Saturday, March 03, 2012

An Afternoon in the Carrs......

After completing my nights this morning and a combination of a decent afternoons weather and her indoors being at work,i took the chance to visit the local raptor hot spot which is Bonby Carrs.When i first arrived the weather was a bit overcast,but it soon developed into a gorgeous spring-like afternoon,with plenty of sunshine,despite the blowy South Westerly wind.The first notable sighting went to a Green Sand feeding in the 'Old Ancholme',which i inadvertently flushed,but it soon settled back down again and carried on feeding.This bird is no doubt an overwintering individual,with more often than not at least one wintering down here in recent years.After taking position on the river bank i began to scan around quickly seeing a 2nd cal yr. female Marsh Harrier hunting the fields,i later saw a further 2 separate birds all eventually heading in the same direction to roost on the upper Humber at Whitton and Blacktoft.This species is becoming a more and more increasing winter sight as more birds spend the winter on the Humber,this year at least 45 have been roosting,impressive stuff.The main highlight of the afternoon,for me on a personal level was a cracking Hen Harrier,which i only got onto as it flew away from my position and was hunting in Appleby Carrs,being eventually lost in the direction of the village,possibly making its way to roost with all the Marsh at Blacktoft/Whitton.I had the feeling that this was a juv. male but couldn't be certain.The next goodie was a non-avian one and constituted a 'First' for the local patch for myself,a Mink!.It was pretty bold to say the least,walking right infront of me before dissapearing into the reeds.As i tried to locate it again,i heard a whooshing sound and a Peregrine shot past me at very close range along the river and was quickly followed by another,with both birds heading towards Broughton at great speed,fantastic!!.I again saw the Mink,swimming past were i stood and it quickly dissapeared again.The final highlights were 3 Short-eared Owl watched hunting the fields and river bank,giving some nice views as the sun began to set.Minor highlights seen included at least 8 Common Buzzard,35 Stock Dove,several singing male Skylark,130 Lapwing and 4 Kestrel.A great few hours out in the sun.

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