Country diary: Raptors are always the most visible creatures up here – Rights History
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Country diary: Raptors are always the most visible creatures up here

Bingley Moor, West Yorkshire: I don’t think a kite could easily take a squirrel. A buzzard, I bet, or possibly a tawny owl

I have the moor to myself. It’s a clear, cold day, the hard overnight frost beginning to yield, the sky a vitreous blue. A kestrel hangs up there, hovering, higher than I’ve ever seen a kestrel hover – skylark height. I clamber up the cropped grass slope that will take me to the moor proper.

A first-winter gull – a common gull, I think, but I am a bad guller – quarters the territory with extraordinary concentration, methodically, studiously. Every now and then it stoops to take something from the grass, but I can’t see what. I can only think it’s after worms or other soil fauna turned up by moles – there are molehills, dozens of them, all over these fields.

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