Monday, 4 May 2015

Montagu's Harriers!

Yesterday I went to the RSPB's Blacktoft Sands reserve following news on the Bird Guides website that a pair of Montagu's Harriers were present, and viewable from the hides. Normally I wouldn't mention this rare breeder, but, as I said, the news has been put out in the public domain by the RSPB, and the site is now being guarded around the clock. The birds are best viewed from the Singleton Hide, and whilst there we (Jayne and I), saw the female bird on 3 occassions, as she flew up out of the reeds to see off the local Marsh Harriers that were also flying about. See here for more details about this species.

Whilst on site, we also visited the other hides, and heard or saw several good birds including 8 species for the Year List. The first new bird was Cetti's Warbler, that was heard, but not seen, singing loudly from the reedbed - a first for me at this site. Along with the Montagu's, there were also several Marsh Harriers flying around the site (year tick), along with Pochard, Shoveler, Avocets, 1 Swift and Shelduck (all new for the year). Moving to Xerox Hide, we also spotted a Greenshank, and a pair of Garganey, that were fast asleep on one of the islands.

                                                             Greylags and a pair of Garganey

Year List update:
116 – Cetti’s Warbler
117 – Marsh Harrier
118 – Montagu's Harrier
119 – Shelduck
120 – Shoveler
121 – Pochard
122 – Swift
123 – Avocet

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