This morning at around 11.00 am I came across, what I assume to be, an escaped Gyr Falcon in the field to the north of Lynemouth flash.
I got some very poor shots that I show below. The flight shots show what appears to be some sort of transmitter on its back.
Its behaviour was very odd. It was settled on the ground for some time, apparently 'playing' with either a clod of mud or a lump of dung. It picked it up and shook its foot, hurling the lump a few feet away, then sort of galloped after it and repeated the process. It looked as though it was either practicing playing with prey or, perhaps, repeating actions learned with a lure. I could not see any jesses. It flew north after I had been watching for about 20 minutes.
I met two guys at Druridge, one of whom has seen Gyrs in Greenland and suggested that falconers would not fit a transmitter and perhaps it is a genuine wild bird that is part of a nestling tagging experiment. I believe that they fit trackers at some of the bird of prey centres in this country.
Comments on this would be appreciated.