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Marsh Harriers and the Art of Flight…

Marsh Harrier at Barton Turf

Low in the sky to my left I spot him, a Marsh Harrier wheeling over the banks of the River Ant and then along the reeds on the Eastern edge of the ‘Heater’, an island that divides the approach to the Broadland village of Barton Turf.

Marsh Harrier on the Norfok Broads

A male Marsh Harrier near Barton Turf

He is searching for prey.  Somewhere, perhaps on the island, where no one can disturb them, a nest with hungry young will be eagerly awaiting their next feed.

Searching for small mammals, insects and birds...

However, they would not be fed by the male.  Instead the female will meet him in flight and, in a fascinating aerial display, he will attempt to drop any food he has caught, into the grip of the female who, if their display succeeds, will return to the nest and feed their young.

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