Sunday, 8 April 2018

Marsh Harriers Mating at Cley

I like visiting the Norfolk Wildlife Trust's Cley Marshes nature reserve in part because it has become an occasional treat rather than somewhere I would visit at least monthly before children came along and limited my birding time.

The weather forecast yesterday looked pretty good and so we piled the kids into the car and headed east along the A149.
Male Bearded Tit, Cley
After coffee and cake in the Visitor Centre we walked out to the group of three hides in the middle of the reedbed. This was a quintessentially Norfolk scene behind us Cley Windmill and the Church,  in the reeds the pinging of Bearded Tits and the occasional explosive burst of Cetti's Warbler song. Once in the hide the sound of Avocet's "Klooting" calls hit us as we opened the windows.

Avocet's, Cley
A very pale female Marsh Harrier flew in and landed on the grassy bank on the far side of the lagoon and I got the scope on this for the kids to have a look at this "top predator". As we were admiring the bird a male Marsh Harrier flew in and mounted the female for a few seconds and then flew off. this was the first time I have ever seen Marsh Harriers mating and I managed a few hand held digi-scoped pictures with my little Panasonic Lumix hand held to my Kowa scope eyepiece.

Female Marsh Harrier, Cley
Marsh Harrier mating, Cley

Marsh Harrier mating, Cley

Marsh Harrier mating, Cley

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