17th April 2017 Hen Harrier

Another day on foot all over the headland. A switch in wind direction with a cold NE airflow under mostly cloudy skies.

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Male Hen Harrier.


Jamie’s shots of the mornings star bird.

In general numbers of Willow Warbler, Whitethroat, Blackcap and Chiffchaff were similar to yesterday. I’m not suggesting they’re the same individuals of course! 8 Wheatear, 1 Redstart were on the ground. A flock of 16 Yellow Wagtail passed over north. 1 White Wagtail was at the lighthouse, occasionally in a tussle with an accompanying Pied. Once again Hirundines passed through at a similar pace as the previous day but with a higher percentage of House Martin involved. The best bird of the morning was an immaculate male Hen Harrier found and photographed by Jamie at about 08.50, the bird quickly gained height and headed north after arriving from the south east. Yesterdays female Merlin was again in the Crowlink area.


Merlin at Crowlink.


White Wagtail at Belle Tout.

A distance of about 36km were covered on foot over the last few days. Even discovering a few new areas (to me) that warrant more attention. Beachy Head is a huge site!

We ended the day checking through hirundines at West Rise where both the Long tailed Duck and Garganey were still present. After dropping JP at the station, I received a message from Jake Everett about a summer plumage Red necked Grebe he’d just discovered at Arlington reservoir. It gave good but distant views & occasionally was heard calling. Apparently it had been displaying to and trying to mate with, a Great crested Grebe!. Both of which didn’t go down too well with the resident GC Grebes.


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