Pallid Harrier

Colaton Raleigh Common, Devon
I’ve not been able to get out this week as I’ve had a case of man flu (there worse type of flu there is of course) so I was pleased to get a text late yesterday afternoon  from Matt Knott advising that had amazingly found a Pallid Harrier but I wasn’t able to have a look. So I popped to site as soon as I had dropped the kids to breakfast club only to be told it had been seen not too long ago. I could only spare 30 minutes before I had to drag myself to work (my first day back after snot fest). As I still wasn’t feeling to great my boss agreed to a very early finish but I couldn’t resist spending some more time looking for the Pallid Harrier. It’s not a lifer bird for me but it would constitute only my second individual in the UK. So it seemed worthwhile putting the time in.

Halfway to the grenade range  I got excited by a largish raptor heading towards me only to be quickly deflated to see it was a Common Buzzard. The second bird I spotted also got me excited but I again quickly realised its true identity as a Female Common Kestrel. That was quickly followed by a Male Common Kestrel. Whilst on site both Common Kestrels were rather active and I started to worry that I would start ignoring them and in turn end up ignoring the Pallid Harrier. Unfortunately I came away not seeing the bird in question. I wonder if it is still in the area and being elusive or it has indeed moved on? With today’s wind direction I actually favoured it still being in the area rather than moving on but who knows?

Also on site during both visits were European Green Woodpecker, Several Meadow Pipits (which I hoped would be pursued by the Harrier), Common Linnet and European Stonechat. Even though I didn’t see it I must admit it was nice to be back in the field after being ill. Again I would like to congratulate Matt on an absolutely wonderful find and for getting the news out quickly.


matt knott said...

Hi Spencer - sorry you missed it but glad you're over the flu! Reckon there will be another Pallid along before too long. Cheers. Matt

Spencer Dicks said...

Hi Matt. Yeah I’m sure there’ll be another at some point because sadly they seem to be getting more common than Hen Harrier in the UK. A cracking find mate and perhaps I need to get a dog 😀

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