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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Chilling out on Hatfield Moor, a possible new breeder, dashing Hobbies and singing Tree Pipits.

Some more good news for Hatfield Moor / Humberhead Peatlands, a couple of Marsh Harriers look like they're going to breed there this year. Its likely that this is overspill from nearby Potteric Carr where there are at least 3 pairs or even Blacktoft Sands where they're also doing well. With so many of our native birds in decline its heartening to witness the continuing expansion of these graceful raptors and it surely can't be long before a pair nest in the Lower Derwent Valley.

Marsh Harrier, Hatfield Moor, 28/05/15

Not the best of pics because of the distance we were away from the nest site but I don't believe anyone else has managed to photographically record this success story and that was my mission on the day. This is the male, a very pale, relatively small individual that could almost be mistaken for a Montagues Harrier from a distance.

timbobagginsabroad, birds, raptors, breeding
Marsh Harrier, Hatfield Moor, 28/05/15

We'll have to wait and see if they breed successfully but the omens are good.

Hobby, Hatfield Moor, 28/05/15

Hobbies have been doing ok on Hatfield for some time now and along with nearby Thorne Moor, its one of the easiest of places to catch up with these dashing, colourful falcons. This one came out of nowhere as we were waiting for the Marsh Harrier to return, caught a dragonfly and in typical fashion ate it on the wing... all over in a flash and I had to be quick to get these pics!

timbobagginsabroad, raptor, falcon
Hobby devouring a dragonfly, Hatfield Moor, 28/05/15

Hobby, Hatfield Moor, 28/05/15

Hobby2, Hatfield Moor, 28/05/15

We caught up with another Hobby later in the day, just cruising around, easier to photograph and  perhaps a more 'typical' view but to my mind not as exciting a capture as the previous one trousers on view though!

Even easier was this nice Tree Pipit, one of several singing birds on the moor. To the untrained eye its just another small brown bird; not as exciting as a dashing Hobby or as colourful as say a Redstart but hey they're just as fascinating. They too migrate 1000s of miles from Africa to breed here and they sing better than Hobbies! Holding their own here I'd say but getting scarcer around my vicinity in the Vale of York.

timbobagginsabroad, pipits, south yorks
Singing Tree Pipit, Hatfield Moor, 28/05/15

Tree Pipit, Hatfield Moor, 28/05/15
Bright, warm sunshiny days have been few and far between this May in the UK and this wasn't one of them but biking around Hatfield with me old mucker Mark was as enjoyable as ever .. we got the record shots of a potentially new breeding bird for the reserve (mission accomplished), got plenty of other stuff too - disturbed a few Adders, heard a couple of Garden Warblers and many Cuckoos, and just chilled!

Chilled out on Hatfield
Hatfield Moor

Hatfield Moor

Check out the blog for recent sightings here - Hatfield Moor Blog Red Necked Phalarope over this past w/e ..where was my lens!

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