Marsh Harrier and Spoonbill

Monday 6th August 2007

At Frampton this evening a Marsh Harrier was resting in the 100-acre until 8.40pm at least, and a Spoonbill until 8.30pm when it flew south with eight Little Egrets. Also 1000+ Starlings going to roost in the reed-bed.

Dave Pearce and me had all but given up on seeing the Marsh Harrier or at least the Spoonbill, both reported present at 5.00pm, when I had a final scan with the bins. Among the Egrets, a more buff-coloured bird stood out - buff compared to the pure, almost bluey-whiteness of the Egrets. The glimpses between the clumps of sedge and rush showed it was feeding keeping it's head down, not like an Egret. A view of the head and then a short flight confirmed Spoonbill. Then Dave noticed a bird of prey perched below the sea wall behind the Spoonbill. It then flew up into a nearby tree against the sky, almost in the direction of the sun. It wasn't a Buzzard and looked very Harrier-like and as the sun went behind a cloud, it's markings, especially the cream head and dark eye-stripe confirmed a female or juvenile Marsh Harrier - probably the juvenile seen yesterday and earlier today. An excellent evening! (Photos of Marsh Harrier, top, and Spoonbill above)

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