|Marsh Harrier, with strong feather moult June 11th|
Despite Shadoxhurst's mid-Kent position with the Isle of Sheppey to the North and Romney Marsh to the South, we rarely see Marsh Harriers commuting between the two. In fact it could be 10 years since I last saw one fly over the house. But yesterday's strong and cold North Easterly wind had me just the once pop-out to the garden and luckily spot this large, wafty, scruffy thing coming over from the south criss-crossing the sky in constant pursuit by crows.
At first I thought the bird was an adult female, but if it was, you'd expect it to be nesting with rather plump chicks at this time of year. Adult Marsh Harriers tend to moult in the autumn after the breeding season. On one of the pics it's possible to see some grey feathering appearing on the wings, so I'm hedging a bet that this is a one year old male bird, battling away in the wind eventually making it's way North, perhaps finally kicked off its parents patch.