Saturday, 18 March 2017

Raptor Day

Thursday March 16

After a very ordinary mothing session at Cley and the ensuing meet in the cafe, we decided to go for the juvenile female Pallid Harrier present since February. M told Pam that it had moved site a little, all I heard was Monty's area of North Creake.
Despite Pam's mild protest, we parked at the concrete area beside a brick wall and waited. Plenty to see. A large piece of farm machinery was harrowing the field beside us. 300+ gulls, Black-headed and Common mainly, following closely, swooping for upturned morsels, resting at one side then repeating their actions. Mesmeric.
I kept my eyes on the sky, seeing 2 Red Kites, 2 Buzzards and a Marsh Harrier over the farm woods.
A car swooped in and parked across our bows !! It was BC and his wife returning from getting their Holme caravan ready for the season. The pager had messaged that the bird was showing well in 'fields north of North Creake farm'. That's where we were !
Pal recalled what M had said, we drove to the Abbey tea-rooms car park. A field really, lining up next to cars with telescopes set up outside. Only a few minutes wait before the Pallid Harrier flew across the sloping field in front of us, out of view then back, twice   - to settle on the ground. I was about to set up my scope when a Marsh Harrier virtually landed on it, when it flew off right, behind the woods. 
We'd had really good views, phoned BC and left.  
We also added Merlin, sat on a telegraph pole, to to-day's raptor list.

Notable to-day was the large passage of Redwings.  Three flocks passed through whilst we were at Cley, two more at North Creake. The first time I've witnessed that spring migration.

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