Bird Watching (UK) - - Uk Bird Sightings -

Rocky coasts are the place to look for one of Europe’s rarest rap­tors. Here they time their own breed­ing sea­son for late sum­mer and early au­tumn, so that they can feed their young on the glut of prey pro­vided by ex­hausted and of­ten in­ex­pe­ri­enced small passer­ine mi­grants. Sev­eral can some­times be seen hunt­ing to­gether (al­though not co-op­er­a­tively, as such). They fly into the wind, look­ing for in­com­ing prey, be­fore mak­ing the kill with a sharp stoop. Dawn is a par­tic­u­larly good time to look for them, as they tar­get night-fly­ing mi­grants. Ar­riv­ing late in April, and stay­ing un­til early Novem­ber, there are sev­eral hun­dred pairs breed­ing on Mallorca. Most are on the west coast, and there are large colonies on Cabr­era, Dragonera, Cap Formentor and Cala Sant Vin­cenc – check these from Au­gust on­wards. Prior to the breed­ing sea­son, look for it hawk­ing for in­sects at Al­bufera Re­serve or over nearby open for­est ar­eas and at Son Bosc. Boat trips are avail­able to help you get the best views of these sites, and could also bring the added bonus of a Balearic Shear­wa­ter. This su­perb rap­tor can also be seen in the Bo­quer Val­ley and at Cases Velles, while there are also op­por­tu­ni­ties to stop on the road be­tween Puerto Pol­lensa and Cap Formentor. Out­side the Balearics, not in many places at all! The Ca­nary Is­lands, Sar­dinia and is­lands off Italy, is­lands in the Adri­atic and Aegean, and on Cyprus. In late au­tumn, they mi­grate to the Red Sea, then Mada­gas­car.

†Longer-winged and tailed than Pere­grine and Hobby

†Flight is ac­ro­batic and dash­ing, and shows fre­quent changes of speed

†Dark-morph birds (all sooty brown and black) oc­cur, too MORE INFO

Eleonora’s Fal­con Dragonera

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