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Monday, 30 January 2017

Rough- leg on Berney marshes

On Monday 30th January with another A/L day to take, I visited Burgh Castle fort in the hope of seeing the Rough- leg. Some birders had just left, but I joined a lone birder to the western (left end) of the Fort who said it was still there. He pointed out 3 posts by a gate slightly aligned diagonally away from us to the left of the marshes and I saw the bird perched on a post. It soon moved closer flying towards a gate just the other side of the reeds. This fine Rough- legged Buzzard was a really striking bird with pale head and mantle, brownish back, a large gorget of black down its throat and 2 big side flank patches of black flaring out from the lower breast sides. It showed white at the base of the tail bordered first by a chestnut bar then a dark black bar. It was facing us then and turned around facing right. It later flew low over the ground and onto another gate straight out from the fort (the closest one you can see over the river) before flying and settling in a field edge to the side of a dyke by some Greylag Geese, but the local Egyptian Geese took exception, as did a Short- eared owl that repeatedly dive bombed it. Whilst the one Owl kept mobbing it, 2 further Short- eared Owls flew over and east, comprising a great trio of Short- eared Owls!I recorded a 4th Owl for the trip when I heard a Tawny Owl hooting from the copse just west of the Fort. Sadly, I couldn't see it. Finally, walking back, a Redwing was perched up in a berry bush by the car park.

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