Saw what I identified as a Hen Harrier this afternoon, at Stocks Golf Club outside Albury, Herts. From a distance it looked like a pigeon, but it was unmistakeably a bird of prey, with a hooked beak. Thoughts?
Doesn't spun like it to be honest. Hen harriers have an almost unmistakable flight style etc. To give a better chance of ID we need more details- size, more on te colour and flight style etc. I initially thought of sparrowhawk though.
Hi Blbrowne, A very warm welcome to the community from me in Staffordshire.
I thought I saw one a few years back on the Chatsworth Estate in Derbyshire, white/grey definately a bird of prey, but it couldn't have been, don't know ........ I don't know anything about your area so I haven't a clue, don't have much of a clue anyway !! it may be worth a look round on the net and see if anyone else has spotted one recently, I know it's a mystery, that can do your head in ..... my sightings 'preyed' on my mind now and again !! :-)
Hope someone on here can help you, Aiki and Seymouraves are the ones who are in the know, they are both brilliant at identification , they may come up with a different bird that we both may have seen. :-)
The truth is I'm mad. We are all mad and many are too mad to know the truth.
Sorry Michael, x posted, it takes me ages sometimes to write something !! Michael is probably on to something there for you blbrowne, but I know what I saw wasn't a Sparrowhawk or a Goshawk, I don't think I'll ever find out . :-)
Well I haven't seen a hen harrier in flight before, but the style was definitely one of a prey bird. Was sat atop a tree for a good few minutes, then set off towards another area of tree-tops. Size was blackbird to mallard. Colour was distinctly grey, much like a pigeon as I mentioned. I can't say much on the flight style, but it glided some way. We considered a sparrow-hawk, but sparrow-hawks seem to dark, and our bird had no banding on its tail.
Thank you for the welcome BW.
I'd be convinced it was a hen harrier, if it was expected in this area, but I don't think it is.
Again, Goshawks seem too (sp!) dark and 'mottled' to be our bird.
Are you sure it was not just a Sparrowhawk?they can look pigeon like when perched at a distant.
Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can
It may have been, that was my initial thought. Apart from my comments above, it just seemed too small and distinctly light grey to be a Sparrow-hawk. It wasn't that distant, perhaps a 100 yards. We could make out the curved beak by naked eye. I guess I was wishing someone had also spotted it and could confirm/disprove that it was a Hen Harrier.
Idon't think you will get a Hen harrier perching on tree tops etc. they are more moorland birds.
only ever seen a female at blacktofts a few year back.
the experts will know better
a good laugh is better than a tonic
That is helpful, thank you Ray
blbrowneit just seemed too small and distinctly light grey to be a Sparrow-hawk
I thought a Sparrowhawk was smaller than Harrier although there may be some overlap.
You're right, Sparrow-hawks are smaller... I'm still out on a verdict.
Trouble is Hen Harriers are persecuted, some people just want to know where they are, you have a Hen Harrier as your avitar so I was suspicious of you, my sighting was so long ago it's not a matter and I never told anyone until a post on here the other day. But I've been on the web and sightings don't appear to be a secret anyway, so I apologise to you and I apologise for my suspicious character !! :-)
I had no idea!