20 February 2010

Harriers at Crymlyn Bog

An immiture male Marsh Harrier was present today at Crymlyn Bog. Also present was a ringtail Hen Harrier.

Earlier today, about 11:00, a female Hen Harrier was present in the dunes of Baglan Bay. Flying around for a short period and seen to land in the dunes. As a result of this sighting I decided to check whether it might later roost at nearby Crymlyn Bog. The Bog has historically held Harrier roosts, although I am unaware of any recent records.

I was joined at Crymlyn Bog by Charles Hipkin. We parked at the visitor centre which gives a reasonable view over the Bog. We were delighted to see the imm male Marsh Harrier coursing around the Bog and head off towards Jersey Marine. At 16:30, 10mins later, it returned and was seen to go to ground among the reeds. 20mins later a ringtail Hen Harrier was seen briefly at distance. Although this bird was not seen to go to roost, I would assume it did roost here. The 2 Hen Harriers, I saw today, did appear to be different birds so there may be 2 or more in the area.

This site is desperately under watched, but hopefully these birds will stick around for a while.


David Carrington said...

Hi Mark - there has been some debate over the sex and age of the marsh harrier at Kenfig today. I'm wondering if it could be the same bird that you saw at Crymlyn. Did you obtain any photos?

Mark Hipkin said...

Hi David - unfortunatel not. I was hoping to get a few tonight, no luck there either. N Donaghy and M Hnatiuk were present this evening and I spoke with Neil with regards to the Kenfig bird. My bird yesterday showed a pale head and pale leading edge to the inner wing like a female. But upper wing had a two tone contrast simular to a male but not as clear cut in contrast. Also had pale area on underwing simular to an adult male but again not as clear cut in contrast. Overall it gave the impression of a paler bird than a female but not as clear cut as an adult male.
A harrier sp did show very briefly in poor light tonight. It have been the same bird? Female Hen Harrier also showed well.

Jamie Bevan said...

Mark - good to hear of these sightings. I saw a female hen harrier out on the bog a couple of winters ago, and a marsh harrier a few years ago (autumn time), but nothing since. I'll keep a closer eye out now.

David Carrington said...

Mark - have a look at the pics on kenfignnr.blogspot.com

Up in the sky on a sunny day, the bird appears dark and female-like but I've seen one photo of it lower down by Toy Messinger which shows hints of male plumage.