Friday, July 06, 2007

Wise Old Marsh Harrier

A late morning appointment in Holme-next-the sea allowed me a rare lunch break at Titchwell RSPB. Although it was blowing a houley, grey and cloudy, I was stunned as to how few people there were here with the hide being empty for the majority of my visit, usually this place would be packed, even in mid summer. That said, I was just as stunned as how few birds there were hardly surprising with the water levels extremely high (no sluices to control the water?) But with little to distract me I could play around with the camera and shoot a nice old male Marsh Harrier who was constantly quartering the reed beds.

Marsh Harrier

Adult Marsh Harriers are a bit like me ...getting whiter with age! Old males, like this one can be quite striking with even the females eventually ghosting male plumages if they get old enough.

When I was a kid the only place we could see Marsh harriers (I lived in Essex) was by driving up to Minsmere RSPB reserve, they were that rare! We used to go to Island Mere Hide where a senior (probably an ex major or something!) gentleman used to sit watch, hour after hour, year after year, he's probably still sitting there now! Everytime a Marsh Harrier got up out of the reeds he used to shout it across the hide so everyone could see it with such enthusiasm, it was though he was seeing one for the first time every time! Only problem was he used to shout so loud that I think he scared the birds back down in to the reeds when he saw them!

Managed to snap this Little Egret as it passed the hide(could almost pass it off as being out of the back garden!)
This Wigeon was one of the few other birds present

1 comment:

P. Ollig said...

Wow, gorgeous pictures of the Harrier, Andy! When I was living in Alaska I loved watching them zoom over the grassy tundra.

And I'll do my best to keep the Scissortail Flycatcher around. You should definitely try to stop at Montezuma Well (part of Montezuma Castle National Monument) on your way to Sedona. The birding in the picnic area is particularly spectacular.