Monday 27th June saw me on Lollingdon Hill on a fairly quiet day.
One bird that I noted that I was unable to share at the time was a female Montagu’s Harrier.
I had just arrived on the south side of the hill when I caught sight of a raptor flying away from me about halfway to the A417. I quickly checked the bird through binoculars and noted it was a female Monty’s. It was flying strongly away to the south and I watched it cross the A417 and head towards the downs where it disappeared over Kingstanding Hill.
The reason I was unable to share the sighting at the time was it may have been breeding somewhere in the area given the time of year, and being the rarest bird of prey that breeds in the UK, it had to be checked out.
I notified the county recorder and he contacted the RSPB who as far as we are aware found no evidence of breeding nearby.
I assume this was either a failed breeding bird or an unmated female making its way back south?