I am on a days leave today. Using them up before the year end. Around 10 am I walked Peggy down to the small pond in the estate to see if the rough sea had put any ducks on it. It really is a small pool surrounded by trees so is never getting much, but a Gadwall or even a Green winged Teal is a possibility so I went for a look.
It was really quiet and still, very little moving. 14 Teal, a pair of Mute Swans, 3 Little Grebes and a few Moorhens were all I could see, then, at the very back along the edge, a Water Rail ran half the length of the pool into some bulrushes. Nice, to get a reasonable view here.
We were about to continue our quiet stroll when there was such a rushing of wind noise! I almost ducked and looked around, it sounded like someone waving a branch around, nothing, then I looked up to see a big immature Peregrine in full speed stoop at a Woodcock! The wind rush was from its wings, it sounded like a jet. The Woodcock must have just come in off when the Peregrine stooped, luckily for it, it plunged into the willow scrub at the back of the pond, forcing the falcon to slam the brakes on and back peddle over the tree tops. The Woodcock was gone, and the Peregrine slowly made its way west without a meal.
On the way back up the track, I was giving the pond another look when a second Water Rail flew right through my binocular view and landed in the same spot as the first. There was such a squealing in the rushes then silence again and the pond returned back to its usual self... a bit of lucky timing is always helpful
It is these small things that make watching a local patch so enjoyable. Its not always about rare and scarce...
|The spot at the back where the swans are is where the Water Rails ran into and just left of there is the Woodcock sanctuary!|