Charlie continued to spend time in the Forest of Bowland, generally in the southeast, close to Dunsop Bridge. Macha had a busy few weeks, heading southeast to the coast near Bempton, then inland towards Leeds before moving north through the Pennines to end the period on moorland north of the Stainmore Gap.
Data received in late September from the tag fitted to Iris indicated that, sadly, she had died. RSPB Investigations staff recovered her body from an area of dune grassland near Dornoch in eastern Sutherland and submitted her to the SRUC veterinary laboratory where a post-mortem confirmed she had succumbed to avian influenza. This highly infectious disease has widely affected over 60 bird species in the UK, notably wildfowl, seabirds and some birds of prey. Anyone finding three dead wild waterfowl, a single dead bird of prey, or five or more dead wild birds of any other species in the same place at the same time, is asked to report them to DEFRA’s national telephone helpline: 03459 33 55 77.