Sunday, 21 August 2016

Up on the Hill

Adey Baker and I were hoping that the rough weather might have forced a few birds to take shelter on Croft Hill.

The small woodland area on the hill can attract migrants and a singing Willow Warbler raised our spirits as we climbed the entrance stile. We walked uphill following the edge of the wood and then descended the hill on the other side. A handy viewpoint gave us views of the heart of the wood and we could see that a few birds were sheltering from the wind. A couple of Spotted Flycatchers perched on some exposed branches, but wait a minute isn't that one a Pied Flycatcher? A female/first-winter Pied shared the shelter with three Spotted Flycatchers. Chiffchaffs chased each other around and a smart Lesser Whitethroat vied for our attention. A large warbler refused to show itself well enough to be identified, but that just added to the excitement.

Overhead a group of Swifts were heading for their winter quarters, but they paused to feed over the hill. House Martins were travelling with them, but their arrival hadn't gone un-noticed. An adult Hobby seared the air as it tried hard to catch one of the hirundines. The Hobby was only in view for precious seconds but Adey and I had had our breathe taken away by it - what a bird!

Adult Hobby, Croft Hill, August 21st 2016

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