Harriers Pottering around the Hoskinstown Plain

To: "'COG List'" <>
Subject: Harriers Pottering around the Hoskinstown Plain
From: "Philip Veerman" <>
Date: Sun, 12 Feb 2012 15:24:28 +1100
Both Harrier species are variable in colour patterns (by age and or sex) and some combinations are hard to tell apart. The most useful thing that I learned from Stephen Debus that the most consistent feature easily separating all colour stages between the two species is that (if viewed from above which we don't always get) the Spotted Harrier always has strongly marked (spotted or scalloped) wing coverts (i.e. along the forearm & wrist (carpal joint)), whereas the Swamp Harrier is always fairly uniform colour in that area.
-----Original Message-----
From: martin butterfield [
Sent: Sunday, 12 February 2012 2:53 PM
To: COG List
Subject: [canberrabirds] Harriers Pottering around the Hoskinstown Plain

I apologise for reusing an old joke but it is still a good one.  For once the plural is not a typo.

This morning a local landowner contacted to advise that he had seen two harriers on his property and wondered if one was a Swamp Harrier.  I accompanied him to he paddock and had excellent views of a Spotted Harrier initially perched on a fence and then flying off.  The flight sighting clearly showed a darkish rump (definitely not white) and extensive dark wing tips.  As much of the belly was white I take this to be a juvenile bird.

After getting seriously swooped by a Nankeen Kestrel the bird headed off to be joined by a second, darker bird.  I didn't get to see this but my friend reported that when he first saw them, earlier in the day, they seemed to fly together almost like a mating display. 

Unfortunately the bird was somewhat skittish and I couldn't get a photograph.

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