Tuesday, 20 October 2009

You take your choice

Straight on or turn left. Well, first thing this morning, I went straight on and walked along the cliff top towards Hope Point and Kingsdown Leas.

There was quite a lot of activity in the sky, but few birds at ground level. I looked up to see this Peregrine effortlessly cruising into the westerly wind.

Above and behind it there was a second bird taking advantage of the up current. The Gulls don't seem to take any notice of them and a continuous stream of Herring Gulls came by at head height.

Although I quite like the immaculate plumage of the adults some of the juvenile birds have quite interesting patterns, especially on the various feather tracts that form the coverts on the wing linings.

It may have been the perfect condition for sailing along into the wind but there were several groups Carrion Crows moving along the cliff and tumbling around as if enjoying the game. I got as far as Little Green, when back in radio range I had a try to see if anyone else was out birding the patch. Phil returned my call with the news that he'd watched a Great Grey Shrike in the Freedown, before it disappeared. I should have turned left, and not gone straight on! Despite searching the bird didn't reappear but may of course still be in the area. There as another one at Grove Ferry, for its third day.

Birding was quite slow, although any day is brightened up if there are a few Firecrests around. This afternoon Guy Bailey joined us and had the cheek to have ring-tail Hen Harrier fly over him as he arrived in the car park. Another bird that I missed today. Perhaps tomorrow will bring the mega we're waiting for.

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