Saturday, May 13, 2017

Red - Footed Falcon : Strumble Head, Pembrokeshire

 A bird that has eluded me for many years is Red - Footed Falcon mainly because I've not been prepared to travel for one, so when a stonking full adult male bird unexpectedly turned up at Strumble Head in Pembrokeshire a couple of days ago I just had to go for it.
A phone call to Kevin Hughes on Friday evening had us arranging to meet at Junc 36 Sarn Services on the M4 at 6.00am this morning and with myself at the wheel and very little traffic on the roads we rocked up at Strumble Head at 7.30am.
The first birder we came across was local Richard Stonier who told us that he had been there since 5.00am with no sign of the bird, our hearts sunk !!
We drove a little further and came across Simon and Peter Murray from my part of the world who were trying to attract Richard's attention having found the bird sat in the hedgerow at the side of the narrow access lane, result !!!
We parked up in the small car park near the sea watching shelter and made our way back to the bird's location, the five of us got great views of the fabulous small falcon showing down to 25' allowing me to come away with images that I was 'over the moon' with................

We had expected a bigger crowd for a Saturday morning and a steady trickle of birders started to arrive including Adrian Meredith, Alan Cripps and fellow 'togger' Colin Harvey.
Just before the lads arrived the bird had flown to the next field and having been airborne for a few minutes disappeared behind a hedge.
We walked down with the lads to where the bird had disappeared and despite a thorough search the bird hasn't been seen again today since 9.20am, we were so lucky that we got there at the time we did !!
We left the others searching and headed for Fishguard Harbour hoping to connect with Black Guillemot, we bumped into old friend Cliff Benson near his beloved Ocean Lab and he offered us a lift over to the ferry terminal to which he has access and we found one bird on the water, nice one Cliff !!
With mission accomplished we headed for home arriving back at Sarn at about 1.00pm, a 'lifer' for me with some great photos and two year 'ticks' for Kevin, happy days as they say.

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