Saturday, 15 September 2012

Harrier Roost and SEOs are back...

Dog walk was quiet this morning, only a scattering of Meadow Pipit south though there was a decent flock of Yellowhammer and a couple of Skylark.  Got a phone call from Ollie late morning letting me know he'd just had 15 Marsh Harrier up in the air together at NDC, however most had dropped out of sight by the time I got there. I gave it an hour in the middle of the day which was quite interesting and then came home for a bit before spending the late afternoon and evening back down there in what turned out to be a stacked-out Geoff Smith Hide. Glad I got in early as it was practically standing room only this evening.

The Marsh Harrier activity tonight was much reduced on the previous few days that I've been down there which was a shame and there was no sign of the adult female, or of at least 3 males, and a couple of distinctive juveniles (e.g. a cream-crown with black diamond). I reckon at least (only) 8 birds came in this evening.

Extra interest was provided tonight by 2 distant owls, both seemingly flushed by the Vulcan Bomber that flew low through the valley (below).  Although they didn't ever come closer than 800m I'm fairly happy they were both Short-eared Owl (one was very dark - below), though hopefully they'll come a bit closer over the coming days.  There was also 3 Barn Owl flying about, one was fairly close to the hide and would allow me enough time to get scope on it, focus, get phone to scope before it would fly off! I then gave it up as a bad idea! There was also a Tawny Owl outside the hide again (and last Thursday there was a Little Owl too).

 Vulcan Bomber

There was a couple of fly-by Buzzard, Kestrel and Sparrowhawk and a small raptor getting mobbed by 4 Carrion Crows which look fairly good for Merlin, however the views were way too brief to call it.

Interesting was the number of Snipe flushed from a small presumably damp patch on Bubwith side of the river.  Several flocks were flushed up by Marsh Harriers, with a peak flock count of about 33 birds, however there was several smaller flocks (26, 12, 19, 8, 10) and it was difficult to tell how many birds were involved in total. Minimum 33, maximum 110ish! No Lapwing tonight.

Looking forward to some more patch birding tomorrow!

No comments:

Post a Comment