Every now and then, with a bit of luck birding can reward us with spine tingling experiences, and today was such a day for me.
I visited the Glandyfi lay by this afternoon and was gathering a few year ticks when a female Hen Harrier arrived on the scene. She showed beautifully in very good light for possibly as long as 10 minutes. So far so good I thought. After that I saw a male and female Goldeneye, Common and Green Sandpiper and a few other odds and ends. Then I noticed a bit of a commotion straight out from where I was standing and almost immediately discovered the cause, a Merlin in hot pursuit of a small bird. And almost immediately after that I saw the Harrier join in the chase. When the prey dipped down the Harrier went for it, and when it jinked skywards the Merlin had a go. I've never seen such interaction before, it was incredible. After several attempts by both birds the prey escaped and the Merlin landed on some driftwood. I got my scope on it and watched with delight, but the Harrier kept passing through my field of vision, I didn'the know which bird to concentrate on. After a few minutes the falcon took to the air and I lost it, but about 10 minutes later I located it again, settled on the ground. I then enjoyed brilliant views of it (a lovely male) for several more minutes. A cracking afternoons birding.