterranean to spending the winter in Ghana and then flying back to Norfolk to breed.

The RSPB investigation team said: "This is a major blow for this species in the UK and we are gutted."

The RSPB say they have reported Sally's disappearance to Norfolk Police and they are urging anyone with information to get in contact.

Sally after she was fitted with a satellite tag. Credit: RSPB