I've just seen the damn thing again! I don't know what it is! Some sort of bird of prey is my bet. But, which sort? I have no idea. And I never seem to get a good enough look at it to figure it out either.
Brown. Puts me in mind of a tawny owl brown. But, we don't get tawny owls here, so it's not that. About the same size too. Or comparable to a kestrel, say. (Don't be too led by that though. I'm just saying this is no harrier sized bird. Eg.)
Body shape is something else though! Very distinctive and weird! Seems like it's scrunching its head into its shoulders and looking down at its own chest. Results in a going away look of a headless bird. Most peculiar.
Back end isn't much better either. Rump seems very rounded and it lacks that long, obvious tail ye'd expect on most raptors.
Wing beat is quite fast. Wood pigeon, for comparison? Maybe. But, much more than this; The wings form a very distinctive 'cupids bow' shape. They really curve on the down beats. Very noticeable.
Flight, today, looked particularly like evasion flight too. It sort of jinked from side to side. Like it was trying to throw off some invisible heat seeking missile. Flight's quite fast and previously appeared quite smooth, as a sparrowhawk can do.
And that's as much as I can tell ye. I've seen it a few times, over five or six years. Never yet got a decent look at it. Always seems to be going away from me.
Now I don't know if I've given no where near enough, or have over egged the pudding! I've only told ye exactly what I was able to note as I glanced over the gate and spotted the bugger nipping past my cottage today.
What in blazes could it be? Anyone? Michael? Ice caps?