Red-footed Falcon in Herefordshire


During the morning of June 8th, news emerged of the presence of female Red-footed Falcon on a cricket pitch at Ledbury in Herefordshire. It was also present on the 7th and remained until mid-morning of the 9th. This was much to the frustation of visiting birders, particularly when it became apparent that it may in fact have been present for the best part of two weeks. It represented the first county record and removed Herefordshire from the very small list of counties in Britain never to have recorded the species.


First-summer female Red-footed Falcon at Ledbury
June 9th 2011. Photo: Carl Day



First-summer female Red-footed Falcon at Ledbury
June 9th 2011. Photo: Carl Day

The whitish forehead together with some worn brownish upperwing coverts indicate the bird's immaturity. 



First-summer female Red-footed Falcon at Ledbury
June 9th 2011. Photo: Carl Day.

Note the retained juvenile outer tail feathers and underwing coverts which confirm the bird is in its second calendar year.




First-summer female Red-footed Falcon at Ledbury
June 9th 2011. Photo: Carl Day

This species readily feeds on the ground in search of insects and small invertibrates. This particular individual utilised small posts
around the cricket pitch as well as a set of goal posts over which to survey it chosen feeding territory.


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