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Missing falcon turns up 160 miles from home

Published 17/08/2012

A rare bird missing from its home in Co Meath has turned up 160miles away on an island off Donegal.

And last night efforts were being made to reunite the cross between a Gyrfalcon and a Saker Falcon with its owner.

Holidaymaker Owen Clarke, from Letterkenny, Co Donegal, spotted the bird during a trip to Tory Island earlier this week and sent a picture to BirdWatch Ireland.

Niall Hatch, an expert there, recognised it straight away as it had been reported missing by owner Karl Lawlor in Slane a fortnight ago.

"I'm hoping to be able to get her on Friday," Mr Lawlor said last night. "I've been looking everywhere. I even went up in a light plane.

"I didn't think she would turn up, so I'll be delighted if I can get her back."

Islanders have been keeping an eye on the falcon, which has been feeding on rabbits.

One attempt by Mr Clarke to catch the bird failed.

"Karl told me how to call it using a whistle and how to lay out bait," he said.

"I was only inches from it before it flew away. Karl's coming up so hopefully he'll have a little more luck."

Belfast Telegraph

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