I'd just emerged onto Farndon Road, when I looked up to see a small bird being pursued by a raptor of some kind at very high speed. Abruptly the bird performed a handbrake 180 in the air, and its pursuer made a sort of desperate upward lunge to try and take it in its talons.
With insane reflexes, it immediately lunged at another bird - a swift - which similarly escaped by pulling a scything, slicing turn and heading back where it came, at which point the would be killer settled itself down and slowly flapped off along the River Devon. I decided from its long tail and broadish, fingered wings that it was a sparrowhawk, although it was silhouetted against a low bright sun.
Immediately afterwards, I went past the cob horse field and noticed a bird alight on a tree stump. At first I thought it was a thrush before I realised it was way too big; then it made a leap at a blackbird feeding nearby. It was a kestrel, although seemingly such a rubbish one said blackbird carried on happily feeding even after it had side stepped the attack.
Finally, although three is more than a couple, I had the pleasure of a close range head high encounter with a swift as it blasted past me before finding its way into a gap less than an inch high in the eaves of a nearby house. They've only been home a couple of weeks, so I'm guessing this is nest building rather than rearing, but I could be wrong.
So good to see them nesting!
|A lovely evening|
|What time is it?|
|Me in the river, at the lock|