Monday, July 9, 2012
In fine, sunny, weather yesterday [8th July] afternoon, Wendy and Mick Campbell, at the main high point territory in Little Wood, Oxon, observed four males engaging in aerial battles, gliding, and perching, over a period of 90 minutes. It clouded over later, but, after an interval, this activity was repeated. Mick and I revisited this spot today, 9th July. It was 18 degrees, no wind, but no sun. Not surprisingly, the level of activity was much less than yesterday. Between 2.45 and 3.00, we saw three short flights from two individuals, and were able to focus our bins on a male perched high up in the big Ash with its wings wide open. For the next 30 minutes we saw nothing. Returning to this spot at 4.20, Mick saw one come up rapidly from an Ash to intercept a bird, and then plummet back into the tree. Clearly it is going to be hard work this season, if the weather does not improve. However, Mick and Wendy's experiences yesterday, and the sightings in Alice Holt, suggest that the numbers might be close to 'normal'.