Still no Osprey, just a contented preening buzzard perched on the male Osprey'sĀ  out of faeces range branch. I knew then no territorial Osprey was around as the buzzard would have got short shrift. But the estuary was a different matter with the tide in I counted 24 gooseanders, many shelduck and teal, herons, some sentinel by the nest a few sitting in the cup. The prize sighting was a male marsh harrier in splendid plumage with (I think ) no wing tags, seemed to know the territory and I had a good ten minutes watching him hunt the far reed bed, pestered by a carrion crow at one point the pursuing crow became the pursued and the crow wisely desisted. The hunting of the harrier ceased and the harrier in the same circular diameter moved a little higher but determinedly down stream, I watched till I was in danger of falling over then had to move my body position and moved the bloody scope at the same time, forlornly I re-searched but my quarry was gone. I used my binos in a determined search but he had gone, to preen or hunt elsewhere, but what a fantastic ten minutes of harrier watch. Pity I'm off to the Shetlands as he may start nest building and these early days are key to where the nest may be if the female agrees!

One Response to “Osprey Diary 2013, 2”

  1. June 2, 2013 at 10:47 am

    The only realistic hope for breeding curlew is for the Northern Ireland statutory and non-statutory agencies to work with groups and individuals with a vested interest in the species, as such co-operative initiatives have the greatest chances of success. To develop a practical restoration and conservation programme, population monitoring needs to be increased; knowledge of the migratory movements of breeding birds and practical habitats improved; and more effective nest predator control put in place. Control the foxes and the crows and the curlew numbers will increase. Endorsing the shooting moratorium and reviewing its effectiveness after five years will strongly encourage the shooting community to play its full part in the restoration programme. I cannot support amendment No 27, but I can offer some support for amendment No 33.

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