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Sunday, 4 December 2016

Pallid Harrier another Yorkshire tick

Out with Mark today and we were joined by our mate Dave from Rochdale with Paz and family meeting up with us later, it was a day with a Yorkshire tick in mind, the Pallid Harrier that has been sighted at Welwick Saltmarsh with reliable frequency this last week, the original plan was to have toured around the Sunk Island area in the morning to see what we could find but after an early report of the Pallid we thought we’d get straight there, when we arrived we were told it had flown off towards Patrington so we settled in to wait for its return, it was quite a wait but we were suitably entertained by Sparrowhawk, Merlin, Kestrels, a couple of Marsh Harriers and a Buzzard as well as a few Little Egrets flying around and a nice mixed Finch and Bunting flock. Finally just after 2-15pm a ringtail Harrier was picked up flying low over the far side of the Marsh, we were fairly happy it was the Pallid, we only counted four primary tips, it looked very orangey underneath but then that might have been down to the low winter sun but as it alighted on a distant bush we got the clincher as it turned its head to reveal its collar, it eventually took off and flew back towards us giving excellent scope views as it quartered the Marsh having a go at Curlews and Pheasants and giving the local Crows as good as it got, it eventually flew off over the fields behind us reappearing at the top end of the Marsh a bit later but we then lost it as it flew towards a rapidly setting sun, however that was cue for several Short Eared Owls to start hunting making for a nice end to a successful day.
Kessy flying over

the Pallid Harrier sat on a distant bush

a Curlew having a go

four primary tips

finally revealing its neck collar and boa when it flew back a tad closer

Paz and family enjoying the Pallid

Short Eared Owls rounded the day off nicely

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