Saturday 1 May 2010


A light northeasterly blowing, with showers.

3 Greenland Wheatears on Strumpshaw Hill today. Lots of Swifts around, plus three Turtle Doves on the Hill and one in the garden.

Better was to come on arrival at the Buckenham pump when I noticed a harrier circling low over the marshes on the other side of the river about 4.25pm. I immediately got Philip on to it and we both agreed it was an adult female Montagu's Harrier. Sweet! The bird circled higher westward, over the pub and out towards Wheat Fen. I called Reg who managed to get a brief view from the south side as it headed southwest. The bird showed quite dark secondaries and a dark breast with whitish unstreaked belly, which looked worryingly Pallid-like. Sadly the only photos we got do not help matters particularly- see below.

Shortly after, a large falcon appeared and freaked out everything on the marshes, even making a pass at a Mute Swan! It was a large beast with mid-brown upper tail, rump and back, and pale on the head. Presumably some kind of hybrid with Saker and Peregrine involved. It landed distantly in a tree bordering the railway line, where apart from it's obvious bulk, nothing further could be gleaned.

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