Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Perseverance Pays

I finally caved and decided to make the trip over to Horsey to try and see the long-staying 1st summer male Red-footed Falcon. With recent reports suggesting that it was an afternoon bird (even late afternoon arrival - which would be too late for me!), I decide to go local first thing and then a little shopping :) This was rudely interrupted by a pager message saying it was present today at 9.45. I started to make my way over and, when turning towards Martham, was greeted with a message saying, still present at 10.15 then flew SW! I continued to the Nelson Head track. A Cuckoo posed distantly and a juv Little Egret gave to wonderings as to where it had 'come from'.A male Stonechat was quickly left as it carried food into the scrub.
Non-avian highlights were present in the form of many Dark Green Fritillaries (as well as Small Heath) - resplendent in their emergent colours.
Pictures here:
and the above pictured Orchid (wish I knew how to identify them! Anyone?) A couple of Grey Seal were loafing around off shore, one being very approachable (but not by me)!

Hope was waning (the weather was deteriorating - breezy with the occasional light shower) when I decided to plonk down in the dunes. Keeping an eye on the time, knowing I needed to leave c1.30 pm, I got to 1.00 pm and forlornly took another look over the fields - and there, flying in from the north, only c 50 m inland was the fine Red-footed Falcon. It circled the main track, looking to land, but settled further south due to walkers. It is a very approachable bird and preened away about 20 m from me (always back on, unfortunately) before flying to the sparse bushes as a heavy shower set in. We both took shelter and when I returned the bird had disappeared, presumably flushed - by the feeding cows!

The pictures don't do the bird, the views or the area justice, but time had beaten me. I couldn't refind it over the next 50 min (although it showed well again later).

On the ensuing journey a roadside Little Owl actually had the courtesy to remain in situ whilst I turned the car and repositioned myself!

Great when the birds identify their location for you!

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1 comment:

  1. The orchid looks like Southern Marsh Orchid. They're a tricky bunch, but Early Marsh flowers are a bit narrower and they should be over by now. Narrow-leaved (aka Pugsleys) Marsh is rare in Norfolk. Then there's all the hybrids...