On 2 September 1999, a melanistic adult male Marsh Harrier was observed while migrating over Wapserveld in the northern Netherlands. The black-brown upperparts (including head) contrasted with the pale grey (apparently unbanded) tail. The underwing was entirely black-brown except for the white base on the primaries and first few secondaries and the light-grey tail. Despite having observed several 1000 s of Marsh Harriers in The Netherlands since the late 19605, this was the first melanistic bird seen by the author. Another observation, by Ben Koks and Erik Visser, was made in the province of Groningen in the third week of May 1997; this bird was also an adult male.