Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Rush Bird 4 - Gyr

Strange choice?...not really! For those of you who've read my other Rush Bird anecdotes (see link), the deciding factor for inclusion is exactly that...the russsshhhhhhh!!! Sure it's great to acquire a new tick, especially a LIFER but some birds you're pretty sure you're going to see...right? There's always an element of doubt e.g. flushed, sparrowhawk kill, dies, not easy to connect with! etc but, you do the drive and see the bird. I've been twitching nationally since '89ish and it took me 20 years to connect with a Gyr Falcon. There are good reasons for commitments, marital problems, holidays, to name a few. I would also argue though, that this species can be VERY difficult to connect with and see well...there have been a couple of dots!

So, last winter there was one reported on the Gower at the start of my Christmas holiday. Information was sketchy to say the least. I found some encouraging words on a local site so we rose early on the 19th December and made our way down to South Wales. No news on the way down, but we arrived in the area around 10.30 and stopped at a cafe (how cool is that!?). The area the bird had been seen in was undulating and viewing was difficult (at least were we initially set up shop). We joined around 10 other birders (mainly local) and waited. No joy for about an hour and spirits were sagging somewhat. Then a car screeched up and three birders jumped out saying they had just had a sighting down the road. We all followed (rather quickly) but again no sign?

We then decided to have a drive around the area hoping for a fluke sighting! We drove a few roads then...ah there's a few more birders...c100! We parked up and joined the group and again waited. It was now early afternoon and time was running out.
Then it happened... out of nowhere appeared this magnificent giant Falcon which proceded to fly right across the assembled crowd at 50 yds distance...MAGIC. It was like a goal had been scored, birders were cheering and jumping in the air, even hugging each other? Adrenaline RUSH...
We had three further views of the bird including a brief sighting on a fencepost before we decided to set off on the long journey home. Definitely a day to remember...

Still feel it should be a MEGA!

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