Marsh Harrier activity has been very interesting of late. 4 Different individuals have been seen in the last 2 weeks:
- A regular 'silver'backed' male, colouration similar to that of 'Eastern' Marsh Harrier. He was seen dropping food into the reedbed, and (presumably) a female below responded.
- A second male, typical plumage
- A third male, juvenile, almost cream head and brown upper-parts rather than silver. A confusing individual on first glance.
- An adult female, rarely seen but present in the last 2 weeks. Perhaps on a nest.
A first at Church Marsh- I heard Reed Warbler before Sedge this year! No doubt Sedge have been present longer, but when I returned from Scotland it was Reed I encountered first. Also of note, a 'mixed singing' Willow Warbler. The tone was clearly that of a Willow Warbler, but this bird was copying the song pattern of a Chiffchaff. I have never come across this before but it would seem it is not as rare as my own experience would suggest. More information on this here: http://deanar.org.uk/general/articles/wwmixedsong.htm#wwccswitcher
Other firsts for the year included 21 Sand Martins over Rockland Broad (2 over the house this morning) and 2 House Martin, over the house.
Yesterday Debs and I enjoyed a pleasant (and in the end frustrating) trip to Minsmere. The frustrating bit was driving away, discussing the fact we had not found a RR Swallow, only to be told we had missed one near the old carpark! That's birding I suppose. We can't really complain, for this wonderful reserve still provided us with a great range of species. A Nightingale was singing near the work centre, and was our first bird upon arrival. Not bad! I also came across an alba Wagtail, then realised others were lookin at it too, so not really a find! A striking bird, although picture below doesn't really do it justice. A Raven had been reported from the reserve, and we did see a large Corvid getting stick from the local Lapwing. It could well have been a Raven, but I won't be submitting it! The scrape was decent, with Med, Caspian and Little Gull, Dunlin, Turnstone, Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Sandwich Terns in-off.
With things to do like prepare for an Easter Egg Hunt, we had lunch in the car before heading home.
Finally, the last 3 nights, I have stood outside around 9pm and listened to the eerie screech of a Barn Owl. He's back.