21 July 2006

A hobby at Brandon

The Eurasian Hobby, Falco subbuteo, is one of my favourite birds - a slender-winged aerial acrobat which can twist and turn like a guided missile in pursuit of dragonflies, swallows, house martins and even swifts. It has brilliant yellow talons which stand out like neon lights against distinctive red 'trousers', and an equally prominant facial 'moustache'.

I've been lucky enough to see these beautiful creatures flying high over my garden, and also hawking for insects across lakes and reservoirs. But tonight I had the all-too-rare opportunity to study one at rest, sitting in a dead tree across from the Carlton Hide at Brandon Marsh. Only a few moments, but priceless nevertheless.

Not having my camera was an added advantage, because it meant I didn't spend those precious few moments fumbling for lenses or shutter release cables - instead I was able to just sit and enjoy. Instead of a photo, I think the picture above does a much better job of showing the beauty of this spectacular bird. Posted by Picasa

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