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 Post subject: Marsh Harrier [fishing?]
PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 6:36 pm 
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Lincs Bird Club Member
Lincs Bird Club Member

Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 8:03 pm
Posts: 78
Location: Lincoln
I was watching a F Marsh Harrier at Boultham Mere today,it was down the far end hovering about and was 3ft or so
off the reedbed when it dropped down into the water.The bird was at least half covered in the mere and stayed in the same position
for a good 10mins,making no attempt to get out. I was thinking it will become waterlogged cold and die. Eventually it flapped and
with a struggle made its way to the reeds. I could see it had a fish probably a roach 6-8 oz in its talons.Which after settling down
on the edge of the reeds it proceeded to eat.
What puzzled me was if the fish was dead on the surface when it took it,why did the bird not make attempts to move immediately
out. Otherwise maybe we have a fish tickling M H at the mere.
Anyone else seen or heard of similar behavior.?

Cheers/ Pete


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:10 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:34 pm
Posts: 261
Location: Lincoln
I wonder whether it was copying Osprey behaviour? There must have been a much greater overlap in the last three decades with both species going well in the East Midlands.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:43 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 28, 2004 11:20 pm
Posts: 1666
In winter Marsh Harriers are great scavengers and I suspect this would be a dead fish maybe too far below the surface to be picked up easily and the bird maybe got it wrong? We have had a couple of reports of birds taking fish from shallow areas at Alkborough which again I suspect were carrion and I saw one drop into the salt marsh on the north bank on a high spring tide last week and after about 10 minutes it came out with what appeared to be a flatty: they regularly patrol reed beds where Starlings have roosted searching for birds that die overnight and on the Humber dead geese and gulls located after overnight deaths are a typical easy source of winter food and a goose may be fed on by up to 8 different Harriers in a day.
Interesting observation though and I would be interested to hear if it is repeated.


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