After a routine day, with no surprises except glorious weather, I settled down to complete an article I'm writing about raptor persecution. Crouched over a laptop and staring out into the yard beyond my lounge window I was amazed to see a female Merlin fly past in virtual slow motion......just outside. A moment of chaos and then a careful look outside, but nothing on show!
So, with binoculars in hand I went outside, only to have the Merlin swoop past me within a couple of metres, turn rapidly, sweep past and disappear over the wall between the house and the barn. Just as quickly it returned, swept over the yard and up and over the house , its ability to make "tight turns" nothing short of impressive. I then made a move to get around the house, only to almost step on a hapless Meadow Pipit which appeared from beneath the car which, doubtless, was the quarry in which the raptor had an interest! The pipit flew off , obviously unharmed, and I gained a distant glimpse of the Merlin tearing over the adjacent open grass moor toward the hill beyond. It all made up for an otherwise dull day!