Thursday, 22 October 2015

Alas, poor Linnet

The Scotney Rough-legged Buzzard gave itself up without a fight this morning, and proceeded to hover and hunt in front of us for over half an hour. It even decided to visit both East Sussex and Kent - this is a species that I had not seen in the area before.

After a fortifying cup of coffee at the Plodland Bistro, I walked back to the observatory via Dengemarsh Gully and the beach. This isn't everyone's idea of a good walk, but for me it combines 'big skies' and solitude, plus decent birding.

This afternoon, as the light was fading, a Merlin put on a great show as it hunted down a Linnet that had become disconnected from its flock. The finch tried all it could to shake the raptor off, both birds stalling, rolling and catapulting in a frenzy of the hunter and the hunted. What finished it for the Linnet was the sudden appearance of a second Merlin. Without ceremony and with none of the effort of the chase so far, it effortlessly plucked the bird out of the air. All watched against the backdrop of the old lighthouse and the power station.

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