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.
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