Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Glandyfi bends

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.
Bob Relph