Monday, 8 December 2014

The Raptur

The garganey was still there this evening, colder brown against the rippled steel water, yesterdays' caerulean replaced by chilling prussian blue. The duck were gathered in the bay of reeds, out of view from the road, and wary of the four Harriers that floated over the reedbed, now dark as the thin light petered out. The Harriers settled in to roost- a brief flurry of wing then dropping into the tangle, then up again to find a better spot, or just not wanting to be the last to bed.

Up again, but this time for a different reason. The small gathering of Black-headed Gulls too, rose and made their way towards the road in a tight flock. A Harrier tilted, jerked away as another bird arced past. A big bird, but fast and sleek and strong, with wings like sharks' teeth. It's rump caught the last of the light and shone silver grey as it turned at the top of its parabola, and plunged nonchalantly down towards the Harriers, now all up, with an easy carefree speed, just enough to spook the locals. Then away low through the withered elders at the back of the reedbed. Peregrine.