Bright conditions have been lacking for some time with thick cloud bringing poor light, however, today, there was virtually wall to wall bright sunshine with a moderate, occasionally fresh south-westerly.
About mid morning I parked up at Little Cressingham and walked to Great Cressingham to search for Raptors. The mild and bright conditions seemed just right for displaying Raptors and having reached my intended watchpoint I met my friend Dave Capps who was already hunkered down waiting for birds to appear. Sitting out of the wind, the sun was quite warm, this had encouraged my first Bee species to fly past.
Soon after my arrival Common Buzzards started to appear over woodland and nearby farmland, the maximum number seen together was 5 birds, however, with Buzzards coming and going, actual numbers may have been higher. Individual Buzzards approached at height whilst other were seen just above the woodland canopy where some sparring behaviour was seen between birds. A single Sparrowhawk was seen briefly displaying above woodland.
|Red Kite (one of a pair) at Great Cressingham, Norfolk 16/02/14|
Initial views of the distant Red Kite provided stunning views of the raptor in the bright sunshine. Even though distant, diagnostic features seen included the obvious deeply forked tail which was rufous above and the white 'windows' on the underwing. Diagonal pale bars were easily seen on the upperwing and the head area appeared bright white, and these features were all visible despite the distance.
Eventually, 2 Red Kites patroled slowly over the woodland and fields in the area in search of carrion.
After spending a very pleasant time with Dave, I left him to make my way back to Little Cressingham. I soon located a friend of mine and Dave's, our local very pale, almost white looking Common Buzzard. This bird is always readily identifiable even at height due to his unusual appearance.
This was a good mornings birding, especially as the conditons today brought a long awaited Raptor spectacular.