Watched a pair of juv Marsh Harriers out on Plex for awhile this afternoon - there wasn't much else going on, and their behaviour was interesting, with one bird quartering a bank and another firmly rooted to the ground, occasionally hopping about as if chasing mice or insects.
The one in the air spent most of its time "catching" clumps of earth and vegetation, which it repeatedly dropped beside the bird on the ground, like a bizarre mating display or food pass...
I'm sure I've read something about young birds doing this, but I can't quite place it...must be old age creeping in.
The one on the deck was most unimpressed whenever the airborne bird came close, rearing up to tussle with it.
Suppose the whole vegetation grabbing behaviour could be a threat over feeding territory to the bird on the ground; the flying bird certainly had its legs dangling down most of the time, which is a classic territory threat display in Marsh Harriers if memory serves me right.
Whatever they were doing it was fun watching 'em, and made up for the distinct lack of Lapland Bunts on the stubble fields, despite one of the biggest influxes of the critters to the UK in recent years.
The Uists are almost sinking under the weight of Lapland Bunts apparently, and they've been on the Orme etc this week, so there's always a chance we'll get a few, on top of the one Clarko found this morning (see comment on previous entry).
Aside from that the mosses were quiet - hirundines moving through of course, and a playful Raven hassling the local Buzzards above the Withins.
Cronk cronk cronk.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...