In recent winters Deadman's Hill near Baldock has been superb for birds of prey including Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Red Kite, Peregrine, Merlin and the odd harrier and owl. This year, however, the emphasis has shifted to Therfield Heath with two Great Grey Shrikes and Barn, Short-eared and Long-eared Owls. However, it was time to give the hill a once-over and Stuart and I spent a couple of hours scanning the fields at both Deadman's Hill and the Wallington Road. And the result?.........absolutely nothing.
Well OK, there were singleton Buzzards, Red Kites and Kestrels, some Grey Partridges and Yellowhammers and a Corn Bunting, but no sign of the usual Peregrines and Merlins. Fortunately, the female Kestrel was rather intent on hunting, allowing me to get reasonably close for a few shots to save the day.