Thursday, 23 December 2010
Birds of prey see to continue to thrive. On the Christmas Journey between Somerset and Norfolk we saw a number of different species from within the chaos of our car packed with presents and excited children. On the A303, between Street and Stone Henge , we saw 4 buzzards either circling above the trees or sitting on posts at the edge of fields. Somewhere on Salisbury Plain we saw two red kites, one shortly after the other, low over the hedges and clearly recognisable with their sleek shape and distinctive tail . The second kite was flying straight towards the road using its split tail to trim its flight carefully as it slowly approached the field edge. This second bird was quite close and I was surprised at how large it was. We didn't see any barn owls over the snow but we did saw one tawny owl, sadly battered and dead in the snow slush at the road side. Once past London and onto the M11 and A11 coming into Norfolk we saw three kestrels, two hovering and one on a wire by the road side. All of these birds presumably benefitting from the seasonal roadkill buffet during this time of particular cold weather with the buzzards in the west country being replaced by kestrels in the east.