Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Ledbury - Red footed Falcon

I’d noted the postings of a Red-footed Falcon in Ledbury with interest? I’d also noted that no-one had posted an image of this seemingly obliging bird and I have Ron Kinrade to thank for tipping me off that this really was a ‘must see’ bird (MANY thanks Ron!!!)

The tip off came as I was leaving work Wed evening and having eaten my tea, agonising whether the 60 mile trip was really worth it? At 6.00 pm, I decided in a moment of the ‘madness’ that’s inside every birder to go for it!

I arrived at 7.30pm to find a small group of locals and a photographer present (Carl Day) - nice to bump into you again mate! Adopting a careful ‘do not disturb’ approach, it was another 15 mins or so before I got a few worthwhile shots? Carl's are here!

The RFF was using the posts which roped off the cricket square as a look out / launch pad for catching moths in the air and a variety of invertebrates on the ground. It was a fantastic display which had me cursing the fact I hadn’t got here earlier!

Looking like an official in tug o' war tussle?










By cranking the ISO up to 1,000 and underexposing – I managed to get a decent shutter speed and a few worthwhile flight......








...and landing shots! Anticipating which post and pre-focussing paid off with two or three landings......














Eventually, this sporty Falcon took to the Goal posts and Cricket sight screens from which to launch sweeping flights!








The sun even came out for a few seconds!








Another worm and / or moth bites the dust.....










Maybe the most unforgettable moment was as it flew directly (and very low) overhead landing right by the small assembled group I was standing with - a more natural setting as it rested in this small tree!






My pick of the evening poses, one lovely Falcon!






By 9.00pm the light was fading and it seemed like many hours had passed. Encounters don’t come more exciting than this – just hope the bird stays for another visit although with a cricket match undoubtedly lined at for the weekend, (the pitch will be prepared and the posts removed) I doubt it?

Meanwhile, I needed to get back home and get some sleep in – another bird beckoned…. (hopefully)… the Hartlepool Headland White-throated Robin - would it stay yet another night?

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