Friday, 29 May 2015

Red-footed Falcon...

I decided to head to Dorset on Bank Holiday Monday, primarily to look for reptiles but also on the agenda was a female Red-footed Falcon that had been hanging around the water meadows just south of Wareham for the last week. The first two hours were spent herping with very little to show for it, even though the weather conditions were perfect. I checked the bird news services and it was negative news on the falcon too. I decided to go and take a look anyway as I was so close to the bird it seemed daft not to.

When I arrived a small group had already assembled on the B3075 but the look on their faces indicated the bird had not been seen so far. Indeed people started drifting away and it felt like this was going to be a dip. Then I noticed Alick Simmons and Paul (Cookie) Cook had arrived and spent some time chatting with them. I was just about to leave when a guy further up the road started waving his arms - the red-foot had appeared! Suddenly it came cruising into view, circling quite low above the assembled group three or four times before continuing out of sight further down the meadow.

Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to get a photo, it was all over in less than a minute and quite frankly I'd just enjoyed the wonderful views of this stunning bird. Thanks to Cookie though for letting me use a couple of his shots.

Red-footed Falcon, Wareham: Paul Cook
Red-footed Falcon, Wareham: Paul Cook
Happy with that, I headed back to see if my luck had changed on the reptile front along with Alick and Cookie. Four Sand Lizards and a Green Hairstreak later I was happy I'd had a good morning out but it was Bank Holiday Monday and the traffic on the roads looked horrendous, it was time to head home and away from the mad house that is the A35.

Green Hairstreak: R. Harris
Orthetrum cancellatum, female: R. Harris
Sand Lizard, male: R. Harris
This one's starting to loose the bright lime green
colour for a slightly duller, post breeding colouration.
Sand Lizard, Juvenile: R. Harris

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