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Page last updated at 09:50 GMT, Thursday, 8 October 2009 10:50 UK
Breeding raptors back at Parkgate
Hen harrier Circus cyaneus, adult male
The number of hen harriers nesting in England has dropped

The RSPB is hosting a series of bird watching events in the Dee Estuary Nature Reserve in Parkgate, Wirral.

The area is a vital wintering ground for many species of birds of prey including the hen harrier, one of England's rarest breeding raptors.

The Raptor Watches take place monthly with the next event on Sunday, 15 November, 2009.

RSPB staff and volunteers will be on hand with telescopes and binoculars to assist viewings across the saltmarsh.

Hen harrier numbers have been kept low because of illegal killing and disturbances over recent decades.

In 2008 only 10 pairs successfully nested across England despite there being enough habitat to support more than 200 pairs.

The Raptor Watch event provides and ideal opportunity to see and learn about these magnificent yet threatened birds, plus other raptors including kestrals, peregrines and merlins.

For more information visit the RSPB Parkgate website.



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