Saturday, 7 May 2016

Red-foot reprise

We were treated to an extended visit from a Red-footed Falcon on Wareham water meadows last spring, just a short walk from my home. This week has seen a repeat performance from another of that species - or possibly even an encore from the same - as a female has taken up residence at nearby Morden Bog National Nature Reserve, a site which will be known to many birders for hosting Britain's second Short-toed Eagle back in 2014. A diet of snakes kept the Eagle touring the heathlands of southern England that summer, but dragonflies are more to the liking of the Red-footed Falcon. It has certainly picked a prime location for them, so it may even remain in the area for some time to come.

I managed to catch up with the Red-foot in the fading light of Wednesday evening when offered a lift - what am I saying, I was virtually kidnapped - by Jol and Joe Mitchell who spirited me the three mile journey to the reserve. On arrival, we had no idea where to look but I picked the Falcon up with the first binocular scan, and we then managed reasonably close views near the edge of the Decoy Pond. She was more distant when I made another stop on the way home from work tonight, but the visit did nothing to damage Morden Bog's reputation as a raptor hotspot: a mighty Osprey carrying a large flatfish upstaged the Falcon en route to an unseen feeding post. What else might these warm south-easterlies bring to the Dorset coast this weekend?
Female Red-footed Falcon, Morden Bog
The heat of the day had died down so she was roosting up near the Decoy Pond
Nightjar will be churring on this heathland soon
Into the sunset
Morden Bog
Distant this evening but you can just see the dragonfly about to cop it here!
The Osprey plumped for slightly larger prey 

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