Falcons are a favourite species of birds that I enjoy watching and studying. When I had a text from Phil Owen early on Tuesday morning, I weighed up the options and decided to make the effort and go and see this cracking bird. I have seen one previously but views were distant and I wanted to hopefully improve upon them.
The Red Footed Falcon was at Willington Gravel Pits, and after a 2 mile walk, we quickly found ourselves indulged with spectactular close views of a first summer male bird. The bird favoured a bend on the River Trent, where it darted and chased dragonflies and damselflies over the river. With it being a 1st summer male bird, it hadn't quite gained its full adult plumage. It still showed baring under the wings and still showed evidence of a chestnut colour on its nape. Luckily for me, the bird did land a couple of times, providing opportunities for a record shot. Dispite the wind and the distance, I was happy to get these:
I met a couple of familiar faces I'd recognised from previous recent twitches, and an old guy who'd left his missus in the car reading a book - I think he under estimated the 2 mile walk as apparently she was expecting him back within the hour. Nevertheless, a superb and educational bird and one I hope to find in North Wales one day. Other birds of note, were a Hobby (nice to compare these two birds), and a Kingfisher which shot over the nearest gravel pit. Thanks to Phil for the company!