An enjoyable couple of hours were spent at West Hartford this morning. Initial scope views of the pool revealed one oystercatcher, one dunlin (different bird to previous day), lapwing, the usual assortment of gulls and three kestrel.
At 10:25 all of the birds lifted off the pool as a imm/female type marsh harrier drifted through... then landed on the mud. Great! With scope in one hand and mobile in the other I phoned out news to Steve Holliday - only to find he was a Newbiggin, sea watching with Phil!
As soon as the marsh harrier had arrived it moved off... and a few of the gulls returned. Meanwhile, a single jay cavorted in the hawthorns.
At 11:05 the marsh harrier returned - as with the previous visit I was alerted to its presence by the gulls. This time I was treated to five minutes viewing as the bird hunted over the flooded field, only to be sufficiently harassed by carrion crows - the bird drifted off west, presumably following the River Blyth.
The arrival of Steve, Phil, Lindsay and Pete lent to some good banter, but alas the harrier did not return.