Goldcliff Lagoons Reserve Marsh Harrier Surprise
I headed for the sea wall hide . The hedgerows, full of hawthorn bushes were dripping with red berries and I disturbed a good many feeding Fieldfares and Redwings en-route to the hide.
A female Kestrel was busy hunting along the lagoons and hovering in the sea wind.
I had the hide to myself for an hour or so and then saw a huge commotion over the lagoons with hundred of lapwings exploding up into the air creating a huge cloud of swirling black and white. At its center was a Marsh Harrier. Another weekend birding "lifer" for me. Wondrous to see.
The Marsh Harrier is an incredible bird. I guess it could be mistaken for a buzzard until you see the markings and the way it fly's. It hovered in the wind like a Kestrel with its legs dangling whilst being mobbed by very distressed Lapwings, it rarely flinched and only reacted when a contact was made.
I watched it quarter the lagoon for about 15 to 20 minutes. My view was at the extremities of the cameras lens range today and I think my good eye has been tired so the pictures are not as focused as I would have liked. But "hay ho" I got some great record shots at least.
I met a really nice local birder who joined me in the hide for a couple of hours and I enjoyed the conversation and learned a lot from him. Its amazing what knowledge people have. I mist admit my knowledge of waders is not that good and today I saw some birds I think I would struggle to identify alone see on my own.
All in all it was a good morning.The reserve is a real jewel and the biodiversity is incredible. Long may it continue.