Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Fantastic falcon

I got up early this morning with the aim of hunting down the Kite I had yesterday evening. However, there was thick fog, and it remained that way until mid morning.Once it looked like clearing, we went up to Goonhilly Downs for a walk across the heath. This produced three Red Kites drifting south, but nothing more unusual...

After lunch, we made a visit to Windmill Hill CWT reserve just south of Ruan Major on the Lizard, to go and look for the Marsh Fritillaries. This was quickly aborted when a medium-small falcon appeared out of the sun over head, swung round to the north, and then bombed off south. I had bins-views of it for a few seconds, realising it was a 1st summer male Red-footed FalconAfter yesterday's Kite, I knew I needed a photo of this one, so as it passed back overhead I fired off four shots on my bridge camera (which always struggles to pick up flying birds), before dashing back to the car for my scope. The bird was still off to the south when I returned a minute later, but it then flew east, gained height, and circled off into the distance.

Checking my photos, I was furious to see that they looked pretty useless. Lack of phone signal meant I couldn't put the news out anyway, so we sat and waited for an hour and a quarter to see if the bird would reappear, which it didn't. Arriving back at our rental cottage, I had a quick look at the pictures on my laptop, and was rather relieved to see that at least one of them was in fact vaguely passable as record shot! 

1st summer Red-footed Falcon

Postscript: The bird was subsequently seen later in the day at Kynance, just a short flight away for a falcon, by Ilya McClean (who I think patches locally).

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