Sunday, 26 May 2013

Red Footed Falcon

It was a toss up between the Roller in Hampshire or the Red Footed Falcon at Lakenheath today and the lattter won out. Unfortunately it is a very popular bird, and the fact that a Savi's Warbler had been found yesterday meant that it was incredibly busy.
We arrived just after nine and slowly made our way westwards. Lots of Large red Damselflies, Azures and Common Blues around with a few Blue Tails as well-being warm and sunny I was finally getting started on Dragonflies. We also had Green Veined White Orange Tips and Peacocks on the wing.
Several Cuckoos flying around-missed a great fly by shot and several flocks of Hobbys maybe fifteen or more birds in total.
The male red Footed Falcon put on a great show for us-so many people with big lenses were regretting taking them because it was getting so close-reptedly one guy gave up and started taking pictures with his phone. I have seen lots of Red Foots over the years but this is only my second adult male.

A vocal Grasshopper Warbler put on a good show as well, unfortunately being a plain bird with a lower than usual song we initially assumed it to be the Savi's until we got clearer views. Sadly the Savi's had shut up just after eight and was not seen after that.
Met up with Tony Hukin along the footpath west of the reserve, hoping to pick up a Crane. He found two Spotted Flycatchers in a clump of Willows, and a Cetti's warbler showed well here as well.

Returning to the reserve we heard that a Crane had flown in-after ten minutes it flew off again but at a considerable distance.
On the way back we found a couple of female Hairy Dragonflies, unfortunately they eluded Tony. Back at the visitors centre i had a flyby Green Hairstreak and someone showed me images of his 'Migrant hawker' which was a superb male Hairy.

We decided not to stick to the area and headed off to Huntingdon and a small meadow containing Green Winged Orchid. Unfortunately we only found ten plants, a far cry from the many hundreds we had seen on a previous visit. Two Small Coppers were a nice bonus.

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