This Marsh Harrier was one of a pair hunting over the reedbeds and salt marshes of the North Norfolk coast near Cley. Both were way out of range of a 500mm lens for a decent shot, but I liked the composition and so have tweaked the image a little to give it a more painterly feel. The marsh harrier is one of the great success stories of recent times in Norfolk. In the early 19th Century they were abundant in the county, but by the latter part of the century they had become extinct in the UK through habitat loss and persecution. Marsh Harriers bred sporadically in the Broads, and occasionally at other sites, from 1927 to 1975. Since then the number of nests in the county has risen steadily. In 1982 the first UK nest of marsh harriers in an arable field was recorded in Norfolk and this habitat has been regularly used by the species ever since. Today more than 100 females nest in Norfolk each year. In winter more than 100 individuals may be seen at roosts around the county.