I saw the falcon – a peregrine or a hobby? – gliding high, silhouetted against the glare of a late summer afternoon. Behind me, small birds chattered obliviously in their favoured thicket. The falcon dipped and disappeared. I wondered where it had gone, then sensed a movement where no movement should be and, suddenly, for a fraction of a second, I was face to face with a hobby at full throttle – hurtling at the unsuspecting sparrows behind me. There was a rush of disturbed air against my ear and I caught the ferocious intent in its yellow eyes and it was past me, rearing up over the shrub and diving beyond it as a dozen small birds scattered. This didn’t take place in an RSPB reserve or on a moor. It was right in front of my house in Catford, south-east London, as I cycled back from Tesco, and was a reminder that genuinely exciting wildlife drama can happen right on your doorstep. This is what seasoned birdwatchers and the mildly curious will be clinging on to as the nation shuts down over the coming weeks. After all, yoga on Zoom isn’t for everybody. Some of us have always… Read full this story
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