Ringtail on the Patch

A beautiful spring morning walk around the Patch was very good for raptors.

First was a female marsh harrier cruising over the reeds. High above her was a wheeling buzzard being shadowed by a female sparrowhawk and low in the distance was a hovering kestrel. The highlight however came later when we were scanning some scrubby ground when another harrier appeared, this time it was a female hen harrier – or ringtail as it is often called due to its distinctive white rump.

It is probably fair to say that my two colleagues who I was escorting round the reserve were not quite as animated as I was by the sight of the white rump.

I presume that this would be the ringtail that has been floating over the Levels most of the winter, but that was my first sighting of her and my first hen harrier in Somerset – so a good start to the day.

female hen harrier or ringtail

female hen harrier or ringtail

Graeme Mitchell