|Close to the fence of Ellington Girl's School|
|One day I might just get an image that does this species justice - until then this'll have to do!|
The most spectacular sighting, however, occurred as I prepared to leave for work yesterday! I'd just finished feeding the birds in my aviary and became aware of the local gulls being somewhat agitated without the spiraling panic that I associate with an overflying raptor. As I walked up to the bungalow a huge falcon skimmed over the roof - less than 20 feet up. Clearly trailing jesses from it's legs, it appeared to be a Saker? As quick as it came it was gone, over the hedge, and lost from view. No camera and work beckoning, I left home to walk across the footpath; the gulls still not happy. About half way to the "Scaffolder's Yard" the bird reappeared and I was able to call it (I whistled and held my arm up - something I'd seen a falconer do out on Worth Marshes a couple of years ago!) and the bird came straight towards me. No glove and no lure, the falcon passed within 10 feet, eyeing me intently, before banking and making another pass. It was an awesome experience - how I wish I'd had my camera, the bird was magnificent. Yes, I am well aware of how plastic the sighting is - doesn't detract one bit from the sheer enjoyment of those few moments. Two crows and a host of Herring Gulls continued to give the falcon grief and I last saw it as it flew south over the farm towards St. Luke's - magic stuff!