Monday, 11 May 2020

Montagu's Harrier


The strong gusty winds from the north continued today but at least there were periods of sunshine to soften the blow.

Typically as spring progresses and our winter visitors slip away and are replaced by the regular summer visitors which become the norm, passage migrants dwindle and birds of interest are often reduced to a few individuals rare to the county. And so it proved today with very little reported on the birding scene but with a rare bird in the shape of a Montagu's Harrier seen by Gary Pullan at Boddington Reservoir this morning. This female bird was on show for up to fifteen minutes before moving away to the west. Officially the rarest breeding raptor in the UK, it is naturally a rare visitor to the county and Gary is to be congratulated on this find in cold, blustery conditions.

A Dunlin and a Ringed Plover were noted at Summer Leys today and Pitsford Reservoir still hosts two long-staying Yellow-legged Gulls (a first summer and a third summer).

The only recent additions to our 'recorded from the garden list' from the last couple of days has been Mallard and Lesser Black-backed Gull but I would love to know how far the Starlings are coming from to feast on our dried mealworms or gather them up to take to nestlings. I had estimated 5-8 pairs nesting in the village but there is more than that coming in for them and the peanut 'Flutter Butter'!


Neil M

Female Montagu's Harrier
courtesy of Eleanor.

A migrant flock
of Ringed Plovers
and Dunlin at Pitsford
Reservoir during 2015.
With the high water
levels this spring, waders
have been in short supply
at Pitsford this year.

A stunning shot of a
Swift by Dave Jackson.
Now back in reasonable
numbers and currently
decorating the skies above
our reservoirs and gravel pits.
Some are already back in
purpose-made nest boxes
erected for them locally.
Sadly the Covid 19 virus
has delayed the ambitious
plans to create an entirely new
colony of these threatened birds
with the erection of a large Swift
nesting tower within the
NN6 postal district.

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