Monday, March 04, 2013

An island mammal sighting. sort of.

 Saturday night saw a particularly boozey annual get together amongst my circle of friends (everyone produces a pair of home-flavoured liquors and we have a blind tasting). This is relevant to the post for two reasons:
i) it's an awesome evening and I encourage everyone to go foraging and give it a go - the relevant sections of and boozed and infused will provide inspiration (pro-tip decant everything into matching bottles and do scorecards with different categories - guaranteed to increase the friendly competition); and
ii) as I provided some spare equipment for the evening I drove over to the hosts', walked home and wandered over the next day to collect the car - the walk takes one through some nice farmland where I often see raptors whilst driving so I took the camera for a walk.

Sighting #1 was a surprise mammal tick for the year. This photo shows our island's endemic subspecies of common vole. I don't think it's in the best of health.


I left the windhover to tuck in in a rather picturesque old tree.

My main target was common buzzard -  a bird I've yet to photograph on the island. This one was the third of three.


The 4th buzzard to fly over looked rather different. When it landed and I got a proper view I saw why; it was in fact a female marsh harrier.


A half hour ramble and great views of our three commonest raptors. Not a bad way to spend the lazy afternoon after the night before.

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