I planned to find a suitable location to hopefully look for raptors, therefore, I headed for Little Cressingham and chose a sheltered spot out of the strong wind to overview a large, open area of rolling arable farmland (within the Great Cressingham parish) and hoped for that passing Harrier species. The habitat overviewed comprised stubble and Sugar Beet crop.
The large fields and skyline ahead of me appeared quiet although a few Gulls and Crows flew back and forth. The odd Partridge was seen briefly flying into Sugar Beet and stubble. Wood Pigeons typically passed over from various directions.
Whilst looking directly ahead low on the skyline a raptor appeared and circled over the field, it appeared quite large and on one occasion I saw the bird had stiff outstretched wings, looking at the bird through binoculars I saw this was a Peregrine Falcon. I watched the Peregrine fly low and east, increasing its speed and wings angled back for an attack, I then lost the Falcon behind a hedge, however, its presence was evident by an irruption of various bird species.
Peregrine Falcons are scarce passage migrants and winter visitors to my Breckland patch, I usually see this species most winters at one or more sites in the area.
|Peregrine Falcon - this bird was photographed at Little Cressingham in January 2012.|
Shortly after the Peregrine was seen a flock of 60+ Lapwings passed west over the field, possibly displaced by the raptor. To the distant east I could see a lot of activity over fields and woodland, a single Buzzard was being mobbed by Crow species, also many other birds were seen, also possibly indicating raptor activity.
There was not too much small bird activity due to the wind, however, a couple of Skylarks were seen and along Green Lane, a party of Long-tailed Tits passed low through cover.
The wind strength was the most noticable feature of the weather this afternoon, however, the forthcoming night and following morning will see a powerful storm passing through Southern England.........batten down the hatches and stay safe.