Tuesday, 28 July 2020

A July Hen

Canons Farm is currently playing host to a ring-tail Hen Harrier, the fifth site record following hot on the heels of birds in 2010, 2011 and two in 2013. Needless to say, a July record is exceedingly rare in Surrey. My 'harrier ageing library' is not up to date, hence my inability to confidently call this a 'juvenile male', although there are several eminent birders who confidently are. The bird turned up on Friday and, apart from Saturday, has been seen on each subsequent evening, although today it has been on site, on-and-off, all day, but has gone 'missing' for hours at a time.

I spent the afternoon on the farm (sans harrier) but was more than happy with up to 200 Common Swifts, 45 Swallows and a House Martin drifting in the airspace, which they shared for a time with a Hobby. I went back this evening and was delighted to see the Hen Harrier on a number of occasions, quartering the fields widely across the farm. At least 20+ birders had also decided to descend on Canons, the most I've seen on site since the famous Dotterel trip of 2012.

Day One of the 'Circle' and already a rather unexpected bird is gracing the highlights package!

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