Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Best Day of the Year (so far)

Hen Harrier
(c) 2010 Marcus Conway
Short-eared Owl
Short-eared Owl
What a great day with fantastic weather! Didn't think I would say that in 2010, which has been pretty miserable so far. The morning started well with 34 Fieldfare near the original meeting place. We travelled to the venue, and were rewarded with 2 Hares chasing each other over the length of 3 fields. We walked to the viewpoint to find a female Merlin posing for us - a lifer for all course participants. While the 'students' were studying it thro' the telescope a male Hen Harrier arose from the vegetation. This would have been a second lifer, but none of them could get on to the bird, before it disappeared back into the undergrowth! The 11.30 Barn Owl was another highlight. In the afternoon Les spotted a female Hen Harrier only seconds after leaving the car park, so the afternoon participants did get a lifer! Les also saw the Short-eared Owl, which put on a great display. There were also plenty of others birds around including: Bar-tailed Godwit (almost in summer plumage), Black-tailed Godwit, Golden & Grey Plovers, Curlew, Redshank, Reed Bunting, Cormorant, Skylark, Starling, Meadow Pipit, Lapwing, Shelduck and Dunlin. One of the last birds we saw were some very close views of some confiding Knot. At last this year is starting to improve!

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