Monday, 17 August 2015

Marsh Harriers at Fowlmere

7th August 2015

On a previous visit I had seen two female Marsh Harriers at Fowlmere wafting across the reed bed, which disappeared as quickly as they had appeared, leaving no clue as to whether they were based in the area or just passing through. However, news has just been released that three juveniles have fledged at Fowlmere, the first breeding success since 2007, and as they were reportedly still hanging around the area a visit was in order.

I made my way to Drewer's Hide which was probably closest to where they were based, and a quick scan of the trees and bushes quickly revealed the presence of the female or one of the youngsters. Unfortunately, it had landed on the wrong side of the bush and all I could occasionally see as either the bird or the bush moved was a golden crown.

During the next hour there was a bit of flying with, at one point, four birds in the air at once, presumably the female and the three juveniles. But it then went very quiet so I left the hide and headed for the Reed Bed Hide. Unfortunately there were no waders present but the good thing about Fowlmere is that, even when the birds are quiet, you get a fly-past of the other winged machines. In this instance it was the rather majestic Catalina Canso A seaplane ( reg 433195) owned by Catalina Aircarft Company, Duxford.

Not that it gets much better on the ground. The only wildfowl of interest was this "duck/goose" which seemed to have an Egyptian Goose for its rear end and, in the words of Monty Python, "something completely different" for its front end. Answers on a post card. The only other thing of interest on the mere was a Grey lag Goose with a yellow bill, so goodness knows what that hybrid was, a Grey Lag/Whooper Swan? Anyway, back to the Drewer's Hide for the rest of the afternoon and hopefully of some activity after the afternoon siesta.

I didn't have to wait long before being treated to a flying display and a number of birds perched up on trees. Not surprisingly, they were all a little bit distant, but who can grumble at this spectacle just 30 miles from home. WONDERFUL!!!!

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