Sunday, May 18, 2008

Raptor Weekend

I snatched a spare couple of hours on Saturday morning to go down to Fisher's Green in the Lea Valley to see the Red-Footed Falcon. It was as easy as birding can be; park, walk about 50 yards to the large group of people with telescopes, and look at the target bird cruising up and down in front of us. Conveniently a couple of Hobbies were there for comparison. I couldn't detect any difference in flight between the species, except perhaps the Hobbies had deeper wing-beats, but the RFF was a fairly clear first year female, with a brownish tinge on the upper wings, and the body being mainly buff with a hint of red. Otherwise it was a text-book bird, as can be seen from the "Mystery photo" in the previous post. Other birds were singing Cetti's Warbler, Pochard, Gadwall, lots of Common Terns.

Then Sunday was the bird-count in Hatfield Forest. We had lots of common woodland birds in our section, including a breeding pair of Kestrels and a Sparrowhawk, and then a Common Buzzard near the lake and a fantastic Turtle Dove in the Bush-End church yard. The highlight was a raptor picked up by Steve high over us. It was clearly a Kite, but we were denied a clear diagnostic view of the tail. Both Red and Black are possible as some of the latter have escaped from London Zoo, and I wouldn't like to choose between them on this view.

No comments: