08/11/21 A second Hen Harrier

Still and warm with the lightest of NW breezes today. Langdon Hole was quiet in the bushes though a decent number of Brambling were heard and seen flying west first thing; I had 27 in the end with a flock of 16 being the largest group. A Snow bunting flew west along the cliff and out to sea just west of the light house and both Firecrest and Woodcock were in the valley.

Upon heading home I scanned over the fields and picked up what I presumed was the recent Hen Harrier coming my way. However this bird looked warmer beneath, dark eyed and longer winged with distinctly dark secondaries – a juv female, a completely different bird which quartered around the field near Reach road for 5 minutes before continuing west across the fields north of where i stood.

Upon inspection of the images I noticed 6 consitent bars in the longest primaries aswell as 4 clear bars on p10, this is usually a pro Hudsonius feature and apparently rare in Cynaeus however the streaked belly, shaft streaking to under tail coverts, overall tones, dark trailing edge to the inner primaries and pattern to secondaries likely land it on the safe side with regards to the ID. An interesting bird and comments welcome.

Author: Jamie Partridge

Birding South East Kent: Langdon Hole to South Foreland

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