Friday, 28 May 2010

Rindle Road and Astley Moss

Whilst in the Rindle Road area tonight I took these pictures of a raptor over Astley Moss SSSI.  They are only record shots and I'd be grateful if anyone could help it me to positively identify the bird - is it a Hobby or perhaps a Peregrine Falcon?  What are the key differences to look for?

You can double click the pictures to get a better look. Please enter any observations or comments in the section at the bottom of this post - thanks.

Update 29/5/10
Many thanks to all the birders on the Manchester Birding Forum who replied to my post there and confirmed that the bird is in fact a Hobby.  I've reposted the replies made there in the comments section at the bottom of this post.

Later it caught a bird - a Meadow Pipit perhaps?

Now I just need to go back and take some decent photos!


  1. Hi Martyn,

    You did indeed see a Hobby last night. Hobby is a slightly smaller and generally darker bird all round, with a darker blue mantle and upperwing and darker underwing. On photo 3 you can clearly see the rusty red "trousers" and vent which separate it from Peregrine.

    The chest of Hobby is more heavily/thicker streaked and along the body as opposed to across the body as on Peregrine.

    Nice photo's!



  2. Hi Martyn,

    Your pic is 100% definitely a HOBBY............. you can tell particularly by its red vent, or kecks, as we know em !!

    Ian (Woosey)

  3. Hi Martyn,
    looks like a hobby to me. Key features include size of the bird, and speed (they are reminiscent of a giant swift)and a red/brown vent (the area on the birds underside just before the bird's tail). As a result it is sometime described as having red trousers on! You can just about make the red vent out on your 3rd photo down in the list.
    I think you should be proud of the photos you have taken as i have heard they are a difficult species to photograph as they move so fast!

    Hope this helps,


  4. Hi Martyn,

    Well done with your Hobby, ( a species I have yet to see in Greater Manchester).
    I thought your shots of the bird were rather better than just "record shots."

    Although I live up in County Durham these days, I really enjoy coming down to the county of my birth from time to time and moving along my modest Gr. Manchester list.

    I was impressed by your enthusiasm and enjoyed a look at some of your photos and comments.
    I did take the liberty of having a scan at your life list and it prompted me to query one of your identifications: - Corn Bunting at Pennington Flash, (which I presume you saw at the Bunting Hide feeders?)

    I suggest this was instead a female Reed Bunting, (a common bird at Pennington) which is otherwise mysteriously absent from your life list, and much more likely to be at that particular feeding station. (I suspect Corn Bunting might be unknown/virtually unknown at Pennington).

    I hope you don't mind me mentioning this.

    Best wishes with your birding odyssey!


    Mike Passant


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