One of my 2019 highlights was this Hobby, nothing more then being in the right place at the right time. It was a bird that i was high on my list of targets for the year.
Hobbies are among the most agile and acrobatic birds of prey. They are capable of catching fast-flying birds such as swallows and swifts in mid-air. Another important food source is dragonflies, which are also caught, and sometimes eaten, in flight.
The presence of these red ‘trousers’ is the easiest way to distinguish the hobby from the similarly-sized kestrel and the much larger peregrine.
My first sighting of a Dipper (Cinclus cinclus). Dippers can often be seen bobbing up and down on a stone in a fast-flowing river. It feeds on underwater insects by walking straight into, and under, the water.
This strikingly colourful bird is a Cirl bunting (Emberiza cirlus), the males have a fetching combination of moss-green, yellow, and rusty orange, with a black mask and throat, quite unlike any other British songbird. I had seen them in Mallorca and had hoped to catch up with them in the UK. They are still quite rare birds, and to see them you’ll have to visit the right part of Devon or Cornwall.