With the milder weather, and the promise of breezy sunshine I decided to head up to the Chiltern ridge between Baldock and Royston. The Merlin has been seen from time to time, and I had expected to see some raptors displaying.
I drove through Wallington, stopping off at one of the gates. Lots of Skylarks singing, as well as a few Corn Bunting. One or two Pheasant and Grey Partridge noted too.
I spent around 45 minutes at Dead Mans Hill. Conditions were a bit cloudy and cool, and I did not see the expected displaying raptors. Lots of Buzzards in the distance and a pair of Kestrel were seen. The fields were full of hares, attracting a local photographer, but they were too distant for my 300+1.7 converter. Two large flocks of Common Gulls, 23 Fieldfare and big Linnet and Skylark flocks still.
Most interest for me came from the herd of Fallow Deer to the east, including a couple of bucks mock fighting and a white hart (looking not unlike the sign on one of my old pub haunts).
A drive over to Kelshall did not produce anything due to a large organised Pheasant shoot so I went over to Preston and Kimpton. The sun was coming out now and I managed to see several Kites and Buzzards, but with no chance to stop for photography. A quick glance at the 'secret' tree got me the local Ravens and so I headed off home.
Colin's car was parked outside when I arrived-he had been shopping picking up several new lenses for his Pentax. He went out into the garden to try the new 15mm, so I dug out my old Sigma 20mm and we pent time with the spring flowers doing very close wide angle shots.