Thursday, 13 September 2018

Pallid Harrier

 
A late afternoon dog-walk on Woodbury Common went a bit pear-shaped when I bumped in to this juvenile Pallid Harrier. I did the usual 'shake and panic' routine before securing this shot which seems to show everything. Mindful of hybrids, and having never seen Pallid Harrier before,  I texted out the news that I thought I had Pallid Harrier, but I was massively relieved when Paul Gosling and Chris Townend showed up to reassure me I wasn't going mad! The bird showed several times around the heathland surrounding the grenade range on Colaton Raleigh Common, and was last seen around 1910 as it was starting to get a bit darker. It will obviously roost in the area and will hopefully be seen again tomorrow. Please stick to the footpaths and bridleways.
 
 
Note the dark boa, broad pale collar, pale area below the eye, orange underparts, broad arm and narrow hand (showing 4 primaries), and dark secondaries contrasting with pale-edged inner primaries. The pale 'boomerang' is present at the base of the primaries. The bird looked buoyant and agile in flight, and was incredibly fast and low, covering large areas of ground quickly. A really good tip for locating it is to look for the alarm-calling Meadow Pipit flocks which the bird was clearly hunting.

13 comments:

  1. Well done Matt, what a great find.

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    1. Thank you Perry. Hopefully catch up with you this autumn. All the best. Matt

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  2. Brilliant find Matt - well deserved!

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    1. Thank you Mike. Really appreciated. All the best. Matt

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  3. Great stuff Matt and Top find! Many thanks for the call.

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  4. Awesome find mate. Looks top notch to me. Thanks for the text. Couldn’t get there this evening but I’m hoping it will still be in the area tomorrow.

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  5. Thank you so much for the call Matt. I've had a pretty crap week in all and after getting my parked car pranged this afternoon, it was good to finally have something to smile about this evening! Top find!

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  6. Brilliant find Matt, just hope it hangs around a few days - can't get up there until Monday!

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  7. Thank you to everyone for your kind comments. It means a lot to me. I'm really hoping it sticks around. All the best. Matt

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  8. What a great bird to find Matt - well done. This has been a long time coming for Devon. Your self-found raptor list for you local area must be amazing and now you've got to write-up yet another Devon 1st, top-man. Mark

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  9. Hi Mark - lots of Red Kites but not an awful lot else! Many thanks for your comment, and it was lovely to see you and Adele this afternoon. All the best. Matt

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  10. Superb find Matt, very well done.

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  11. Thanks Lee - really appreciate your comment. Matt

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