Friday, 30 March 2012

A Merlin in mid Hampshire

This week I have spent two days walking the footpaths near Woodmancott, mid Hampshire, and I have to say the weather has been amazing. On the two days I was there the temperature was nearing 20 Celsius, so I was able to get a good start on my 'T' shirt tan for the year. Song birds were enjoying the spring weather to the max and singing well, but it was the raptors that were making the most of the warm thermals.

Red Kite

Common Buzzards were as usual the most abundant species, with a maximum of seven recorded at one time in the air, with Red Kites being the next most abundant, some passing very close. Eurasian Sparrowhawk and Kestrel were present in small numbers, but the two surprises were a ringtail Hen Harrier and a first year Merlin.

First Year Merlin

I watched the Merlin from a distance as it approached me, and it eventually got to the point whereby I had to put my binoculars down for fear of being hit by it, but instead the the bird suddenly drifted up and landed in the tree behind my head giving cracking views, shame my pictures weren't as good!

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