Nesting Hobbies

Found under licence: nest containing at least two chicks, nine metres up in a former Carrion Crow nest in an oak in lightly-timbered grassland on very secluded private land at 242 metres asl.  (In the second of my two photos the nest is in the centre and the white downy chicks just visible within.)

The site is within a few kilometres of the location where I found and reported a displaying pair in May of last year, and might be part of the same nesting area. Chronically under-recorded across most of its breeding range, I would expect there to be many pairs of this species nesting across Glamorgan and the wider area.  The legal status of course precludes a close approach to a nest, but breeding Hobbies can be detected for recording and conservation purposes by various methods. These include: watching and listening for their reactions to intruding Buzzards and Red Kites (which are mobbed if they pass close to the nest); following or tracing back the flight paths of birds on hunting forays; and observing the activity of family parties during the post-fledging period in August-September.

Birders often regard mid- to late summer as a dull period due to the general absence of vagrants and scarce migrants, but there are useful finds to be made if the quieter areas of the landscape are sought out and the scarcer breeding species responsibly targeted.

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