How Good is This? / by Jonathan Thomson

Over the past couple of years Harry has worked at & visited UWNR. Recently he wrote this email, which completely knocked me sideways…..How Good is This?

Hey Jonathan,

I know mum has already told you, but I wanted to let you know that I'm now going to study wildlife conservation at Aberystwyth. I felt you should know seeing as you played a huge role in my decision. Showing me and my family around Underhill was an amazingly eye opening opportunity for me and I cannot thank you enough for helping me discover my interest in the world of conservation. I hope you're well and fingers crossed I'll see you around Christmas when I get back!

Kindest regards, Harry


How Good is This?

As autumn gets its hands on UWNR and activity levels tail off, I have been reflecting on the summer just gone. This for me was a highpoint…..

My good friend Pip and I, had been working in the heat of a summers morning this year and we had returned to the barn, for lunch. We sat in the shade overlooking the lake, letting our food settle, when a flash caught our attention. A raptor. At first, I thought it was either a kestrel or sparrow hawk, but its behaviour didnt fit either of these predators. We quickly concluded it was a Hobby. For the next 20 minutes it hunted over the lake, stooping into hunting dives at such blistering speed, it was difficult to follow its trajectory. It seemed to make a kill with each stoop - snatching dragonflies. (This small raptor predates on fauna like dragonflies, swifts and house-martins). Having made its kill, it ate from its talons, on the wing, and at the same time, returned to altitude readying for another fierce and athletic stoop. It was spellbinding and for me the highlight of the summer. And great to have shared this with Pip.

I wonder, having now found favourable habitat at UWNR, if this small raptor will return to nest and raise young next spring….fingers crossed.