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THORPE AREA: Marsh Harrier at last

4th June 2012

After singing the National Anthem I went out for a look around Thorpes finest nature habitats.  Rosary Cemetery was quiet (admittedly this is generally a good thing, I mean, you don't want a noisy cemetery), and In didn't see much of note in Lion Wood either.  No sign of any orchids at Carey's Meadow (a few years ago I had at least three species flowering in the first week of June here), but my day took a turn for the better when I found a pair of Lesser Whitethroats taking caterpillars into some thick brambles.  The local Black Swan was at Thorpe Green, along with some Mallards moulting into eclipse plumage.

At Thorpe Marsh a dragonfly flew swiftly off the path, almost certainly a Four-spotted Chaser although it went to quickly to be 100%.  At the second scan I managed to pick out one Little Ringed Plover on the scrape, along with the usual geese and Stock Doves.  Further round I was scanning the posts when I noticed the pale underwings of a large bird of prey.  Looking through my bins I confirmed that finally I'd managed to catch up with a Marsh Harrier here (102).  For around five minutes I watched it hunt parallel with Bungalow Lane, it even engaged in a bit of hovering.  A cracking bird, well worth the wait.  I couldn't see anything on the spit, but did find a big Drinker moth caterpillar on my way back to the bridge.


  1. Nice work James, persistence pays off for you! No doubt a bird you have been unlucky not to have seen before, so to finally lock eyes onto one is a good feeling. No sign of any Marshies at Surlingham today, nor much else!

  2. Thanks! Yep its been frustrating, there have been regular sightings (plus Daniel managed four in his one visit!), but typically they just hunt for a few minutes then fly back east, so completely hit-and-miss. I'm still hoping for Spotted Flycatcher to turn up, and maybe a late Black Tern or Little Gull. Hope you get something good at Surlingham over the half term.