Saturday, 28 May 2016

A Red-footed Falcon at Vange Marsh

17th May 2016

It was on the 25th May 2013 that I went to Lakenheath Fen and took what I had always had assumed would be my best ever photos of a Red-footed Falcon, a male that was hunting over New Fen. However, when a female turned up at Vange Marsh and seemed quite settled there, the opportunity for some more shots was too great to resist.


Luckily I knew the area quite well from a previous visit to see the Wilson's Phalarope and so I was soon standing in line with the assembled throng of bird photographers waiting for the falcon to perform at close range. It was hunting out over the marsh and never too far away but every now and again would approach quite closely, as witnessed by the machine gun effect of the many shutters all firing in rapid mode. It certainly did perform well and luckily the sun, whenever it made an appearance, was behind us.
















When photographing in rapid fire you don't know quite what you have taken until you get home and look at the results on a computer. I was therefore quite taken aback when I saw this sequence. The falcon had locked on to a Mayfly which I have circled in red. Then, 1/10th of a second later it was still locked on, and a 10th of a second later still it had grabbed it with both talons. How amazing is that?






But the most unexpected of the unexpected was when I was clicking away another bird burst into the shot, had a tussle with the falcon and flew off. It was only afterwards that I could see that the falcon had been buzzed by a Kestrel and interesting to note the size difference.

WHAT A DAY!!!!


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