Monday, 13 May 2013

Making a viewing point out of a Mole Hill

Not only is the spring late and the weather awful, I was away when many of the migrants that have arrived or passed through did so. Therefore, rather late this was my first Common Sandpiper of the year


At the same time the Reed Warblers singing in the ditch behind the Hide at the Restharrow Scrape were also new for the year. Water in the scrape has dropped by about six inches since last week.and this could have an architectural consequence

Last week the House martins were collecting from the sandy island at the far end of the scrape. The mud here is much darker and may well give rise to two tone nests on the estate.

As I drove along the Ancient Highway I watch a Hobby zooming passed and then just after Willow Farm I noticed a lump sitting on top a a mole hill, and that seemed to be a continuing theme. The distances were quite large so I apologise now for the photos, but I thought the story worth telling.

There were at least two Hobbies around, and I suspect that they were fairly newly arrived and hadn't yet been given the route to Grove Ferry and Stodmarsh.This ones not actually perched on the cows nose, but another mole hill!

Most of the time I was watching they only took short low flights around the filed and I didn't see them catch anything, although it may be they were using the mole hills to find invertebrates on the ground.

There was something very "English Countryside"about this bucolic scene, but it's one that wouldn't have been possible twenty years ago, when Hobbies were still quite scarce in Kent.

This one had just move to what was obviously an extra attractive molehill, and had settled down for a preen and general chill out.
Then  another falcon caught my eye, at first expecting a second Hobby I was surprised to see it was a Kestrel and that it was making straight for the Hobby.

There was little doubt as to who was the aggressor in this confrontation, although to be fair the Hobby showed little reaction at first.

 For a while they sat there staring at each other, the Hobby somewhat perplexed that his presence had caused such a reaction from the locals. In the end he flew a short distance to the next mole-hill. At this point I did wonder if the Hobby had indeed found a prey item because the Kestrel seemed to be picking something up from where the Hobby had been,

While I'd been watching this a pair of Grey partridges had been quietly gewtting on with their business, presumably neither of these two small birds of prey offer any threat to them.

1 comment:

Derek Faulkner said...


A nice pictorial statement about Hobbies, loved the Grey Partridges.