brycchan's picture

Pallid Harrier?

Observed: 2nd October 2011 By: brycchan
S159 Neighbourhood Nature - course complete
brycchan’s reputation in Birdsbrycchan’s reputation in Birds
hen1.jpg 1

I'm pretty sure this is a hen harrier. At first I thought it was a buzzard, but it was flying low over the rough grassland of Sugley Woods, near Waresley, Cambridgeshire, and occasionally either perching on poles or lying in long grass, neither of which are really buzzard-like behaviour. This is the best picture I could get - sorry it's a bit blurry.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


Danny the Pirate's picture

It's a Harrier alright but I

It's a Harrier alright but I think the pale collar stands out alot and in this photo there only appears to be 3 long primary feathers I don't know if you managed any more photos? It could be a Pallid Harrier there are a few in the country at the moment but Hen Harriers which are more common are moving through as well. A view of the under wing and the amount and pattern of the barring are good features for Id. Still Harriers are great birds to watch!

brycchan's picture

Hen Harrier - new picture

Thanks Danny. I took a lot of pictures, most very indistinct, but I overlooked this second one with a better view of the primaries. It doesn't show a distinct collar though.

brycchan's picture

Confirmed as pallid harrier

Several other people have now seen a pallid harrier at the same location, and friends at the RSPB are of opinion that this is the bird I captured in these photos. I was pleased just for seeing what I thought was a hen harrier, so this was an unexpected surprise!

RoyW's picture


If he doesn't already have copies of these photos, I'm sure that the county bird recorder would be grateful to be sent them, as I have no doubt that they will help with the assessment of this record: