Wednesday, 20 February 2013

THREE SPECIES OF HARRIERS

It took me a while but whilst contemplating what to photograph next over here it dawned on me that I had actually managed three species of Harriers and only one now eludes me. Sadly I think unless I venture further then the UK I'm not going to find the last one, the Pallid Harrier (circus macrourus).
So what an excuse to post some more Marsh Harrier images and some rather dodgy record shots of a Hen Harrier and Montagu's Harrier. You're privelleged, so rubbish are the Monty' and Hen Harrier images you'll only find one of the images in Birdguides (Montagu) the others never made the light of day.
MONTAGU'S HARRIER (CIRCUS MACROURUS), WING TAG INDICATES IT'S FROM FRANCE



MONTAGU'S HARRIER (CIRCUS MACROURUS), MINSMERE 14TH MAY 2011

Then my favourite but one Ben and I only got four very distant record shots of is the Hen Harrier (circus cyaneus) at Salthouse marshes in Norfolk. A fluke discovery it glided very quickly through the long grass after a wader flock in one of the small pools, typically no-one else saw it but left me and Ben telling everyone we bumped into on the way back to the car "Look what we saw"...shame the image is pants, no laughing now......
HEN HARRIER (CIRCUS CYANEUS) SALTHOUSE 8TH APRIL 2011 
The sad fact is I'm not sure how long this bird will be a breeding bird in this country with so many going "missing" courtesy of irresponsible gamekeepers persecuting them.
And finally in the trio a Marsh Harrier from St.Ouens Bay/Pond in Jersey
Sadly the light was bit off today and the wind was very cold but you can tell I'm on a "break" as I broke my rule of ignoring Redpolls and got some very close up images of a feeding Redpoll and a Bullfinch (the Bullfinch being a Golden Rule of mine to never ignore). Sadly the light was poor but luckily were quite close to the ground and not stuck up in a tree.
EURASIAN BULLFINCH (PYRRHULA PYRRHULA)

COMMON REDPOLL (CARDUELIS FLAMMEA)

19 comments:

  1. A brilliant set.....You birders and your record shots!....A record shot to me is a blurry bunch of feathers.

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  2. Thanks Adrian, I'm sad enough to have three levels of "record shot". 1)the blurry kind 2)the "oh/arrgh" level which is so called because you often end up going "oh" that looks ok followed after closer inspection "arrgh" 3) Not bad but wish I got better. The Hen&Monty shots I feel are level three lol

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  3. You can't argue with those, Doug. A brilliant set of images. The Harriers are special birds to see, let alone photograph.

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    1. Thanks Christian, I just hope a Pallid Harrier finds itself drifting through the UK, you never know. I agree about the seeing part about harriers too, great birds.

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  4. Love all you shots of the Harriers. We saw a male Hen Harrier at Frodsham marsh a few weeks ago, but that picture really was pants! Hope you mum is doing well, we missed you at the weekend, but plans are in place for a summer BBQ, so shorts and camera on standby.

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    1. Hi Heather, it looks like you lot had great day on Findlay's birthday. Mums ok(ish) mostly lethargic after treatments but things look quite positive at the moment.
      Definately keep me up to date for the BBQ, I'll wear trousers though (knobbly knees)lol.

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  5. Wow a wonderful set Doug, your "record shots" beat my best Harrier images hands down, I must try harder!

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    1. Cheers mate, I've just discovered they're planning to re-introduce Chough here on Jersey. I love this little island.

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  6. Wonderful images Doug. I'd have been absolutely delighted to have managed any of them!! In fact I've only ever managed images of one harrier. That was a chance encounter with a female Hen Harrier about 4 miles from my home, and I only got some very dodgey record shots. Fortunately there were three other people with me to verify the sighting!

    You're starting to convince me that Jersey might be a good place to visit!!

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    1. Thanks Richard, it is small, smaller then most counties, but they've just finished recording species and species numbers on the island, 166 different species, some sort of rare orchid, green lizards and when you get bored you can pretend to storm the WW2 gun placements (I was bored). How many national/local newspapers have a page dedicated to wildlife issues they do on the island, it's so different over here it really is.

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  7. Great set of images Douglas. If my best shots were half as good as your so called dodgy record shots I'd be over the moon! Love the last shot of the Redpoll...what a poser!...[;o)

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    1. Thanks Trevor, yeah that Redpoll was quite content feeding on that bush didn't move an inch, which is rare

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  8. Well, these beat my record shots Doug lol
    It's tragic that some members of society feel the need to slaughter these magnificent birds. A shame we can't turn the tables.

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    1. Wouldn't it be great just for one day in the year the tables were turned...oh the carnage lol

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    2. What a great idea Keith. I shall continue to give it some thought! We could set up some rules for the game - which, of course, we can all break! I'm sure there'd be some fun ideas for luring the prey! Are you in, Doug?

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    3. Yeah I'm a big fan of the film Preadator, no rules, just drop them in a forest, and let the games begin. Could be tricky dealing with the alien afterwards though......

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    4. ....actually come to think of it the alien in the film even makes a noise in the film similar to that of a bird, magpie if I remember right...spooky lol

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