Friday, 5 November 2010

Marsh Harrier passed H

I went to Shatterling to get some bird food this afternoon, and on the way back had a look for a Barn Owl but without success.

Looking over Worth Marshes towards, what I suppose in now the RSPB Lydden Valley reserve, I hope to find a Barn Owl out hunting as the evening arrived. As it hadn't actually got light all day dusk was difficult to define. It soon was drizzling again, but that didn't stop a Kestrel from hovering near the railway line. There seemed to be quite a few small birds, mainly finches I think, arriving to roost in the large hedge there and I suspect that they may have been the target.

I also picked up a Marsh Harrier flying towards me. Nowadays this has became quite a common bird, but I still get that bit of excitement that I always used to with this beautiful bird of prey. No sing of a Barn Owl tonight, I'm sure they will be around but their feeding areas move depending on the various farming activities.

In the old days, when my kids were growing up, and we wanted to see such exotic things as Marsh Harriers, we would take a trip to Minsmere. Once there it was out to the Island Mere Hide. Around the marsh that was on view various posts had large letters on sign boards fixed to them, so that directions could be given. Usually, a fairly old volunteer, very well know to all regular visitors was in the hide. When a Marsh Harrier came into view he would loudly announce "Marsh Harrier at H" or what ever post it was passing. In many ways in this pager dominated, modern communication birding world that we have, this sort of expedition is no longer required. I must admit that it is characters like this that brightened up the scene. Anyone who saw the programme about twitchers, shown on the BEEB will have witnessed something that most normal birders will have found both cringe worthy and hilarious at the same time. Sure we need characters, but give me the Marsh Harrier guide every.

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