ONE of England’s rarest and most targeted birds of prey was last week spotted in Fowlmere.

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The hen harrier roosted in the RSPB site from mid-December up until last week and is believed to have now flown north.

Reserve warden Doug Radford said: “We don’t see them every year. This is an exceptional event. We have never had one roosting for this length of time on the reserve.”

It is believed only four breeding pairs exist in England despite the habitat being capable to accommodate hundreds. Gamekeepers have been known to target the birds as hen harriers hunt grouse.

The bird’s effect on grouse threatens its survival in some parts of the UK, with the RSPB listing the species as a high conservation priority.

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