Friday, 27 March 2009

Raptor Fest

11 Raptors, 5 Species, 1 Inland Site and all before 8 am.
I was planning to walk around Beeston Bump, but when I saw two male Marsh Harriers grappling by the roadside, I became transfixed for about 80 minutes. In all (at least) five Marsh Harriers were seen, three adult males and two adult females. The birds were constantly interacting and occasionally sky-diving and one pair was even noted copulating. The most surprising bird of the morning turned out to be a Harris Hawk (identified after going through a number of other possibilities!) It, too, interacted with the Marsh Harriers and the corvids gave it a hard time as well. A pair of Sparrowhawks displayed over the woods and a third bird was seen. A male Kestrel and a single Buzzard completed the set. A Little Egret was also present.
An evening return produced two of the male and one female Marsh Harrier, as well as two Barn Owls that hunted at opposite ends of the same field.

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