Sunday 17 February 2013

Harrier Count

Lade - 1000hrs - warm, dry, sunny, ne2 - A superb spring-like morning with a bright blue sky and warm sunshine. Plenty of wildfowl scattered across both lakes including 8 Wigeon and 5 Goldeneye, while the Black-throated Diver was in the channel by the swing-bridge. The warmth had encouraged 4 Marsh Harriers into the thermals where they engaged in a bit of talon grappling and general courtship display. Two perched Common Buzzards, a Sparrowhawk and Kestrel completed the raptor count. Water Rail, Cetti`s Warbler, Skylark and Green Woodpecker also noted.
Walland Marsh  1500hrs - A change in the weather delivered a chill wind and a low mist making for poor light conditions this afternoon. Checked out Caldecote Lane for the reported Partridges without success, although a flock of 300 Fieldfares and a Common Buzzard present. Further out on the Marsh a reduced numbers of 130 Bewick`s Swans were picking over the rotting remains of a large spud field alongside hundreds of Lapwings. Further down the lane more Fieldfares and Lapwings in the hedgerows and fields.
Following the weather fiasco of last Sunday the monthly harrier count was revisited today with 18 Marsh Harriers coming to roost amidst an eerie glow. Also in the area 75 White-fronts, 300 Greylags, 4 Common Buzzards, plus thousands of Golden Plovers and Lapwings. The only small birds noted were `pinging` Bearded Tits. As dark descended the Common Crane flew in to roost along with the wild swans.

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