Sunday, 4 December 2016
Pallid Harrier Goes onto The Green Year List
Saturday 3rd December Almost no wind
sunny, Mild, 6C
Flat landscape again and a lack of wind make the cycle from Beverley to Welwick easy enough. Through eastern Hull and along the main road I leave my panniers at a bed and breakfast just before Patrington.
Reaching Welwick saltmarsh nature reserve beside the Humber estuary, there is a group of birders looking over the grasslands. The reported pallid harrier had been seen just before Noon. I stand and wait and chat.
In three hours there are few birds but those seen include many birds of prey; merlin, kestrel, sparrowhawk, buzzard and both hen and marsh harriers.
There are even a few short-eared owls quarter the marsh.
Light is starting to fade when I make the mistake of going for a stroll to warm up my frozen feet. I only walk a hundred yards or so but when I return to the birder group, they are all celebrating the pallid harrier having flown past! Some birders start to leave happy in their distant views.
Ten minutes later a ring-tailed harrier flies towards us. Pallid harrier UTB! Bird number 316.
It flies over fields in a large circular route before appearing in front of us over the saltmarsh again.
Brilliant. Anther great bird goes onto the Green Year list. Will this bird be the last addition to the list?
32.42 miles 524 elevation feet up 550 down