Thursday, 3 March 2016

Hen Harrier at Wallasea Island

I found myself with a bit of spare time today after a work meeting so enjoyed that spare time with a brief visit to Wallasea Island. I'd picked up Med Gull on the beach at Westcliffe on route and finally seen my first Mistle Thrush of the year so the year list had moved onto 175 before I arrived at the reserve.

Kestrel at Wallasea Island
On arrival a male Kestrel sat on a post from the white gates and the other local  specialities soon came out to play. Corn Buntings flew back and forth, Skylarks were busy singing and Pheasants popped up here and there. A pair of Reed Bunting called and a single Stonechat was seen. Shelduck, Brent Geese, Lapwing and Curlew were all seen from the gates along with a few Crows before the star birds appeared. First a splendid young Male Hen Harrier came out before three Short Eared Owls started to hunt the area coming reasonably close at times. A pair of Marsh Harrier moved through probably on there way to roost and a Merlin buzzed through flushing a SEO that then sat on the grass a few metres from the gates unfortunatley the light had dropped so no image to be gained despite good views before it took off to hunt the fields beyond the reserve.

Short eared Owl
Young male Hen Harrier at Wallasea Island
Hen Harrier
Hen Harrier
Hen Harrier
Hen Harrier
Immature male Hen Harrier 

A cracking visit with some great views of some great birds.

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