Saturday, 18 June 2022

Worth, Kent :: 04 June 2022

We'd arrived back in Banbury before 10.00pm and unpacked the car before I headed straight to bed - I'd discussed the long-staying Eleonora's falcon at Worth in Kent with Kevin Heath and he'd offered to drive to Worth in Kent on the Saturday morning. We stopped only for a breakfast roll from a great little bakery in Wingham, not far from out intended destination and picked up some filled rolls for lunch. It was around 8.20am when we left the car park with our boots on, making for the area the bird has been frequenting - talking to some birders coming the other way it appeared the bird had been seen at first light over the car park so it could still be in place.

We joined a line of birders on the track looking at a wood, particularly the side sheltered from what could only be described as a stiff breeze - surely the bird would favour this side? I suppose that is what everyone was thinking and supported by the presence of two hobbies perched in the trees on the edge of the wood on this side.


We waited and watched as the hobbies started to make forays out into the field in front of the wood, becoming three hobbies too. And here we stood over the next two hours picking out raptors and, on each occasion, deciding they were hobbies - the number of hobbies ebbing and flowing up to maybe half a dozen at a time. There was a flurry of activity as a chap ran down the path to say that the falcon had spun round at the other side of the wood and was heading down the field behind us - a few decided that the bird we'd watched re-entering the wood was our bird and the group all decamped to the gate at the top of the track. From here it is reported that the bird rose, hovered, and dropped back into the trees but despite searching on the internet later I have been unable to find any photos of the bird despite the massed cameras present. Kev and I went for a look but to no avail. We returned to the original camp and waited.

Shortly after we saw a bird high and distant heading away and down passed the car park which looked a contender, and I snapped a record shot to investigate. It was our bird! Some say that they watched it from the car park for a short time but the bird we saw just kept on going. Perhaps it spun round when we had lost it from view?

Eleonora's falcon

We waited to see if the bird would return as it had apparently done the previous day, but we never picked it up again. We talked with various birders finding a chap who with his mate had been on the other side of the wood and picked it up earlier in the day - they had watched it hunting in clear view. Perhaps we'd made a mistake joining the group and making an assumption of where the bird would feed ...

We spent the remainder of our visit following hobbies, having lunch by the car and watching avocets taking to the air to protect their airspace largely from crows. As we ate lunch we had a flyby from two spitfires - perhaps taking part in the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations somewhere.


The bird wasn't ever seen again so we were ever so lucky to have visited when we did. It had been a long day and it was such a boon to have had Kev drive as I'd done over 1,000 miles in the last few days. We'd bagged our target bird - a lifer for us both - we had a photo and had a great day watching hobbies. Just a shame we hadn't had some of the views of the Eleonora’s afforded to others on previous days.

No comments:

Post a Comment