Jun 24th by Ian under Bird Watching

Tags: Nae tags again!

I returned from Shetland on the 14th of June and grabbed my scope and was eager to see how many chicks the Ospreys had, as suspected they have two, now out of the fluffy stage and quite large. Later, on the 23rd and 24th of June I got caught up unexpectedly in Marsh harrier watching with others who are more expert in there detection and behaviour. The purpose was to confirm the nest sites for the chicks to be wing tagged and ringed, as you you may have read in a previous post I had determined I had found a nest site from a female visiting the same place with nesting material three times, well on the 14th of June I had spotted the untagged female hunting near the nest site but never returned to the nest site but disappeared out of my vision. I kept vigil for 30/40mins but she never returned, this in retrospect was not a good sign as the young chicks would still need brooding, I still never saw a male. However as mentioned in diary 4¬† I thought I may have discovered a second harrier with a later nesting site, this turned out to be true as I observed with the "Harrier group" particularly today the 24th June. In summary it would appear that the "main site" I had firmed up as a viable site, has been deserted and the later found site is viable. This was confirmed by two visits of the male with food to this female over an interval of¬† two hours, much longer than usual says my companion Harry Bell, who is the author of the piece on marsh harriers in the Birds of Scotland in 2 volumes. The pics are a hare trying to be inconspicuous, and newly disturbed ground revealing¬† new plants Mimulus and¬† smooth sow thistles at 1.6 m high  

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