Sunday, 3 February 2013

A Good One to Get!

I made my first trip of February to the Reculver area this morning starting at 6.30am where I had a drive around the lanes looking and listening for Owls. I managed to see 2 Barn Owls, 1 on posts along the Thanet Way and the other seen in flight in the car headlights near Shuart. I still await my first Little Owl of the year which is proving hard to get despite them no doubt being around somewhere. After the Owl fest I drove to Chambers Wall where I sat in the car in the growing light having a cuppa and looking for anything flying by. No Long eared Owl today but I could hear 1 Grey Partridge calling and the various commoner species started calling and singing not long after. I decided to walk down to Coldharbour and west along the seawall for a while before returning back where I then met Julian Perry. I managed without much hassle to record 62 species today including a few nice birds. Making the notebook today were 2 Grey Heron, 8 Wigeon, 1 Woodcock over Chamber Wall car park, 373 Cormorant flew in from the south, 1 Kestrel, 44 Fieldfare, 3 Redwing, 3 Linnet, 21 Curlew were in the flooded fields south of Coldharbour, 2 Stock Dove,  2 Marsh Harrier, 9 Reed Bunting, 1 Green Woodpecker, 1 Pheasant, 13 Shelduck, 20 Mute Swan and 2 Skylark. As I walked back towards the railway crossing at Chambers Wall I commented to Julian that 6 Hen Harrier had been seen in the Stour Valley early morning and that it would be nice to see one in the area. Prayers answered for a few minutes later I got on to a male Hen Harrier (105) flying over the fields. This is a scarce bird to get in the Reculver area and you can easily go through a year without seeing one. To make things better, this is the first male I have seen in the area as well. Although quite dull I rattled off a few shots not realising that settings etc were completely wrong, typical!

Hen Harrier

What a bird to see though and we watched as it flew off across the fields towards Shuart. Not long after as we were at the crossing it appeared again and I got a few more 'record' shots of this beauty until it moved off to the west low across the fields. Normally these shots would have been binned but a classic case of any shot is better than no shot.

Hen Harrier

Other birds noted today included 20 Mallard, 3 Shoveler, 2 Peregrine sat in a field a few metres apart from each other, 12 Gadwall, 1 Great spotted Woodpecker, 109 Lapwing, 4 Dunlin, 12 Redshank, 3 Sanderling, 5 Oystercatcher, 5 Turnstone, 11 Grey Plover, c300 Brent Geese, 1 Bar tailed Godwit, 14 Tufted Duck, 7 Pochard, 5 Little Grebe, 1 Mistle Thrush and 1 Golden Plover. Not a bad list in the end with a few easy birds not seen but the addition of the Hen Harrier made the session more than worthwhile.

Hen Harrier

3 comments:

  1. Good bird indeed Marc :-) Lets hope the persecution from the shooting fraternity is stopped soon, then we can all see these brilliant raptors back in the sky everywhere again. :-)

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  2. Congratulations! Beautiful raptor. I like the white/black pattern of the wings.

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  3. That is precious, the Hen Harrier in flight always with Gulls harassed.

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