Dave Kilbey Photography

Montagu’s Harriers

Posted by Dave Kilbey on Monday 13 June 2011 at 12:15pm

A major highlight of my stay in Extremadura this year was finding a colony of Montagu’s Harriers which were nesting in a field adjacent to a road I drove up every morning whilst trying (sometimes very unsuccessfully) to photograph Great Spotted Cuckoos.

Male Montagu's Harrier at sunrise - Dave Kilbey

Male Montagu’s Harrier at sunrise

Female Montagu's Harrier in flight - Dave Kilbey

Female Montagu’s Harrier putting the brakes on

Black kites would regularly overfly the area they were nesting in which sometimes seemed to cause the harriers concern… but not always.  I got the distinct impression the kites did this when they were bored and fancied a bit of a tussle!

Male Montagu's Harrier seeing off a black kite - Dave Kilbey

Male Montagu’s Harrier seeing off a Black Kite

Black Kite chasing a Male Montagu's Harrier - Dave Kilbey

Black Kite chasing a Male Montagu’s Harrier

Black Kite chasing a Male Montagu's Harrier - Dave Kilbey

Black Kite closing in on a Male Montagu’s Harrier

Surprisingly, given that the site seemed to be about as far away from a large area of water as possible, black kites weren’t the only bird to upset the montagu’s harriers.  This female marsh harrier was promptly seen off when she overflew the nest site

Male Montagu's Harrier seeing off a female marsh harrier - Dave Kilbey

Male Montagu’s Harrier seeing off a female Marsh Harrier

Female Montagu's Harrier chasing off a female marsh harrier - Dave Kilbey

A Female Montagu’s Harrier taking over the chase

Female Montagu's Harrier hunting - Dave Kilbey

Female Montagu’s Harrier hunting

Female Montagu's Harrier alighting on a post- Dave Kilbey

Female Montagu’s Harrier coming in for a rest

 

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