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Three Birds of Prey

On a walk along the Thames near Wallingford today, Zoe and I saw a falcon, probably a kestrel (Falco tinnunculus), drifting on a stiff cold breeze, occasionally turning into the wind to look longer at something that caught its eye on the ground, before resuming its drifting.  It didn't hover while we were watching, but then it was probably high enough up not to need to.  It was  little larger than a pigeon and had a straight, unforked tail.

On the way home, probably somewhere near Cane End, I saw a red kite from the car.  It passed almost overhead quite low, its forked tail obvious.  Fortunately I was not driving or we might have run off the road.  Zoe was on the wrong side of the car and didn't see it.  It was clearly larger than the falcon we had seen earlier.

As if that wasn't enough for one day, Zoe and I saw another probable falcon being mobbed by a gull while we were walking along Alexandra Road in Reading later that afternoon.  This was similar in shape the the falcon we had seen earlier, but was possibly a bit larger and heavier.  It was similar in size the gull that was mobbing it.  However, it was too far away to identify properly.

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