It’s factors outside the patch that place this entry in 3rd. I’ve been lucky enough to savour 5 Harrier sightings, from 3 different species, over the area during the past few years. As a result an unidentified one, whilst frustrating, shouldn’t annoy for too long, as I'm lucky enough to have previous encounters. With this bird however, it’s not the case.
|The juvenile Pallid Harrier that spent time at the Burgh,|
West Sussex, in autumn 2015 (Surfbirds).
The record came at a time when a juvenile Pallid Harrier was present for several weeks at the Burgh, an area of farmland in Sussex no less than 20 miles (as the Crow, or Harrier, flies) in straight line to the south of Thorncombe Street. During its stay that Pallid Harrier became famously hard to see, often taking hours to be found. Perhaps on this sunny October day, it wandered north up the Arun, and took a liking to here, as many raptors have done before, dropping down for a nose around. What a record that would have been.
Of course, it could well have been a Hen Harrier, and indeed I saw a ringtail over the Ridge just over 2 weeks later. That record itself came the same day Robin S had one over Winterfold, though it's thought the birds were separate individuals. In a funny turn of events, Matt and I had another unidentified harrier over the Ridge on the 24th.
As things stand, 2017 will be the first Harrier-less year at Thorncombe Street since 2014.