Monday, September 15, 2008

Dipping the local Osprey

It started on Saturday. I was at the pool where D#1,2 were having a half hour lesson. Just as I'd sat down the phone pinged, and Mike was texting me about an Osprey that had just left Trim's Green. Just time for me to go and find it. I'd hoped that a flock of crows or gulls would lead me to it, but I drew a blank.

I went up this morning to see if a stray Honey Buzzard was drifting over, and had been there about 5 minutes when I got another text from Mike saying the Osprey had flown off 5 minutes previously. Fantastic. I saw 3 Lapwings, a flock of 6 Jays, a Yellow Wagtail, 4 Skylarks, a few Linnets, a small flock of Swallows, 3 vocal Kestrels, and a couple of local birders too, but no Osprey.

I returned late afternoon, and it was dead. I stopped by a nearby field and checked. Completely empty. I just had one last look at the sky, picked up a distant falcon; as it drifted high over I could see it was a tatty Peregrine, my first for this area. I stopped again at Blount's Farm and had a smashing male Sparrowhawk fly slowly over.

So in the last two weeks this square mile of farmland has produced Kestrel, Hobby, Merlin, Peregrine, Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard, Marsh Harrier and Osprey! Testament to the success of wildlife conservation measures

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