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The early bird. . . gets the rabbit

Picture: The Orcadian/Orkney Media Group
Jenny Dewar by the hen harrier webcam in the Kirkwall tourist information centre.

The Orkney hen harrier nest, that is being filmed by RSPB Scotland and beamed live into the Kirkwall tourist information centre, on Junction Road, has literally burst into life, almost a week earlier than anticipated.

Jenny Dewar, RSPB Scotland’s visitor and publicity assistant, was there when three chicks made their first appearance on screen last week.

She said: “It was totally unexpected as we thought we had another week until the six eggs hatched.

“We had been watching the mum sitting tight on the nest and I had been telling folk that the eggs were due to hatch in a few days so was puzzled when one visitor said ‘That was quick work – they’ve hatched.’

The solar-powered camera will continue to film from 9.30am to 4pm, which is about as long as the battery can manage, but there will be plenty of opportunity to see daily life in the nest. RSPB staff and volunteers will be on hand most mornings in the visitor centre to explain what is happening at the nest, as well as to point out good places to see hen harriers and other wildlife.