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19th July- hobby and swift diary

A hobby coasted through the village this morning. The house martins and swifts reacted quickly . The house martins bunched up high but the swifts rally quickly and position themselves quite close behind the hobby, flying directly in its wake. They are well aware of the deadly capacity of this beautiful falcon.

I once watched a hobby take a swift over Bradford on Avon. The chase started when the hobby piled in to a feeding flock of swifts. It managed to single out one whilst the others retreated fast. The aerial chase that followed was impressive with the swift displaying speed and incredible manoeuvrability. The chase lasted for about twenty seconds. I believe the hobby was deliberately tiring the swift. It then accelerated and took it with relative ease.

Next I watched the hobby carrying the swift whose wings flapped upside down before it breathed its last. Hobbies are impressive and very beautiful and are entitled to the name swift themselves, but my heart always stops as they pass. Will it take one of our swifts or martins? This time it didn’t.

Below. Swifts trailing behind a hobby.

Below. Dusk screaming party passing low over me.

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