Friday 13 February 2015

Six Raptor Day - in Bedfordshire!

With a day off work, I decided to have a wander round the brick pits. En route a hovering Kestrel was my first raptor of the day. First stop was Stewartby where the Peregrine failed to show on the chimnies, but the 'white' Cormorant was hauled out on the sailing club pontoons. A strange looking beast. Next was a seek and find mission for Red-crested Pochard which also failed but compensation came in the form of a female-type Marsh Harrier quartering the reeds, a female Stonechat on the bank of the pit and a couple of Buzzards patrolling the railway line. Then it was onto Chimney Corner North where the male Scaup was quickly in found in a flock of Tufted Ducks at the north end of the pit, close to the view point. While watching the Scaup, a Peregrine flew south along the west bank of the pit, causing consternation among the ducks, Coots and pigeons. Heading for home, a Red Kite over Warden Street was raptor species number five with seven Buzzards being recorde d along Cardington to Old Warden road. It was already a special day with five birds of prey on the list, but a detour to Gypsy Lane was warranted. Eventually the male Merlin was located, sat on the ground, preening, in the middle of the scrapes to the north of Gypsy Lane West pit. So six raptors in a day. In Bedfordshire!

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