Friday, 17 June 2011

Norfolk day 4 - Horsey Red-footed Falcon

A brilliant start to the day with a lifer Marsh Warbler at an undisclosed site. Quite showy and seen in full song (an amazing repertoire too)!

With rain forecast, I opted to dash over to the Horsey Red-footed Falcon. The Ledbury immature female was fresh in my memory, a male would be great to add and this was another youngster! I managed to get parked on the track by the Nelson’s Head and walked the km or so to the area the RFF was favouring – the fields adjacent to the sea wall (and occasionally the fence posts!!)

It was showing on arrival but about 60m distant, Annoyingly, it had apparently been right in front of the group of birders at the scene!

I had no other plans so opted to stick this one out and after a short session hunting it settled down on a post - quite distant sadly but at least a record shot was forthcoming!






Eventually, he flew...








landing a little closer....








I sensed my opportunity had come (just as the light had gone!)






The Falcon landed on the footpath post line within 40m or so! If you notice the shadowy shapes, one is a photographer, the other is a dog walker and not surprisingly - DOG - yes, walking purposefully towards the bird.....






I moved a little closer, I guessed there would be 20 secs or so before the dog flushed the Falcon!










Not far out, after 22 secs the bird was duly flushed and I was too close for the take off. Never mind, despite the light, it was an amazing close encounter!

The rest of the afternoon was a sorry (oops I mean soggy) affair. The heavens opened to make sure the weather forecast was proved correct. I retreated to the car for an hour or and spent some time deleting images from the past couple of days, then nearly dropping off....

I ventured back out and I guess it must have been nearly four hours later (plus many gloomy record shots) the Falcon ventured out from the tree it was sheltering in, landing on a post less than 20m away.....






Anyone got a hair (feather) dryer?








This shot really captures the moment! Wet and soggy bird - windswept conditions - talons hanging on for grim death!






As the rain returned, the chance of any better light seemed remote, so (for the third time that day) I retraced my tracks up the Nelson Head track, another 'job done'....

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