Thursday, 23 August 2012

Whixall Moss - Marsh Harrier

A pictureless post! The camera was in the boot but no way was it coming out for a trek on the Mosses - my back is hopefully on the mend and I hope to keep it that way? Oooops, I've started at the end....

I won't bore you with too many negative returns but a North Shropshire trawl started off at the Goose sanctuary otherwise known as VP and didn't get much better at Whitemere or the Mere! I got up to a Coot count of 241 at the Mere before I nearly lost the will to live - there were undoubtedly more!

Wood Lane had just a few less Geese than VP, other than c100 Lapwing, no waders there either! Colemere was almost birdless, the Scoter having scooted. I then bumped into Reevsey who had seen a Marsh Harrier on the Mosses. The floods were my next stop anyway as I extended a bit of good old Shropshire hospitality to a visiting Cheshire birder, Richard Howells. That hole in the hedge  to view the floods might have taken some finding....

The Spotted Redshank had fled the floods which are now home to double figure Common Snipe (11 seen) and the usual Lapwing flock. As we made out way from the canal bridge to the Moss access from the towpath, I commented that being slightly elevated this was a good spot to scan the Moss. A Common Buzzard and Hobby were quickly noted and then unbelievably close, approaching the Moss perimeter path was the Marsh Harrier - being harried by a couple of Crows and frightening the living daylights out of a Pheasant. The Harrier had the instant look of a juvenile.  A particularly dark bird with golden crown and pristine plumage . Job done for both of us, year tick for me and Shropshire lifer for him - now that's what I call hospitality....

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