The species is rare in Cornwall, averaging about one or two records annually. Several birders with me today were pleased to notch up a new county tick. It is of course the rarest of all UK breeding raptors with just a handful of breeding pairs in East Anglia and southern England, hence the strong interest in this migrant. The species last bred in Cornwall in the early 70's.
The population for the western Palearctic is estimated at 35,000-50,000 pairs. The global population is unknown but could be anything between 150,000 to 200,000 individuals. This uncertainty is due to most of the world's population being situated in Russia where it is not quantified. The species is a long distance migrant. Birds from Europe spend the winter in sub-Saharan Africa, while those from the eastern part of the range migrate to the Indian subcontinent.
|Breeding and wintering range of Montagu's Harrier.|