Thursday, 10 September 2009

Another migrant MARSH HARRIER

Working from home today created the opportunity to take my lunchtime walk at Pitstone Hill rather than the village where I work! I joined Rob Hill there in the hope of a migrant raptor, with recent Honey Buzzard claims and Lee's heads-up from of our minds.

Sure enough, at c.12:50, we picked up a raptor heading north from Aldbury direction (Herts) along the valley towards us; distant at first but eventually reaching the copse SW of the hill, above Pitstone Quarry. The long tail, elastic wings with raised 'arms' and more level 'hands' and dark impression raised hopes, and as it got nearer we could confirm it was a cracking juvenile MARSH HARRIER, cream limited to just crown and throat. After a lengthy fight with a Carrion Crow into Bucks airspace, it dropped behind the copse; we expected that to be that, so let just a couple of people know on the off-chance.

However, at 13:10, the bird then re-appeared above the same tree-line; clearly the strengthening wind and cloud cover had halted its migration. We made a concerted effort to contact more locals, though unfortunately no-one was able to arrive by the time it gained height and headed off SW deeper into Herts towards Tring Station and town at 13:45.

The GARGANEY is still in Pitstone Quarry today (in Bucks initially, now Herts) with 11 Teal and 5 Shoveler, plus Rob and I enjoyed a steady stream of Swallows is groups of up to 30 moving south (Ben Miller)

No comments: