Thursday, 11 February 2010

Another cold day, and the cold was amplified by the strong northerly wind, but again, out of the wind and in the sunshine it felt much more springlike.

It was over to the lake again, something will turn up there one day - just not today, apart from the resident MALLARDS and MOORHENS! There was quite a bit of activity in the Small Holding area, GOLDFINCH, GREENFINCH, CHAFFINCH, and BULLFINCH were all seen in a mixed flock, two each of both GREEN and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER were amongst the pear trees, and on the ground a small number of REDWING and FIELDFARE were feeding, BLUE and GREAT TITS were numerous about the hedge boundaries.

Whilst over at the lake, I found just a single GOLDCREST, 2 COAL TITS and a party of LONG TAILED TITS. However my excitement for the day was as I walked the footpath from the lake back to the woods. As I stood out of the wind in some warm sunshine, I could here a few JACKDAWS coming over, I looked round to see they were mobbing a raptor, but they were coming from out of the sun and viewing was difficult. The Raptor looked barely bigger than the Jackdaws, but bigger than Kestrel and Sparrowhawk, and smaller than a Buzzard, and anyway it flew like a Kite - which it i'm sure it wasn't. So all I can presume it was is a Harrier, Hen or Marsh, it looked more like a Female Hen Harrier to me. Alas I cant be sure with the view I got, I didn't see a white rump, as the bird was always silhouetted. I realised it was going to disappear behind the large house so I clicked of a few photo's, (below) but they are so poor they don't do much to ID it. Looks it's one that got away....grrrrrr... unless anyone out there can be conviced of its ID ?

Below is the small red flower of the Hazel, I never use to even know these existed until I read Greenies Blog (cheers Greenie)

Above and below are a couple of Long Tailed Tit photo's

Lastly the mystery Raptor photo's, click on the pics for a closer view.

These two shots it was flying away

As you can see, it was about to go behind this chimney, never to be seen again!


Simon said...

Hi Warren - wasn't it cold today?!Lovely Long-tailed Tit photos. To me the wing and head shape of the mystery raptor gives the impression of a Red Kite! Did is resemble a Godhawk in any way - 2 were seen over Bearsted today, about 1.5 miles from Mote Park!

Simon said...

Sorry Warren, meant Goshawk!!

Warren Baker said...

Hi Simon,
It did look somewhat ''kitey'' but at no point did I see a forked tail. The wings looked too long for a Goshawk, but ive not seen a goshawk before!

ShySongbird said...

If you don't know then there is no chance for me!

Love the LTT photos, really nice.

Hope you have recovered from Sheila's Waxwings :)

Lancs and Lakes Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

The pale panel (is it real or just a photo effect of the light conditions?) in the inner primaries in the second photo suggests either a kite or a second year male marsh harrier. As you say you can rule out kite on the lack of fork in the tail (even black kite?) then it must be a marsh harrier. Tick and be damned or wait for a truly posititive ID later in the year - the choice is yours..



Ken Browne. said...

Hi Warren.
Looking at the second picture the Raptor seems to be flat winged and it has a long tail which looks very slightly forked, even slightly twisted. The Red Kite's tail doesn't show much of a fork when it is spread.
I hope it hangs around for your sake, although it was probably passing through. You did well getting a few quick shots off.

Adam said...

Probably the 'Harrier' that got away on my patch a couple of weeks ago, going back the other way! First impression was Kite - but would have expected forking in tail to have been obvious at some point while you watched it, and does seem all dark. Have you put the photos past Rob Clements?


Dean said...

From your size comparison, i`d go with a Harrier sp.

Monika said...

It is so tough when the bird disappears before you get a proper look! Hopefully it will hang around a while for you.

Those long-tailed tit photos are fantastic! What a cute bird.