I was hoping to see my first autumn arrivals like Whinchat or maybe a Black Tern along the estuary or something. Things were pretty quiet but I was glad for the peace and tranquility this site brings. A few Reed Warblers were still croaking out splutterings of notes but rather half-heartedly now. The shoreline had a few piping Curlew and Redshank while in the distance three Black-tailed Godwits probed and prodded the mud for breakfast.
The skies were overcast but the air was warm and scented with wildflower and nothing really mattered. I walked high along the seawall path and any movement in the sky was largely due to Woodpigeons.
A few of these pigeons came down on a recently harvested corn? field. A much larger and darker creature suddenly caught my attention. Due to the location, I immediately assumed it to be a Marsh Harrier. Still, it was worth a snap so I took a couple of pictures but knew the distance and the light conditions would relegate it to the annuls of my hard drive for ever.
It then got annoyed at a low flying Kestrel and lifted itself off into the air. I attempted to capture this but totally failed. I didn’t however, fail to notice the whiter than white rump this so called Marsh Harrier possessed. It probably wasn’t a Hen Harrier because of the time of year and the bird’s rusty colouring so could I dare think it to be a Montagu’s Harrier?
With a good deal of help from The Southend Ornithological Group’s Don Petrie, it could be confirmed as a Monty. Obviously I was pleased as this has been a bit of a bogey bird for me in the past.