Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Marsh Harrier and Cattle Egrets

What an excellent evening at Black Hole Marsh and around the Axe estuary between 17:00 & 21:00!

BHM yielded:
37+ Dunlin
9 Ringed Plover
2 Green Sandpiper (at dusk)

A look from Tower Hide yielded a promising number of gulls but I've still not seen any 'good' big ones. At 17:52 the gulls in front of the hide flushed and a look up quickly revealed why; a Marsh Harrier was flying South & low over the river before gaining height into clearer view. Brendan was in the hide with me so we tracked the Harrier in case it came back down; it did in the usual passage Harrier area of Colyford Common. We hurried up there and it was still preening in the field, for 30 mins or so. Hopefully it's still about; it was quartering over the estuary for a while between Colyford Common and Tower Hide but I lost sight of it down in reeds at 18:50. Nice that it was showing well for almost an hour though! I spotted the 2 Cattle Egret on the far side of the estuary from here too so it was good to finally catch up with these after missing them more than once over the weekend.

The Harrier flushed a load of Curlew when it was quartering opposite BHM and I counted 78 on the scrape on Colyford Common alone (and it was low tide, there were likely more elsewhere) so we've got a decent flock here.

Pics aren't great as the birds were distant and heat haze was not helpful.

Spot the Kestrel in the distance...


  1. Good shots. My marsh harrier images had similar heat haze issues a few weeks back. Shooting at mid day in the blazing sun isn't recommended :(

    1. Cheers Darran! Yes it's certainly a challenge.