Friday, 16 July 2021

Marsh Harriers

Lade - warm, dry and sunny, NE 4 - Once the early cloud lifted it turned into a fine summers day with temperatures pegged back to a comfortable late teens centigrade courtesy of a fresh breeze off the bay. A tour of the local patch was notable for our first returning Willow Warbler by the ponds, six Little Egrets across both waters and confirmed breeding of Green Woodpecker with an adult feeding at least two juveniles on the causeway track. Peak wildfowl counts included 205 Pochards and 42 Great Crested Grebes.

                     Two of the three recently fledged Marsh Harrier juvs, Dengemarsh

A circuit of the bird reserve delivered very little of note apart from the confirmation of a successfully fledged brood of three Marsh Harriers from a nest site at Dengemarsh. At one stage all three youngsters were perched on fence posts when the adult male flew in and food passed to the female overhead; cue mayhem, with the juveniles flying around the adults until one of them managed to grab and consume the prey item. Two Great White Egrets and two juvenile Bearded Tits were also seen from the viewing ramp at Hookers. One other item worthy of mention from the ramp is the extraordinary song of a Sedge Warbler that has been singing regularly from the willow thicket to the left as you walk up the slope. When compared to nearby `normal` Sedges this particular individual has a louder more varied song with the grating `chrirrr` note greatly extended; I guess it must be the Alpha male of Sedge Warblers!    

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