Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Whixall Moss - More Raptors

I've spent most of January reaching for my scope rather than the long lens but today was slightly different! I left the scope and (knowing I'd be walking for miles) simply carried the long lens for portability. Three hours had passed and knowing I'd be stuck in the 90's if I didn't connect with something, I kept on marching around the English side...

Then eventually, everything fell into place - firstly a male Hen Harrier at the north east end - mobile and very distant. I lost it but a few minutes later, picked it up in my bins, about 300m away sat on a post!! Too far for any kind of image but at least my luck was turning...



And then small raptor flew low over the Moss,  this was even further away but seemed to be carrying prey... which (unseen) it landed with and stayed put for about 45 mins. It was right in the middle of an inaccessible area so I waited... and waited... and after 40 mins or so, it took off - the unmistakable rapid wingbeats of a (female) Merlin :-)



With hardly a passerine in sight, I was walking off just before dusk and suddenly what should pop up in front of me? Two Stonechats!!


So, after looking as if the day was going to be tickless, three birds obliged for the year! on 97 and three to go...

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