|Red-footed Falcon, Bells Farm, Cresswell - Druridge Road.|
Red Footed Falcon is not a particularly rare bird in the UK being dropped from the BBRC list of species requiring notes in 2006. In some years there are massive influxes with well over 100 individuals in one year in the 90s, but very few occur as far north as Northumberland. Whilst we must have had getting on for 20 records in total, only birds in 1973 and 1980 could in any way be classed as twitchable for most people.
So when I was at my desk at work yesterday and heard a report of a fly by at Cresswell just after the Great British Tour had gone through, I kind of sneered at it, thinking, 'wonder what that was'?
Then, a short while later a nother report came through saying that a Red footed Falcon was on wires near Bells Farm, Cresswell!
I didnt take much persuasion to clock off and dash along the road. On arrival, half a dozen county listers were watching the bird, a nice immature male, sitting on fence posts and bales only across a field corner. It looked a bit bedraggled and was seen to be in full moult. It showed well, dropping to the ground to pick up an unseen morsel, them back to its perch where it fluffed up and tail shivered. It looked quite settled until a Marsh Harrier gave a close fly by flushing our bird off the the NW horizon not to return that night.
This caused some concern for those unable to get up here in time, but their panic was unfounded as the bird was back on the bales first thing this morning and again at tea time.
What a great bird and one of my most wanted in the county having only seen one at Teesside previously ( as well as a good few in Hungary and Amurs in China)
This chap puts me on 335 for Northumberland. What is the next most sought after for me...A Honey Buzzard is way overdue....