Monday, 24 September 2012

Marsh Harrier- Axe Estuary

I had the day off work and had initially planned to go to Exeter (phone upgrade due), so much for that idea! There were ambulances, police cars, and a lot of traffic on my very short route, all thanks to multiple accidents on the A3052. I eventually managed to get to Black Hole Marsh in the morning (it was a good job I was on the motorbike really). What a waste of time that proved; the best Black Hole Marsh had to offer was 4 Shelduck. Pitiful! I did get some pics of a landed Hawker and Darter (dragonflies) though, and a Comma which was still rather smart considering the time of year:

Here's one of 3 Oystercatcher that were together on the estuary:

Next trip was to Seaton Marshes to see if there was a Whinchat about. There wasn't (not in view anyway). 
So instead another trip to Black Hole Marsh was in order in case the high tide had encouraged anything there. The only new arrival of interest was a particularly attractive Little Stint.
A text from Steve Waite alerted me to a Marsh Harrier over at Colyford Marsh. I headed there, and fast. When I got to the hide, Tim Wright informed me that the Marsh Harrier had been showing well and had flown pretty close to the hide, about 25 metres away. About 15 mins of waiting and the bird flew again; the view was good but too distant to get a decent photo. The closest it came was probably about 100 metres or so; not ideal but could have been a lot worse! It also flew over the tramway around Black Hole Marsh a couple of times. I got a few distant shots here as well, from the Island Hide. The annoying part of this was that on one pass, the bird flew along the tramway and veered back over the marsh RIGHT in front of the windows of Tower Hide. The view would have been incredible if anyone was in there, with the bird probably being within a couple of feet, and in good light. Unfortunately for Karen, Doug and Sue, I think they must have arrived literally seconds after this happened as they assured me that they hadn't seen it that close (it did happen, as the other 6 people who were in Island Hide can confirm)! Here's a few (lousy) shots of it:

Hopefully it hangs around for a few days; looking at the weather forecast for the next 2 days, it may have little choice...

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