||Saturday 11th August 2012
Whilst sea-watching off of Gwennap Head, Porthgwarra, Cornwall on Saturday 11th August we watched a large all-dark falcon insecting at the top of the cliffs on the other side of the cove. It was noticably bigger and longer winged than a hobby. It was catching large insects in a horizontal flight at the top of the cliff in its talons and then feeding on them in mid-air like a hobby (talon to mouth). It also made several fast stoops down the cliff face repeatedly trying to catch other prey items (small birds/insects?). When gliding gently, it held its head up above its body when searching for prey.
I took a few photos of it from considerable distance and unfortunately it was a bit misty. The underwing shows a dark patch around the coverts/axillaries.
Behaviour and appearance seems to suggest Eleanora's Falcon but please let us know what you think!
The bird's movements:
At 3:20pm the bird flew east overhead of us at Gwennap Head (west side of Porthgwarra), over Porthgwarra cove and started hunting at the cliff top about 300-400m east of Porthgwarra along the costal track towards St Levan. It continued hunting for approx. 20 minutes. After a swift stoop down the cliff face it landed on a rock about half way down. I turned away briefly to try to get my scope on it but when I looked up it had disappeared. We later checked the area where it was catching insects at the top of the cliff and there were certainly a lot of flying bees and butterflies, but no further sign of the bird.