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?
You may like to read this and sign the petition. http://www.rspb.org.uk/community/ourwork/b/skydancer/archive/2011/12/01/bird-of-prey-persecution-make-your-voice-heard.aspx
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. :-)
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.
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
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!
If you are almost sure it was a Hen Harrier it may be worth reporting it to the RSPB Harrier Hotline on 0845 4600121.