Saturday, 1 November 2014

Rare as hens

Another car window spot - driving down the road from Witcham to Haddenham, I saw something perched on a wire at the side of the road, too big for a kestrel and uniform pale grey.  A quick flick through the mental card index failed to turn up anything other than a male hen harrier, and you just don't see those at the side of the road; I've spent a long time both in Derbyshire and on Exmoor looking for them, to no avail.  It was dusk and I was moving, so the chances of a good ID were slim anyway. I forgot about it and drove home.

And then, at quarter past seven the next morning, there it was, quartering the field adjacent to where I'd seen it. For once there was nothing on the road next to me so I slowed down and got a good look. Pale gray but for the wingtips, it glided on raised wings effortlessly across the stubble. In the half light and the slight mist it looked quite beautiful.