Another thing we noticed once we were on the Middle Levels, right the way through to Peterborough, Wellingborough and beyond on the River Nene, was that we were nearly always in sight of at least one Buzzard, or a Red Kite, and quite often more of each. Even if you couldn’t see one, you could usually hear the plaintive mewling of an aerial buzzard. Plenty of sightings of Kestrels too: they must all like the habitat along the Nene.
Buzzards quite often sit on a fence post or telegraph pole or riding the thermals relatively high up, while Red Kites are usually seen wheeling around on the air currents rather lower down. You sometimes see them perch quite high up in a tree, but not very often. So we were very surprised to see three Red Kites who were circling together all decide to go and fly into the same tree. Where’s Peanut’s Charlie Brown when you need him?
One minor puzzle was a bird some distance away that looked very much like a Red Kite perched in the top of a tree, except that it seemed to have a white head. The chances of us spotting a dwarf American Bald Eagle in Northamptonshire are remote: we can only think it was a partially albino or leucistic red kite – a quick Google suggests they do exist. (You can get partial albinism in other birds so I guess it’s not that impossible.)