And it would be churlish not to finish with a bit of a stinker. You can’t even really see the head, let alone the bill, on this flying raptor. But there are enough features to get somewhere with its identification. It is a broadwinged bird of prey with obvious ‘fingered’ primaries. The wings are largely darkish brown and the long tail is clearly barred with darker and paler brown bands. The rump is a striking white square. This rump is a key feature here, showing this bird is not an Accipiter but is rather a ‘ringtail’ harrier. There are three species which show this tail pattern, Hen, Monatgu’s and Pallid Harriers. With a view like this, the best way to tell them apart is the number of prominent primary fingers in the wing. That there are five fingers showing, with a long outermost one, is enough to confirm this bird is a Hen Harrier.
Fingered wings and long tail Square white rump Finger number points to this being a Hen Harrier