Wednesday, September 09, 2015
Soil Hill Mystery Falcon
Mystery Falcon Soil Hill a brief summary. I am sticking my neck out here, but I think the Soil Hill falcon is probably a Lanner Falcon of unknown origin. Its clearly a big bird with long wings and medium length tail. There are 5 races of Lanner across south east Europe and Africa and Ive only ever seen one, in Lesbos in 2001 and if I remember that caused some confusion at the time. This species is highly variable but certain features point to lanner, A if Im not mistaken this bird has blue legs and feet which points to a juvenile large falcon, either Lanner, Saker or Gyr, juvenile Peregrines have yellow feet so this should rule it out. B this bird has a very pale ventral area, a feature shown by Lanner Falcon (confer Colins field guide, and Dick Forsman) C Greater underwing coverts are heavily spotted, another feature shown by Lanner and D note dark under wing coverts which form an indistinct line across the under wing between the coverts and flight feathers. There’s also a statement in Forsman noting translucent tail, which this bird also shows. This bird is however not a typical looking Lanner but I think the combination of these features points to this species. It’s a pity there’s no upper wing shots. If I am wrong then hopefully I will learn from my mistake. Would like to hear what others think, ps sorry for the rubbish arrows on the photo.
Posted by heavy birder at 6:58 pm