Monday, 31 December 2012

Wallasea Island, Birds of Prey

Early afternoon trip to Wallasea Island today, hoping for Hen Harriers particularly a male. 

As we approached the track there were a couple of Little Egrets close to the side of the road.

Standing up on the grass bank looking out across the farmland, the wind is biting into our faces and it feels much colder than the temperatures suggest.
A Marsh Harrier is the first bird spotted flying low along the far bank. There's Brent Geese and Redshank on the estuary.
There's a Peregrine perched low to the ground in front of the far bank, and it remains there for over an hour. Kestrels are seen frequently.
A couple of smart looking Stonechats appear in front of us and there's also good numbers of Corn Buntings around.
The light is starting to fade so we drive back along the track and park  up near a gate overlooking the farmland.
A Barn Owl appears below the bank and starts to quarter the fields. Great views are had as it approaches closer to us.
A Peregrine flies into view and passes overhead, it looks quite small so possibly a male bird. We watch as it seems to try to attack a crow. the crow dives down into a tree and the Peregrine continues along the power lines and off into the distance.
The last bird of the day was a very brief sighting of a Short Eared Owl, it came up from a nearby ditch but wasn't in the air long and dropped down out of view. 
With nothing planned for tomorrow it's the last trip of 2012. Fitting then that the year ends with us watching owls. They are my favoured group of birds and I never tire of watching them.

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