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Friday, 28 June 2013

Red Footed Falcon/Anarita Park

Long beforeI`d booked my trip to Cyprus,I`d always longed to see the Red Footed Falcon,a bird similar in build and size to a Hobby.I knew that it would be peak migration time for these small raptors to stop off on Cyprus and feed up before continuing North!I couldn`t have timed it any better,for reports were given of up to 50 birds hunting and hawking insects in the Anarita park area.I couldn`t get there quick enough,so next morning I was on the road early in anticipation of some close views.
 Resting up after a long journey.The power lines were a favorite perching place for the falcons!
 Male and female Red Footed Falcon,constantly scanning the ground below for food.
 Male falcon in summer plummage looking stunning against the blue sky!
 They are an opportunist feeder,always on the lookout for food.They are known to hover for short periods and then drop down on their catch,similar to a Kestrel.
 Using this large boulder as cover,I got within 10 metres of this fine looking individual.He was soon away though as I popped my head around the corner.
 Feasting on some large insect this female had caught,they are strictly insectivorous in their diet!
 Unmistakable falcon due to their dark plummage.
 They only pair up for a season at a time,using old corvid nests to breed.They breed colonially with sometimes 10 pairs only metres apart,having taking over old rooks nests.
 Russia,Hungary and Romania are favoured breeding areas, with a few pairs recorded in France, Italy annually.
 Many used these thorny plants as lookout posts.What an experience I had watching these birds.They didn`t stay around too long, as on a subsequent visit only a few birds remained.

1 comment:

  1. A wonderful experience for you Paul,what a bird.