(Wikipedia Creative Commons image)
Nine drake wood ducks on the Upper Pool this morning. An astonishing looking animal, the wood duck, which I suppose accounts for its being the target of so many hunters over the years. A robin’s nest in the Vale had a long ribbon falling down from it, with a deflated balloon at the end. A big increase in bird-sound made me look up as I approached the Lullwater Bridge: there’s a tall sawed-off stump of a once-mighty tree there, and at the top a male kestrel was gripping his prey. Brunch was a bird, but I couldn’t tell what kind. At first I thought I saw some russet, so perhaps robin, but that’s a big bird for a kestrel. Perhaps a fledgling? Kestrels will raid nests. Agitated robins were diving the falcon, and other nearby birds were screaming alarms. Kinda spoils a good plucking, no? He flew off along the Lullwater just as a bluejay showed up to start trouble. Yesterday, I caught a quick view of an indigo bunting, a bird of intense blue, but today on the north side of the Nethermead Arches I had a long leisurely view of one as it puttered around in some kind of cherry tree. Awesome. Two more birds to the year list: solitary sandpiper and Wilson’s warbler.