The sessions from atop the Tower started amid little fuss or pomp three weeks ago on April 23rd. We quietly ascended the stairs that link the last elevator stop to the roof to be greeted by sunny skies and luke warm temperatures. Our sum total was meagre. Aside from the usual Lesser Black-backs and Herring Gulls a migrant Meadow Pipit was of interest. Our first spring record.
The next session on May 1st was an improvement. A showy Sparrowhawk drifting high above Heron Tower to the north, a spectacularly diving Peregrine first seen way over Shooters Hill to the east and a Common Buzzard directly overhead heading west provided the brief excitement.
This has been a slow spring with seemingly frequent colder snaps. Thus not too many reports of raptors overflying the capital were reported. Today's session resulted in our first ever Marsh Harrier and ringtail Hen Harrier for the location. Both birds were in loose association, at least they were in the same area of sky. The Marsh Harrier - a male - was the first to be seen as it drifted perhaps 200 feet above our heads. As we traced it heading west it was then that we realised that there were actually three birds involved. One was the ringtail, clearly displaying a white rump band and seeming too bulky to be either a Montagu's or an even less likely Pallid Harrier. The identity of the third bird was never established.
Not a bad day in the office - or to be more accurate - on the office. Spring is springing.