Tuesday, 27 June 2017

A Young Male Red Footed Falcon at Grove.

I was out for the day last Sunday but eventually heard that a young Red Footed Falcon (2cy male) had been seen on the Grove/Stodmarsh reserve. The sketchy twitter reports said it was seen mostly around the Marsh hide area so parking at the Grove end of the reserve i made my way down to the hide as quickly as possible, arriving to find........nothing, no Red Foot and more worryingly no birders looking for the Falcon. I sat there for about 30 minutes looking at a few juvenile Lapwing, 4 Konic Ponies and a herd of Geese. I decided to leave and walking back towards the cattle crush I met Frank Cackett who told me the Falcon was half way up the Middle Drove sitting in a bush. Off I sped and found two birders looking at the bird exactly where Frank said it was. (Cheers Frank) To be honest, the view was a little distant and the bird was slightly buried in the foliage of the bush. I took a few record shots but it was a hopeless task really. My first look at the bird and too far away to get any decent photos.

And after a heavy crop in photoshop (At least you can see it's a Red Footed Falcon)

After a while the bird flew out of the bush and low across the grass and I lost it somewhere in the vicinity of the Harrison's Drove hide. I was joined by Martyn Wilson and Tim Gutsell and we waited on the Middle Drove in case it decided to put in another appearance. The light was fading fast and from nowhere the Falcon appeared, flying towards us, again very low across the field, gaining height as it crossed the path we were standing on. It caught us a little unaware and I grabbed a few more record shots of the bird as it flew over the Middle Drove. Not very good shots I'm afraid but it is a Red Foot and well worth grabbing something, even if only record shots.

I am almost sure this is the first Male Red Foot I have seen at Grove, (the memory is fading a little with age) all the others (I say all but just 2) have been female birds. A cracking little Falcon and fine compensation for the lack of Hobbies on the reserve this year.

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