Sunday, 19 June 2011

Harrier Update

Before I head back to Wales tomorrow I wanted one last evening with the Radipole Marsh Harriers. Haven’t taken the camera down for a while so given that the sun was shining (albeit briefly!) off I went. They are still feeding chicks, which must be nearly three weeks old now, so should be getting to a decent size. The male is now a very infrequent visitor which means the female is doing most of the hunting. She has been pretty successful at catching a wide range of prey items including plenty of ducklings and coot chicks!
Managed this decent photo of her this evening, she caught me by surprise as I was photographing a Kingfisher which was scared off by the Harrier. She is clearly looking straight at me in the picture so probably I took her by surprise a little as well!

Here is a shot of the kingfisher. It was a bit distant but an Ok result.

Common terns are fishing around Radipole still which gives you something to watch whilst you wait for the Harriers to show.

On the way back from the hide, this Scarlet Tiger was sitting on the reeds. They are pretty common at Radipole and will peak in numbers over the next few weeks. Some evening there can be a couple of dozen on the wing all at the same time.

Finally, I have to mention our botanical MEGA. A number of years ago a ‘brown’ bee orchid was discovered at Radipole. Last year news got out and started a twitch! Several dozen people travelled down to see it. Since then a lot of discussion has gone on as what name to put on it. Current thinking is that is of the variety fulvofusca. It was originally called atrofuscus but it seems that name is now invalid for some reason. I am not going to into as I really don’t understand! Anyway, here’s three picture showing each of the three ‘brown’ bee orchids, each slightly different.

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