ID suggestions needed!

Can’t think what I just saw briefly, so suggestions, please. Driving at 09:45 on the A4119 from Creigiau turning south towards Llandaff, just before Pencoed House turning (approx ST093801), so trees around. Swooping in front of the car, slightly higher than car level is what looks like a small falcon, very pointy wings. Most distinctive feature is its apparently totally plain mid-brown back and wings which show well as it is slightly banking. My impression of the colour was the shade of a Song Thrush’s back or slightly darker, but not the reddish brown of a kestrel. No strong facial markings noted. It climbed steeply to land on a lamp post as I got level; unfortunately, there was a car not far behind and nowhere to stop. I’ve considered female Merlin but that’s so unlikely in May in that area, I discount. Rufous cuckoo – always had more obvious mottling or pattern when I’ve seen them (the road was fairly shaded, but the bird looked very plain indeed. Too small for female sparrow-hawk. Juvenile male sparrow-hawk would be a possibility but not in late May, a month too early. What have I overlooked?

2 thoughts on “ID suggestions needed!

  1. Paul Seligman

    Thanks @garethprce – I think now it must have been a female sparrowhawk, though i didn’t feel it was quite that big. We’ll never know anyway..

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