First sight of snow free ground and blue sky made me decide to head out on the Coddington circuit today, pretty pleased to see a yellowhammer as I went over the A1 bridge. There's not much in the world yellower than a yellowhammer's head!
Also enjoying snow free ground today would be raptors, giving them a better chance of hunting than the recent terrible weather has given them. I was saying to myself as I went over the aofrementioned A1 bridge "I wonder if there's a kestrel in the trees here" and lo! one appeared flying swiftly left to right across the road.
After a bit of a haul up the hill into the back of Coddington - I'm not used to running on hills at the moment - I saw a buzzard just flying into land in the stand of trees at the entrance to the village. Only it didn't land. It stretched it's wings out wide, white underwing marking showing plainly in the bright light, and turned into the wind looking for any kind of thermal to soar on. I didn't rate it's chances as good, despite the blue sky and bright sun, but if there was any rising air to find, the Buzzard would find it.
No other bird I'm likely to see around here commands the skies like a buzzard. Thousands of feet up they circle, and can probably read the logos on my trainers...