Lade - 1500hrs - humid, cloudy, w 2 - With rain clearing by mid-afternoon we ventured out over the local patch to see if anything had dropped in. There was a few migrants around such as Sand Martins and Swallows over the lake, Mipits and several Stonechats on the storm ridges and a couple of Yellow Wagtails overhead, but the main interest was provided by a host of raptors.
Birds of prey do not like the rain, as it affects their ability to hunt, and generally they just hunker down looking fed up until it clears. So, this afternoon they were out in force. Most obvious were six hovering Kestrels across the Desert and behind the `mirrors`, where three Marsh Harriers and a Buzzard were also on the hunt. A Sparrowhawk nipped over south lake, but best of all was a Merlin chasing Linnets out over the Desert. I watched this struggle for life or death for several minutes as the falcon barrelled after three different finches, but all to no avail, before finally flopping down on a shingle ridge for a breather.