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Peregrine and Ravens, Prior Park

Palladian Bridge

This National Trust property is a gem and I can’t believe I’ve never visited. It’s hardly inaccessible at a mile’s walk up the hill from Bath railway station. Yes, I travelled by public transport, as encouraged by the Trust’s website, and received my first reward, as a rail fan, at Nailsea & Backwell with top-and-tail class 67s. Super power for a local train.

At the Park the birding produced the usual woodland suspects until I’d just departed from the Church Lane exit, where I got on to a falcon. My initial impression was hobby before it started harassing a crow. Except this crow spread its tail feathers and became all raven, at which point, from size alone, my falcon became all peregrine – not for the first time in my birding career.

The birds continued this encounter in and out of the tree line when a second raven joined the view. The peregrine didn’t desist, so I had a marvellous balletic minute of all three birds before they dipped below the horizon, which is high in that part of Bath.

As a coda, a buzzard glided into the sky, then another. It was raptor, and honorary raptor, heaven.

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