Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Wild Bird Wednesday 168 - Marsh Harriers

I have mentioned on more than one occasion that I seem to find it hard to get pictures of birds of prey - even common ones.

So, it came as a bit of a shock to me when I realised that I had not posted some pictures of Marsh Harriers that took on my recent trips back to the UK.  I think I may have been over excited by the whole trip!

When I was a kid I would look at bird books - probably the Observers Book of Birds - and wonder what the chances of ever seeing birds like Harriers were like.  And in all truthfulness I considered the chances very low.

So, to this day I still get a huge kick out of seeing these birds, that at one time I considered to be essentially mythical!  In most cases I have seen these birds on RSPB reserves - what wonderful places!




This is a rather distant shot of a Marsh Harrier with a small bird in its claws - as far as I can tell its a Moorhen chick.  This shot was taken at Leighton Moss, in Lancashire, which, for a number of years was my local reserve.




These three shots were taken at a reserve I had never heard of until I went back to the UK earlier this year.  Its called Blacktoft Sands, and it's near Goole.  This bird did not like coming near the hides, and when it finally did I was not really ready, so the picture are not as sharp as they could be - but I still like them.

I think seeing any large predator in the wild is a real treat - and these birds were no exception.

Now it's over to you - click on the blue button and off you go into the wonderful land that is Wild Bird Wednesday  - could I just remind you bloggers to add a link to a specific post, rather than just your general blog address as this makes my (rather busy) life a little easier!  SM




33 comments:

eileeninmd said...

Hello Stewart, cool sighting and images of the Marsh Harrier. It is a treat to see them! Thanks for hosting, have a great week ahead!

Silver Parrot said...

It's always a treat to see raptors...particularly in flight. Such grace and power! Thanks for sharing your terrific photos of these birds!

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

Birds of prey have such an aura of power about them. So cool

HOOTIN ANNI said...

They're beautiful!!!! I'm glad you remembered to share them today. Love the wing color patterns, don't you?

Brian King said...

Great flight shots, Stewart! Handsome raptor!

Margaret Adamson said...

Wonderful to see those birds of prey. Thanks for hosting.

Sharon Wagner said...

It sounds like you've always been a birder at heart. Great shots as always.

Sylvia K said...

I do love the "in flight" shots!! Terrific captures as always, Stewart! Hope your week is going well!!

NatureFootstep said...

I´m happy you got some shots. It is a gorgeous bird :)

Thanks for hosting :)

Rhodesia said...

I love birds of prey, coming from South Africa I was somewhat spoilt. I have always said though if I have to come back to this world, I want to come back as a Peregrine falcon, away from any human elements! Diane

Breathtaking said...

Hello Stewart!:) It's so exciting to photograph an elusive bird or one we never think we could ever have the good fortune to see let alone photograph.I'm pleased you got these great in flight shots.Such beautiful raptors.

TexWisGirl said...

beautiful raptor!

Marie C said...

Fabulous shots of these Harriers. Love that you were able to get these!

janiceadcock said...

Wow, Beautiful bird and great photos!

Linda W. said...

Great shots of the harriers in flight!

Liz said...

I always get a kick out of seeing and photographing birds of prey. You have some great shots here, Stewart!

diane b said...

Wow, its a streamlined bird. Love the shot with the little bird in its claws.

Gayle said...

There's nothing like a bird in fight against the great blue sky.

Bas said...

hij is opzich al geweldig mooi en zeker in deze pooses

Jo said...

Absolutely brilliant shots of the Marsh Harrier in flight, Stewart. Thanks for hosting this meme. Greetings Jo (South Africa)

photodoug said...

Stewart, wonderful action photos. Thanks for sharing.

Mama Zen said...

So gorgeous!

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

Nice photos of the harrier. Only two weeks ago before I returned to Florida from Illinois I saw a male Northern Harrier, the so-called "Gray Ghost." I guess the Marsh Harrier also has distinct plumages for males and females.

Andrea Priebe said...

Our Harrier is called a Northern Harrier and is possibly slightly different in color and has a conspicuous white rump spot that is used to identify him. They are awesome birds and different than other hawks because they have facial disks much like the owl which allows them to use their hearing as a primary tool in their hunt. These are awesome pictures, Stewart and like you, I have been in awe of the raptor since I was a child. Had to be "old" and retired though before I had time to get involved with them ... it is one of my favorite things to do. We had a male Harrier at the rehab center named Harry ... he was quite the character and gorgeous ...

Andrea @ From The Sol

Missy George said...

Wonderful action shots Stewart..The best I could ever do was Hawks sitting in trees..They aren't in the sky long enough around here to catch..Sounds like a good excuse to me anyway..

Red Nomad OZ said...

Fabulous Fingers! Capturing birds in flight is something I'm really rubbish at, so I admire your shots immensely!! Just wait 'til you see the Red-tailed Tropicbirds on Lord Howe Island!!

Mary Cromer said...

What beautiful image shares of the Harrier and my it must be large to take a Moorhen, yes? I love flight shots and you did a marvelous job of getting some great ones~

Black Jack's Carol said...

Your images of the Harrier look very good to me! I, too, thought the chances of getting photos of any bird of prey were pretty close to nil, so when we finally were able to go to Boundary Bay (quite some time ago), it was like a dream come true to see and photograph the various hawks, owls, and eagles. We stay closer to home now and such opportunities are few and far between, but I still love to go back and look at old photos.

ladyfi said...

Great images!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I do so agree with you on seeing birds of prey n the wild ... Especially WTH the prey in their possession... All sch great photos. At this point I'd settle for a bird, any bird. Dang it, this moving and shopping stuff takes an awful long time for an old lady . (Definitely feeling my age today! )

Phil Slade said...

Nice pics Stewart. Its funny you mention hides because when I've watched Marsh Harriers they have clear aversion to hides. I still haven't got a good picture of Marsh Harrier even though I live 40 minutes from Leighton.
I don't go there much at all - noisy hides!

Phil Slade said...

Nice pics Stewart. Its funny you mention hides because when I've watched Marsh Harriers they have clear aversion to hides. I still haven't got a good picture of Marsh Harrier even though I live 40 minutes from Leighton.
I don't go there much at all - noisy hides!

David Gascoigne said...

Great flight shots - always the most difficult. I was just reading a comment you left on Phil Slade's latest post. Sounds like you're nostalgic, or maybe even a tad homesick, for the UK.