Walland Marsh - 0730 - 1200hrs - humid, dry, cloudy, light airs - We spent the morning in company with CP on Walland in near perfect weather conditions for checking out breeding birds at several locations across the Marsh. The main site was alive with Skylarks, Reed Warblers and Reed Buntings feeding recently fledged young, alongside a good sprinkling of Bearded Tits, Corn Buntings, Whitethroats, Tree Sparrows, Sedge Warblers and Yellow Wagtails. Along the back lanes and by-ways we also encountered a few Yellowhammers, Linnets, Greenfinches, Cuckoo, Buzzards, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Kingfisher and a Turtle Dove.
But it was Marsh Harriers we`d particularly come to check on and over the course of the morning confirmed three nesting females at separate widespread locations, all of which received food from male birds via overhead food passes, often with much communicative whistling. Some interesting interaction was noted at one site where an adult female repeatedly dive-bombed a Buzzard that had strayed into its territory, while one of the items of prey being brought in to feed the young harriers was clearly an enormous Marsh Frog.
As ever a superb morning in the field with Chris, made even more enjoyable by his extensive local knowledge and native instinct as to where to go next and what to expect.