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Falcon, Gordonton

Posted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:40 pm
by David Riddell
Just had a call from my cousin who lives up the road in Woodlands Rd, Gordonton (about 2km from Gordonton Rd), who said he had a falcon in his garden. Went up and had a look and sure enough, it was perched quietly, surveying the scene. After about 20 minutes it swooped down on to a nearby paddock where my cousin had spread some seed, in what looked like an unsuccessful hunting attempt - the view was obscured by a hedge - and then flew up into another tree, apparently empty-footed. My cousin says it's been there about 10 days, and that when it first appeared it had a length of blue and red cord or rope dangling from its leg, though it soon managed to free itself from this. I suspect this was just a bit of rubbish it had got tangled up in, but have contacted Wingspan Trust in case it could have been a tether (jess?) attached by a falconer.

Re: Falcon, Gordonton

Posted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 3:05 pm
by David Riddell
My cousin tells me the falcon hasn't been seen since that day (August 6th), but sitting at my computer just now (about 500m from my cousin's place) I heard what I'm pretty sure was a falcon calling outside, probably flying over - Annette heard it too and agrees. Another species for the garden list!

Re: Falcon, Gordonton

Posted: Wed Jun 26, 2019 12:30 pm
by David Riddell
Just been round to Woodlands Estate (a historic homestead just north of Gordonton) and got talking to the head gardener, she said they had a falcon there a couple of weeks ago. A tui was giving it heaps apparently, until eventually it had enough and chased the tui off in no uncertain manner!

She also showed us a morepork roosting in a ponga. There's a resident pair apparently, they often roost together and successfully bred last season.

Re: Falcon (and moreporks), Gordonton

Posted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:23 pm
by David Riddell
Went back to Woodlands this morning, the morepork was still there, this time with its mate. Very dark spot, had to crank the exposure right up.

Re: Falcon, Gordonton

Posted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:29 pm
by pithius7
Many thanks for the info about the falcon and moreporks. My daughter and I are big fans of birds of prey. We went along to Wingspan last week actually in Rotorua. Will be sure to go for a drive to spot your friends in Woodlands, we are in Cambridge, so not too far at all. regards

Re: Falcon, Gordonton

Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:20 am
by David Riddell
Hi pithius7, as far as I know the falcon hasn't been seen recently, and the moreporks are quite difficult to spot unless you know exactly where to look; one time I was there recently I couldn't find them at all. Send me a personal message on this forum (envelope icon, top right on the menu bar) and I can give you some pointers, or maybe arrange to meet you there, I live about 5 minutes away. I took the above photo from about 10 metres away on one of the paths, to the naked eye they weren't much more than silhouettes.
The other nice bird you quite often get at Woodlands in winter is kaka - haven't heard of any yet this year, but I saw one flying over the middle of Gordonton last week, and there are one or two just up the road at Pukemokemoke.

Re: Falcon, Gordonton

Posted: Tue Jul 23, 2019 3:41 pm
by pithius7
Hi David,
Wow that is really neat that you see some amazing birds not too far from home. A Kaka!! That is just brilliant. It is really heartening to see these guys surviving the onslaught by predators.
Yes, you are quite right about the spotting. A number of times my daughter has spotted birds and I swear I was blind to them even though they were right in front of me LOL.\
many thanks
damon