More from my wonderful day at Wicken Fen – this time focussing on hobbies. The bird, not the pastime. When I was there the sky was full of them, which was great as I'd never actually seen one before – at least not such that I was sure it wasn't a kestrel. Now I've been well schooled! Up close the colouring and patterns are completely different to a kestrel, but from afar it's probably the wing shape that gives them away best, being long, thin and slightly sickle-shaped at times – bringing to mind a Swift, at least a little bit. Of course the behaviour is another clue.

Delighting in the Latin name Falco subbuteo, they are small and extremely agile, mostly catching insects and other birds on the wing. In fact I even managed to get a picture of one sampling the in-flight food, albeit from afar. Our guide said that they were flying much higher than usual because the dragonflies were late emerging.


Obscure reference: if you have not yet drunk your weak lemon drink, drink it now, for there will not be time later!

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