THORNE MOORS BIRDING BLOG 2011

LATE NEWS 2011: MONTAGU’S HARRIER ADULT MALE Seen early June (either first or second Monday) around 13.00 by David Smith, Tom Minskip and Bernard Minskip.

“I (David) first saw a large pale bird flying low over the moor framed against the trees, coming S just on the E side of Fison’s Road North. First impressions were it could be a Lesser Black-backed Gull, but then I quickly realised it was a harrier. I pointed it out to the other two observers and first thoughts were that it was a male Hen Harrier, but as it turned towards us we spotted the black band across the top of the secondaries, and Tom said it looks like a male Montagu’s.

It flew round over the moor for a period of time. We were able to see the long, pale grey narrow wings with large black tips. Then it started to circle and gain height and as it flew over us we were clearly able to see the two narrow bands on the underside of the secondaries and noted its slim body and narrow tail. It continued to quickly gain height and flew off probably NE or NNE. All were satisfied it was an adult male Montagu’s Harrier.” THIS IS ONLY THE 3RD RECORD of modern times there having been sightings in 1968, 1975 and 1995.