Marsh Harrier seen over Thames Road Wetland as Peregrine perches on nearby pylon

The Marsh Harrier, once extremely rare in the UK, has made something of a comeback. Following a report of a female in the area on March 10th by Ian Stewart, I also saw a female fly low over the site at just gone 5p.m. on the 12th, heading out onto the marshes. At the same time there was a Peregrine Falcon on the pylon to the south on Stanham Farm, to which my attention had been drawn by repeated mewing calls. Having been perched there for at least 40 minutes, this bird flew off towards Crayford town centre just after the Harrier had gone past.

Thames Road Wetland in the winter sun.

Thames Road Wetland in early year sun.

Earlier there had been 11 teal on a flooded field by Maiden Lane, at a distance from which they would normally have taken flight. But they seemed to understand there was a protective fence between us, so stayed put. There were 11, possibly 14 Teal on the lake at Thames Road Wetland, probably a different set of birds. A Cetti’s Warbler called as usual, and at dusk there were 2, perhaps 3, Song Thrushes singing.

On the 10th Ian had seen the Siberian race of Chiffchaff at the wetland again, plus 5 Common Chiffchaff, and also a Reed Bunting.

Chris Rose. Site Manager.


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