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A falcon in amongst? Marettimo Sicily (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
On 30th April I struck lucky at my watchpoint, seeing several raptors come across around 4pm.

First the ones I cannot identify! I am hoping for an exciting falcon, a Saker or a Lanner, having once seen a Saker on Marettimo in September 2017.

But on those two kinds of falcons, the trailing edge of the inner wing is at a right angle to the body, whereas on this bird the secondaries have a slight bulge. Could you help id? It's not some strange hybrid Buteo, is it?

Bird 1, nos.1 - 5


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Well-known member
Thank you, Lou and Steve. I think this has been a wild goose chase but I am learning something.

I am amazed the female Marsh Harrier can be so pale underneath. I have found my way to Tom's link mentioned by Henning in a current thread, re: the variability of Marsh Harrier plumage.

May I check that these 2 birds below are also Marsh Harriers, are they likely to be both female?

all from 30th April afternoon, seen arriving over the sea, shortly after the bird in my post above.

first bird nos.1,2,3; second bird nos.4,5 ten minutes later.


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Well-known member
both look good for female type Marsh Harrier

Thank you, Tom. I must learn to pay more attention to structure.

The few Marsh Harriers I've seen have been the dark type (like no.1 below), and all three Marsh Harriers posted above are so different. Is it at all unusual to see three individuals of that kind of lighter less-marked plumage more or less at the same time?

I would like to check the ids of the birds I thought I recognized on that day, are they ~

no.1 : Marsh Harrier (female type)
nos. 2, 3 : Peregrine
nos. 4, 5 : Kestrel (any possibility of commenting on wing formula in no.5 right wing? Am I right in thinking that males of both Common and Lesser have a broader black terminal band than females?).


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